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Census Data at Work

Activity Description


Teachers will engage students in a discussion about what the Census Bureau does and what types of information it collects. Then students will read and annotate informational texts from the Census Bureau and work with a partner to answer questions about the texts. Students will also analyze an infographic of people with different professions to determine how each of those people might use the data gathered by the Census Bureau; students will be asked to use evidence from the infographic text to support their answers. Students will then complete a wireframe (similar to a graphic organizer) for an online resource about how census data can help their own community.

Suggested Grade Level


Approximate Time Required

120 minutes

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to describe the data the U.S. Census Bureau collects and explain how people can use those data to make decisions about a community.
  • Students will be able to organize information from texts in a visual format.
  • Students will be able to draw conclusions from multiple texts.
  • Students will be able to effectively annotate a text to better understand it.
  • Students will be able to use evidence from a text to support their claims and to make inferences.

Materials Required

  • The student version of this activity, 13 pages

This activity uses the following online resource:

Activity Items

The following items are part of this activity. The items and their sources appear at the end of this teacher version.

  • Item 1: Flyer on the American Community Survey
  • Item 2: Measuring America : Why We Ask
  • Item 3: How Do We Know? An American Community

Teacher Notes

Blooms Taxonomy

Blooms Taxonomy

Students will analyze information from Census Bureau texts and determine how it applies to their community.


Middle School English


  • City planning
  • Community development
  • Data collection

Skills Taught

  • Annotating text
  • Citing textual evidence
  • Drawing conclusions
  • Making inferences
  • Understanding how data are used


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