Citizenship: Duties, Rights, and Liberties
Session 2 and 3: Diversity
- Transparency of “Making a Census Graph” (Attachment C)
- Computer with Internet access
NOTE: The following Web site is an effective resource for study of the immigrant experience: Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. < http://www.ellisisland.org/>.
- Explain that the United States is a nation of immigrants, with the exception of American Indians (First Americans). Explain the term diversity, and give examples of types of diversity.
- Explain the purpose of and authority for the United States census. Emphasize that examining the population of the entire United States is complex, so the class will analyze Virginia's census data as an example of how the nation has changed in the last ten years.
- Show a 2000 United States Census table for Virginia. (Visit. <http://www.census.gov/> to obtain tables. Open the site and note the many resources available from this page. Then select “Virginia” from the pull-down menu of state on the right side of the page and click “Go.”) Explain how to read and interpret the table. Point out that 1990 figures are given for comparison and that the percentage change in each category is included.
- Ask several questions about the data on the table to give students practice looking at the table and extracting information.
- Divide students into pairs. (Think-pair-share)
- Ask students to individually examine the table on the population of Virginia in 2000. (This is much easier to use than the entire country.) Ask them to write a list of the type of information they can find from the table about diversity in Virginia.
- Have students check their lists with their "pair" and combine the information.
- Conduct a whole class discussion in which pairs share their lists. Write this information on the board (e.g., age, gender, race, foreign born, income). Explain that this is a snapshot of diversity in Virginia on April 1, 2002 (the official date of the census).
- Divide the class into five or more groups and assign each group one of the topics listed on the board. Have each group look in the table and write down the Virginia population in their category in 1990 and 2000, and the percentage change that took place.
- Use the transparency “Making a Census Graph” (Attachment C) to show students how to use Census data to develop a graph. Have each group of students visit <http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/graphing>. Have them select a bar graph.
- Next, have them fill in their topic, years, and data figures from the census. When they have finished filling in the information, tell them to click on the graph button. The site will create a graph for their topic. Collect these graphs from each student group. Draw conclusions from the data shown. (i.e., Virginia has a larger population of older citizens, the Hispanic population has grown by a greater percentage than African Americans).
- Create a bulletin board of the student graphs showing the diversity in Virginia's population.
- As an exit slip, ask students to make a prediction on the results of the next census based on the data they found.
- For homework, students should read the section in their textbook on the duties required of citizens.