U.S. Census Bureau Offers FREE Teaching Materials with Statistics

Baby with line graph and globe

Photo from Census.gov

I majored in English because the only math I had to take was college algebra. That is a true story.  If I could have managed a B in calculus, I would have majored in Computer Information Systems. That said, being able to read, interpret, and present statistics is an important part of being able to read and write technical documents. As a professional writer (aka, technical writer), I have to be able to do those things.

When teaching our students to read, interpret, and communicate statistics, a good place to start might be the U.S. Census Bureau. They collect all kinds of interesting data that might appeal to our students. Nothing is as interesting as other people, to tell the truth. AND the Census Bureau has put together all kinds of materials to help us out in our teaching. Check out the email I received today: 

Teachers familiar with the instructional power of primary sources might also be interested in the opportunity to teach using authentic data and activities from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The recently updated Statistics in Schools program offers free activities and resources that can help you bring statistics into any K-12 classroom.

Statistics in Schools activities use real-life census data to help students understand statistical concepts and gain data analysis skills.

The geography, history, math and sociology activities were created by teachers and correspond with relevant education standards.

Visit census.gov/schools to explore the program and download activities you can start using in your classroom.

Sign up here.

One activity I found interesting was tracking state’s births with line graphs. When I worked as a K-5 librarian, one book that surprised me that the students really liked was a book of baby names. That book was almost always in circulation.  While this activity is targeted toward 4-5 grade math, I don’t see any reason why it couldn’t be adapted as a writing activity for middle or high school.