How it works:
This lesson will teach students what the census is and why the
2000 census is important. To begin, paper is given to the students for a
fictional art project that will take place later in the day. Purposely
undercount the number of students so that not every child gets a sheet
of paper. When students realize that not every student received paper,
discuss how some people were "cheated" because not everyone
was counted. Then, discuss with students what a census is and why the
2000 census is important.
Have students do research on the census
by going on-line to the U.S. Census Bureau Web site at www.census.gov.
Show the students a real census form, and ask how many have seen and/or
returned one. Again, discuss why the census is important, and what would
happen if there were an undercount.
1. Complete an authentic form with appropriate use of language.
2. Write a persuasive speech or essay.
3. Use technology to access information.
4. Analyze data from website to create a bar graph.
5. Design and create a poster to encourage people to return their census
The students are in fifth grade. They are heterogeneously grouped
in an average class setting. This lesson is appropriate for students in
This lesson is timely and relevant.
Students should know this information and why it is important. Perhaps
students could educate and encourage their parents to return a census.
Teachers should be prepared with background knowledge and a copy of the
About the Teacher:
Barbara Ruszkowski is a fifth grade
teacher at P.S. 101 in Brooklyn, New York. She has been teaching at the
elementary level for twelve years.
Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 6
Subject: Social Studies
Beginning Grade Level: 3
Ending Grade Level: 8