Population Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What do your students know about population? This lesson plan uses a text lesson to highlight key facts for students. A small group activity gives students practice at tallying populations using quantitative and qualitative data.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'population'
  • explain how population numbers are tracked by the U.S. Census Bureau
  • distinguish between quantitative and qualitative data


45 to 90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.


Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.


Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.


Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.


Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided.


Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.



  • Begin by writing the following term on the board: 'population.'
    • What does the word on the board mean?
  • Pass out the paper copies of the text lesson to the class.
  • Tell the students to take turns reading aloud from the introduction and 'All About Population' section of the text lesson.
    • Who can define 'population?'
    • How does the U.S. Census Bureau count the people of our country?
  • Share the population number for your state with the class.
    • How does the population of our state compare to those of California and Wyoming?
  • Ask the class to take turns reading aloud from the 'All About Data' and 'Quantitative Data' sections of the text lesson.
    • What is quantitative data?
    • Can you name an example of quantitative data?
  • Have the class read aloud from the remainder of the text lesson.
    • What is qualitative data?
    • Who can think of an example of qualitative data?
  • Review key facts about population with the class before continuing.
  • Pass out the worksheet to the class, one copy per student.
  • Complete the worksheet as a class, connecting each question and answer back to the content of the text lesson.

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