Lesson 2:Why You Count

ELL Grades 7-8

words to   know

Strand: Community Participation

Skills and Objectives

  • bullet Participate in a census and understand the organization of census data into charts
  • bullet Understand the meaning of campaign

Materials: Count Me! Student worksheet 2a and Census Campaign Student Worksheet 2b, 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. Explain: A group of people who live together are called a household. Show the Picture Card for family. 

  2. Count the people on the family Picture Card together. Explain that households do not have to be related. A household is everyone who is living in a house.

  3. Ask: Is a college student living at college a member of the household? (No, only count people who live in the house as a part of the household.) Is a soldier living on a military base a member of the household? (No, only count people who live in the house as a part of the household.) Is a baby living at home a member of the household? (Yes, everyone who lives in the house is a part of the household.)

  4. Separate students into uneven groups of three to seven students each. Explain: You are households. Count how many people live in your household.

  5. Mix the groups up and have students count their households again.

  6. Explain that the census counts everyone who lives in a household, not just people who are related.

  7. Ask: What kinds of people live in households? Have groups draw pictures of people who might live together, including parents, children, babies, teens, grandparents, relatives, and friends.

  8. Using the Student Worksheets

  9. Distribute Count Me! Student Worksheet 2a and read the worksheet aloud. As student groups complete the activity, closely monitor student discussion. Provide corrective feedback and answer questions.

  10. Ask: Think about your house. Who lives there? Draw a picture of your household. Count your household. At the bottom of your drawing write I count ________________ people in my house.

  11. Explain: Many people do not know who counts during the census. They wonder about privacy. Sometimes they do not complete the census form.

  12. Ask: Why should everyone complete the census form? Generate a discussion about the community benefits of an accurate census count.

  13. Ask: How can we tell others about the census? (posters, letters, radio ads, talking to people.)

  14. Explain: Now let’s talk about a goal, something a person wants to do. Think about a student who wants to be class president. The student needs votes so the student makes a plan, called a campaign.

  15. Ask: What might be in the plan? What can the student do to get votes? For responses, provide the oral sentence frame: The student can ____________. Invite students to share information about campaigns they know (presidential elections, school board, etc.).

  16. Wrap-up

  17. Explain: We will be planning a campaign. It will be a campaign to get people to fill out census forms. We will tell people it is important to fill out census forms. We will tell people how the census helps them.

  18. Create a brainstorming web on the board. In the center oval, write campaign. Then have students tell how they would plan a campaign to let people know about the census and why it is important. Use sketches to illustrate the words and phrases in the web.

  19. Provide visuals to guide understanding (e.g., point to a poster as you suggest students plan to make posters; point to the computer as you suggest students send e-mails to family members and friends).

  20. Distribute Census Campaign Student Worksheet 2b and separate students into groups.

  21. Monitor groups as they discuss their work and complete the worksheet. Allow them to draw their responses and then complete the sentence frames.

  22. Invite group members to share their completed worksheets and explain their campaigns, prompting
    as necessary.

  23. Provide time for students to create their letters, posters, or other campaign items. Display them on a bulletin board in a high-traffic area of your school or community. Encourage students to share what they have learned with their families.

  24. Student Assessment Activity

  25. Review the concept of household. Separate students into three uneven groups to complete the following tasks:
    • Write the following words on the board: mother, father, teen, child, college student, soldier, grandmother, grandfather, friend. Instruct each student to choose one of the roles on the board.

    • Explain: Each group is a family. Count the members of the household. Remember, only count people who live in the house all the time.

    • Review each group’s count and provide corrective feedback, if necessary.


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