GREATER STATES(Map Literacy)
Grades K-2
Skills and Objectives:
* Students will learn how to use a map key.
* Students will work with mathematical values.
* Students will understand and work with the concept of comparison.
Suggested Groupings: Whole class, partners
Cetting Started:
1. To begin, place the We Count! map on the floor or wall in your classroom, and direct your
students' attention to it. Show them where the map key is. Be sure they understand what the
colors in the key represent.
* Have a volunteer find your home state on the map. Then find a state that has more people,
or one that has fewer people. Ask: What color is the state? What does that color mean?
2. To help your students differentiate between population size and physical size, ask the class
to help you model two states:
* Divide the class into two unequal groups, representing two different-sized populations.
* Create "state" boundaries around each group with yarn or a chalk line so that the less
populous "state" is bigger.
* Have students identify which state is bigger in size and which has more people.
* Conclusion: Students should be able to see that big states don't necessarily have more people.
3. Be sure that students understand how to use the map key to identify the colors that represent
states with the most people, fewer people, and the fewest number of people.
Using the Activity Worksheets:
* Photocopy the Lesson 1 Activity Worksheets (pages 4 and 5) for your class.
* Distribute the Lesson 1 Activity Worksheets and point out the map keys on both. Introduce and
guide students through the coloring activities.
Wrapping Up:
* Relate to students that California has the largest state population, while Wyoming is the least
populous.
* Students can get more map key practice using population: Ask students to name a state with more
people than their home state; with fewer people; with roughly the same amount.
Extension Activities:
1. Use the We Count! map for a game of "Map Madness!" Make a space on the classroom floor for the
map and divide students into teams or pairs. Make flash cards with instructions for students
based on the map key. (For example: "Put your left hand on one of the states with the most
people," or "Put your right foot on one of the states with fewer people.") Each student's turn
will last until they are unable to twist enough to follow a card's instructions. The results
are funny, pretzel-like poses and lots of learning fun!
2. If students can work with large numbers, copy the Total State Population Chart (inside back
cover) and have them use these totals to do the activity on this page. Or, use the updated
state population counts found on the official U.S. Census Bureau Web site. (See page 2, "Using
the Web site," for tips on navigating this site.)
Chalkboard Definitions
map key: a place that tells what the symbols and colors on a map mean.
population: the total number of people who live in a place.
Answers:
Page 4-California has the most people.
Page 5-Wyoming has the fewest people.
LESSON 1 Activity Worksheet
GREATER STATES
* Map keys help you read maps. Look at the We Count! map. What do the colors mean? The map key
tells you.
* Look at the map key below. Read the color each box should be. Then color in the boxes.
MAP KEY
Red-States with the most people
Orange-States with fewer people
Yellow-States with the fewest people
* Look at the three states below. Read the color each state should be. Color in the states.
Which has the most people? The map key tells you. Circle the state with the most people.
(Alaska, Missouri, and California pictured)
* Now color in the map key boxes again.
(Boxes labeled "Red", "Orange" and "Yellow" pictured)
* Here are some more states. Color them in. Which state has the fewest people? The map key
tells you. Circle the state with the fewest people.
(Wyoming, Virginia, and Florida pictured)
KIDS COUNT(Map Literacy)
Grades 3-4
Skills and Objectives:
* Students will read a special purpose map.
* Students will use place value to hundred thousands.
* Students will write numbers to hundred thousands.
Suggested Groupings: Individuals, partners
Getting Started:
* Introduce the activity by discussing the importance of counting kids in the census. One
misconception about the census is that kids don't count. In fact, kids need to be counted
so that areas with large populations of children can get the services they need, like schools,
day care centers, playgrounds, and crossing guards.
Ask students the following questions:
* What kinds of things does a place with a lot of young children need? (Possible answers:
schools, day care centers, playgrounds.)
* How do government agencies know where these things are needed? (Possible answer: they use
census data.)
Using the Activity Worksheets:
* Distribute copies of the Lesson 2 Activity Worksheets (pages 7 and 8) to your class.
* Before they begin working on the Activity Worksheet on page 8, make sure students understand
the information on the map on page 7. Explain that it shows the 1990 population of children
ages 5-9 for each state.
* Make sure students realize that they will have to refer to the map on page 7 to figure out which
state's population is represented.
* You may want to review place value and the proper placement of commas with students. Suggest to
students that they create place value charts to use when completing the exercises.
* Remind students to put zeros in, if necessary, to hold a place when writing numbers in digits.
* Guide students through the questions on page 8, assisting them where necessary, and reviewing
the answers as a class.
Wrapping Up:
* Have students look at the We Count! map. Ask students to list the states that have the most
people. You may also wish to provide students with a copy of the Total State Population Chart
from the inside back cover.
* Have students use the following map key categories-Most, Fewer and Fewest-as a guide for
coloring in their Kids Count maps. Direct students to choose 3 crayons or colored pencils and
fill in the box next to each category with a single color. Then students will color in each
state with the color that corresponds to the appropriate map key category.
* How do the populations shown on the We Count! map compare to the population of children ages 5-9
for each state? (Students should notice that the states with the highest populations on the map
also have the greatest number of children ages 5-9.)
Extension Activity: Help students update the population totals for children ages 5-9 using
information from the U.S. Census Bureau Web site (www.census.gov). Your class can indicate whether
this population has increased, decreased, or stayed the same in each state with the symbols +, -,
or =.)
Answers:
Page 8:
1. 63,518; Rhode Island.
2. 85,065; Nevada.
3. 211,213; Mississippi.
4. 130,596; New Mexico.
5. 409,773; Indiana.
6. Answers will vary.
Chalkboard Definition
place value: the value given to a digit based on its place within a numeral. For example, in the number 6,875, 6 is in
the thousands place, 8 is in the hundreds place, 7 is in the tens place, and 5 is in the ones place.
Lesson 2 Activity Worksheet
KIDS COUNT
* Everyone counts in the census. Even kids! This map shows kid populations, or how many kids
(ages 5-9) live in each state.
1990 Kid Populations-Ages 5 to 9
Alabama-292,956
Alaska-51,508
Arizona-280,544
Arkansas-174,419
California-2,212,033
Colorado-252,375
Conneticut-207,928
Delaware-46,778
District of Columbia-31,842
Florida-809,306
Georgia-482,545
Hawaii-80,680
Idaho-89,827
Illinois-834,947
Indiana-409,773
Iowa-208,725
Kansas-195,351
Kentucky-265,412
Louisiana-357,139
Maine-88,207
Maryland-330,911
Massachusetts-376,621
Michigan-690,139
Minnesota-344,871
Mississippi-211,213
Missouri-377,955
Montana-65,168
Nebraska-126,045
Nevada-85,065
New Hampshire-80,405
New Jersey-493,748
New Mexico-130,596
New York-1,174,249
North Carolina-437,912
North Dakota-41,867
Ohio-793,245
Oklahoma-243,421
Oregon-208,902
Pennsylvania-786,225
Rhode Island-63,518
South Carolina-255,140
South Dakota-58,672
Tennessee-336,562
Texas-1,391,092
Utah-183,402
Vermont-41,565
Virginia-422,957
Washington-372,220
Wisconsin-375,263
West Virginia-119,944
Wyoming-40,516
Most-500,000 or greater
Fewer-150,000 to 499,000
Fewest-149,999 or less
Source: Estimates of the Population of the U.S., Regions, Divisions, and States by 5-Year Age
Group and Sex (April 1, 1990).
Below are some kid populations from different states. Write each number in standard form. (Hint:
use what you know about place value.) Then use the map to find out which state has that same kid
population. Circle the right state. We've done the first one for you!
1. Sixty-three thousand, five hundred eighteen----------------63,518
Delaware Rhode Island West Virginia
2. Eighty-five thousand, sixty-five
Missouri South Dakota Nevada
3. Two hundred eleven thousand, two hundred thirteen
Pennsylvania Mississippi Wyoming
4. One hundred thirty thousand, five hundred ninety-six
New Mexico Kentucky Michigan
5. Four hundred nine thousand, seven hundred seventy-three
Oregon Indiana Georgia
6. Which state do you live in? How many kids live in your state? What digit is in the thousands
place? The hundreds place? The ones place?