Lesson 2: Who Counts?

ESL Teacher Lesson

words to know

Skills and Objectives

  • bullet Comprehend instructions
  • bullet Understand how the census counts people in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas

Materials: Count Me In! Student Worksheet 2

    Getting Started

  1. Explain to students that the census counts everybody who lives in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas. The U.S. Census Bureau must be careful not to miss anyone or count him or her more than once. To accomplish this, it gives each household several guidelines for who to include on the census form.

    Using the Student Worksheet
  2. Make copies of Count Me In! Student Worksheet 2. Students can complete the worksheets individually or in pairs.

  3. With students, review the guidelines for counting people in the United States. What seems to be the main criteria?

  4. Using this information, have students review the different living situations at the bottom of the page. Then have them answer the questions that follow each scenario. For each situation, should the person be counted? If not, encourage them to share why that is the case.

  5. Wrap-up

  6. This activity may stimulate additional questions that reflect students’ individual concerns. Rather than revealing personal situations, encourage them to ask hypothetical “What if?” questions that expand on the worksheet scenarios. Have the class work together to resolve the questions related to the circumstances and the census form.

Extension Activity

The worksheet asks students to evaluate a variety of living situations. Challenge them to think beyond these situations to the ones that might reflect their own lives.

Now break the class into teams. Challenge each team to create their own scenarios and test another team. Have them check their answers against the guidelines outlined on the worksheet and on the sample census form.


1) Yes; 2) Yes; 3) No; 4) No; 5) No

Help | Privacy Policy




(Separate multiple email addresses with commas)

Check this box to send yourself a copy of the email.


Scholastic respects your privacy. We do not retain or distribute lists of email addresses.