Lesson Plan

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Written by: Director Robert Groves

Yesterday I telephoned into Ms. Ventura’s fifth grade class at Maple Elementary School in Seattle, Washington. The class was working on their exercises for the Census in Schools program and the students bubbled with questions about how the census works.

About ten of the students were assigned to interview me. Each asked a question, such as,
“How many people will you hire to help take the 2010 Census?” (Answer: over 1 million). “How do you count soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan?” (Answer: the Department of Defense provides counts of all soldiers stationed outside the U.S.).

They were filled with the excitement of all young minds and were clearly learning their lessons. I told them that I had signed over 200 million letters and that their households would receive one in early March. When I said that they all laughed and caught me in my white lie. We talked about how some kids live with their mom on some days and their dad on others; that they should be included in the house they spend the most time in and if they share equally, wherever they will be on April 1, 2010. We had a great time; they all shouted, “GOOOD BYE” when we finished.

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3 Responses to Lesson Plan

  1. Thanks for speaking with us, Dr. Groves! My fifth graders are SO excited that they got a chance to speak with you. They’ve learned so much, and we will be continuing to learn about the census and teach the community they importance of being counted.
    Thanks again!
    Ms. Ventura and her fifth graders

  2. MARIA says:

    I am an ESL HS teacher in NYC and the concept of census is new to them. I have amde copies of the form that was sent to my home to use in my lesson plan and familiarize them with the process. Any other ideas, or lesson plans anyone can share?
    Any websites with resourses for teachers and this topic?

  3. Maria,
    The Census Bureau has various toolkits available with ideas and materials. Try the toolkit for Community-Based and Social Service Organizations: http://2010.census.gov/partners/toolkits/toolkits-community.php

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