The Census Bureau is making the most out of their "once every decade" deal. They have a wealth of information available for classrooms, teachers, kids, and curious beings. A good place to start is to click on "Counting on You, America" above to get to http://www.census.gov/schools/.
There you'll find:
- "For Teachers" Link ~ where you'll find downloadable lesson plans, reproducibles, and more for grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12.
- "For Kids" Link ~ where you'll find color pages and other printables, quizzes, and online activities (complete with the musical interludes of the "Census for Kids Song")
- "For Teens" Link ~ with activities for...you guessed it, teens grades 6 and beyond.
- "State Facts for Students" ~ click the map image to find out more about yours or another state
- History & Pop Culture ~ Fun Facts by the decade are a click away...both what was going on that decade and some pretty darn interesting statistical data. As a teacher, this is a nice place to incorporate place value based on the top 10 largest urban areas during that time period. Also there's a slew of mapping opportunities and graphing potentials along with providing a great chance to build critical thinking skills through data interpretation.
- Great maps of the Distribution of US population from 1790 to 2000 are available at this part of the website: http://www.census.gov/history/www/teaching_resources/maps/growth_distribution_of_cities_1790-2000.html
Now the question might be...what the heck does all this have to do with "going green?" Lots! Population information provides some pretty good "what ifs" to consider, along with eco-implications of all these growing numbers. How does overpopulation affect limited natural resources? More people means more cars, which means what? What will more people in my community mean for water clarity and availability? What if population goes down--what are the pros and cons environmentally to my community?
Can't get enough population inspiration, check out "Population Education" http://www.populationeducation.org/ 150+ lesson plans, teaching products, recommended reading; children's book titles, & more await.
So, while it might not be a good idea to "count your chickens before they hatch," do be sure to follow the Census' advice and "stand up and be counted." While you're at it, spread the news, and check out some info "you can count on" along the way.
picture from http://www.bapaweb.org/images/Census2010_with_Hands_Color.gif