Resource: Teaching Data Literacy With the U.S. Census

By Mary Ann Zehr — April 13, 2009 1 min read

The Census in Schools program provides lesson plans that can help teachers to teach math, geography, civics and government, history, economics, and language arts. One of the goals of the program is to promote data literacy.

Hmmm, that’s a skill I’ve had to acquire and use often as a journalist. It seems to me that a lot of jobs require the ability to understand data, charts, and maps. I browsed the Teaching Materials section of the Census in Schools Web site and found a “We Count” map showing the population in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The census provides three different versions of the map; each one is designed for a different cluster of grades.

I can picture teachers using the U.S. Census tools to help students apply what they are learning in math, geography, or other subjects. The materials are based on the 2000 U.S. Census. It won’t be long before the bureau will have to revise them for a new census.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.


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