Using the 2010 Census as an Educational Opportunity

The kids were very excited to participate in their first ever census. They enjoyed providing the answers and telling us what boxes to check.

There are oodles of  U.S. Census K-12 educational materials and lesson plans for teachers to use in class and for students to explore on their own. One example is this map with state facts for kids:

We talked about how mommy and daddy only check one box under race, but they get to check two boxes --- something they wouldn't have had that opportunity in the 1990 census when you were forced to pick one race. 

Learn more about the history of the census, how we've address issues of race and slavery, people's fear and the difficulties census workers faced in the past on the census page and in this video, "From Inkwell to Internet: The History of the Census."

We talked about how daddy helped to make sure we had all the addresses for our community. He analyzed information, created maps, and reported the information to the census bureau for the past two census rounds.  There are many community workers who help with the census in a variety of ways.  The census is a community and national project.

We also talked about how both mommy and daddy use the information from the census to help make our community a better place and to watch how things are getting better or worse.  We can enter our address and find out important facts about our neighborhood and our city.

(Sadly, this task is more difficult, especially for rural areas, since the U.S. Census abandoned the long form in favor of the American Community Survey.  But that's a whole other story.)

We also talked about how they can see their great great great grandparent's answers to the 1910 census forms they answered when their kids were little, just like our family.  And just look at the beautiful census-worker's handwriting!

We're also going to track how many people are returning their census forms from different parts of the United States. We hope you enjoy participating in these exciting activities too!


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