Lesson 12: What Do You Know?

Grade Level 9–12

Strand: About the Census

Skills and Objectives

  • bullet Identify the most important information and concepts from Census in Schools
  • bullet Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the census and its importance

Materials: What Do You Know? A Census Quiz Student Worksheet 12

Time Required: Two 40-minute class periods

    Getting Started

  1. Now that students have completed 11 lessons about the census, you can assure them that they have learned a lot about a very important part of American democracy! Explain that in this lesson they will have a chance to show what they have learned.
  2. Tell students that they will participate in a class activity as a way to review what they have learned and to prepare for the quiz. Divide the class into seven groups. Assign each group to cover one of the following topic areas:

    • History of the U.S. Census
    • Apportionment
    • Redistricting
    • Ways to Use Census Data
    • Mapping the Census
    • The Census Questionnaire
    • Involvement in the Census

  3. Give each group 15 minutes to review their assigned topic. Then have a representative from each group give a short presentation on their topic for the class.
  4. Using Student Worksheet 12

  5. Hand out copies of What Do You Know? A Census Quiz Student Worksheet 12 to each student. Provide students with one class period to complete the quiz.

  6. Answers to Student Worksheet 12
    Part I: Multiple Choice

    1. b; 2. c; 3. a; 4. a; 5. b

    Part II: Short Answer

  1. Census data can draw attention to how the country has changed over time so Americans can think about the benefits and drawbacks of those changes, or how the government might need to respond to those changes. Examples will vary, but should show that students understand that shifts revealed by census data tell Americans about the nature of their country.
  2. Any three of the following: It’s required by law. It determines how much representation your state will get in Congress (which affects how many electoral votes your state will receive). Census data are used to determine how districts are defined. Census data are used to decide how to disburse government funds for important programs. Census data can help the government determine where resources are most needed.

    Part III: Understanding Charts

  1. It increased from 14% to 73%.
  2. In both years, 18- to 29-year-olds.
  3. Because the Internet is a fairly new medium, the younger people are, the more likely they are to have been raised using the Internet from a young age.
  4. (a) and (b) Answers will vary.
  5. The percentage will increase significantly as the people who are in the 50- to 64-year-old group in 2008 get older.

    Part IV: Understanding a Map

  1. The Southwest
  2. Answers will vary, but may include: immigration into those areas may be higher than into other states; larger populations of foreign-born residents.
  3. Answers will vary, but may include: the census form could be printed in numerous languages; census workers who go door-to-door could speak languages other than English; information on the Census Bureau Web site could be available in other languages.
  4. Answers will vary, but may include: non-English-speaking individuals may not be counted correctly or at all; incorrect counts could lead to inaccurate apportionment within a state.

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