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The Opportunity Atlas

Activity Description


How does your ZIP code affect social mobility? This activity guides students through a demographic analysis of factors that affect social mobility, including race, median income, and sex. Students will use The Opportunity Atlas to explore a data set of important statistics. Data sets will be compared by neighborhood and region.

Suggested Grade Level


Approximate Time Required

45 minutes

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Analyze, compare, and interpret key demographic data in a specific U.S. ZIP code to determine social outcomes for adults in the corresponding census tract.
  • Identify what factors impact social mobility in specific neighborhoods and regions.
  • Evaluate data to support a position.
  • Explore and understand how to use data access tools—such as The Opportunity Atlas—to gather information.

Materials Required

  • Printed student worksheets
  • The board at the front of the room
  • Internet and computer access for all students to view The Opportunity Atlas
    • If technology is unavailable to students, you may do this activity as a class with a projector or computer or an interactive whiteboard, selecting specific cities that apply to your students.
    • Teachers could also print out the relevant maps, tables, and graphs for students to view in class.


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