Lesson 2: Why You Count

ELL Grades 5-6

words to   know

Strand: Community Participation

Skills and Objectives

  • bullet Participate in a census and understand organization of census data into charts
  • bullet Understand what the census does for the community

Materials: Sports Census Student Worksheet 2, drawing supplies, writing/drawing journal

Time Required: Two 40-minute class periods

Before starting, copy the student worksheets, including the Picture Cards.

    Building Background

  1. Ask students to gather their Picture Cards. Display the fire station Picture Card. Point to the fire station as you say: This is a fire station. We need a fire station. We need a fire station because firefighters help when there is a fire. Have students echo and repeat by pointing to your card. Then have them repeat with their own fire station Picture Cards. Explain: A fire station is a part of our community. A community can be a town, city, or neighborhood. We all live in a community.

  2. Repeat with Picture Cards for hospital, police station, and school.

  3. Explain: The census sends a form to count everyone in a community. They send a form to every household. Everyone must answer it and mail it back. The census finds out how many people live in each community. Then communities can decide how many fire stations, hospitals, schools, and police stations are needed.

  4. Using the Student Worksheets

  5. Ask: Have you ever answered questions on a form? Discuss student experiences with questionnaires, quizzes, or other forms. Explain that everyone will have a chance to fill out a form like the census.

  6. Distribute Sports Census Student Worksheet 2. Discuss each sport by naming it, pointing to its image, and demonstrating it for the class. Have students echo and mimic.

  7. Read the worksheet directions aloud. Check for understanding of the word favorite, explaining that this is the one the student likes the most.

  8. Copy the chart below onto the board as students complete their worksheets.

  9. Collect the worksheets. Explain: I will read your answers. I will make a mark on this chart for each answer.

  10. Read the questions and answers aloud, pointing to the image that illustrates each chosen sport. After all tally marks have been made, total them. Make certain students understand how you arrived at this figure. Talk about the results.

  11. Explain: Your choice is important. Your choice decides which sport our class will play. This is like the census. People answer questions. People are counted. Then important decisions are made based on the information.

  12. Ask: Is anyone absent today? Do you think his or her answer would make a difference in our sports census? What if five people were absent? Discuss the importance of everyone being counted.

  13. Wrap-up

  14. Explain: Census information tells us about people in our town. Our town uses the information to decide how many fire stations, hospitals, and schools we need (show Picture Cards for each). What happens if people in our town do not answer census questions? Discuss as a group the importance of counting everyone in your community.

  15. Student Assessment Activity

  16. Review the concept of community. Separate students into pairs and ask them to discuss and complete the following tasks:

    • Draw two places in our community. Write the names under your picture.
    • Ask: What would you like to have in our community? Draw a picture of it. Write its name under your picture.
    • Draw a big community. Then draw a small community.
  17. Review the concept of census. Separate students into teams of four and ask them to discuss and complete the following tasks:

    • Have student groups each select a “yes” or “no” question to ask the rest of the class. Ask them to create a blank chart like the one below and draw a picture that represents each possible answer.

    • Have each group ask everyone in the class to answer their census question and mark each answer on their chart.

    • Discuss the experience and the results of each survey.

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