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Lesson 3: Your Part in the Process

ESL Teacher Lesson


words to know

Skills and Objectives

  • bullet Complete forms in English
  • bullet Construct a narrative in English
  • bullet Understand the steps in the census process

Materials: Filling Out the Census Form Student worksheet 3a, March to the Mailbox Student Worksheet 3b

    Getting Started

    NOTE: Before students work through the process of filling out a sample census form, tell them that they will not share their private information with you or anybody else in class. This statement will help establish trust in the process.

  1. Even for native English speakers, filling out forms can be confusing. Ask students for examples of forms they have completed, such as job applications or medical forms. Encourage them to share their experiences. What strategies did they use to make the process easier?

  2. Explain to students that 2010 Census forms will be available in other languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Russian. But to become more familiar with the census form and the language, they will complete a “working copy” of the form in English.

    Using the Student Worksheet

  3. Make copies of Filling Out the Census Form Student Worksheet 3a. Explain to students that this is the first page of the census form. It asks 10 questions of “Person 1.” That person is generally the owner or renter of the home or the head of the household. Tell them this will give them a chance to fill out a “rough draft” of the census form in preparation for their “March to the Mailbox.”

  4. The text provided outside of the form is intended to guide their answers. Remind students that their information is confidential. They may ask you questions as they work on the form. But they should not provide you with their information or share it with others.

  5. When they finish the forms, ask students to check them for potential errors. Remind them that the “real” form should be completed clearly and neatly. Encourage students to take these “draft” forms home. They may want to enlist another English speaker in their household to check the information. Remind them that they will answer questions for all members of their households.

  6. Wrap-up

  7. After students complete their draft forms, ask them to evaluate the experience. Was it easier than they expected? Was it harder than they expected? How do they feel about filling out the “real” forms in March?

Extension Activity

Student Worksheet 3b gives students an opportunity to construct a narrative in English.
1. Make copies of the worksheet. Review the instructions on the sheet. Students may complete this individually or in pairs.

2. Based on their knowledge of the census process so far, ask students to number the steps in the order that they will occur. Then have them match each picture to its corresponding step.

3. Now students will have a set of “storyboards” that will allow them to plan a print or television advertisement, a brochure, or a set of computer animations. Challenge them to form teams to create one of these projects. Have them share their projects with the class or as a final activity at the end of the unit.


Student Worksheet 3a:
Answers will vary. Be sure that students do not share this information with others, including you.

Student Worksheet 3b: 4, 2, 3, and 1.

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