Read the movie description that appears below the movie player on the Census Topic Page. Then use the following prompts to encourage class discussion before, during, and after watching the movie.


  • Why do counties like the U.S. do a population count, or census?
  • Why do you think it’s important to have a national census, and why does one happen only every 10 years?

During (Pause Points)

Stop at the following times in the movie and ask questions or prompt a discussion to keep students focused and to assess their understanding before moving on.

  • Timecode 2:13: What might influence a change in population? What are some events in the past that could have influenced a big change in demographics?
  • Timecode 3:50: Why would data have been more difficult to obtain in the 1800s?
  • Timecode 4:22: What would happen to schools in a city if the entire population hadn’t taken the census?


  • What are some pros and cons of taking a census?
  • How do you think the census will change as technology advances?
  • What are some ways the census might be used that weren’t mentioned in the movie?


Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments