To connect with students’ background knowledge, ask students to
calculate the population of the school: “How many students are
in our school?” “How many adults?” “On a given
day, how many people are in our school?” Challenge your students
to devise a way to take a census of your school’s population. Invite
students to investigate the population of their neighborhoods, towns,
cities, and state or province.
Ask students to list questions about census data. Invite them to make
predictions about why census data is important, how the data is collected/used,
what kinds of data is collected, etc.
Connect these prior knowledge experiences to reading the upcoming selection.
Ask students to read the title and subtitle. Make a chart of questions
and predictions about caribou census data: How is data collected? Who
collects data? How is data used? Invite students to skim the article
for headings and other text features to make predictions about which
questions from their chart will be answered in the article.
the nonfiction selection "Counting
Dots: Determining Caribou Population >>" aloud
to the class.
Revisit the selection to collect facts that answer questions generated
prior to reading.
Revisit the selection to identify cause and effect relationships related
to issues raised in the text: If census data reveals a decline in the
caribou population, what are possible causes?
Reread the paragraph that describes how the caribou census data is collected.
Create a flow chart that sequences each step of the process from start
to finish. Invite students to work in groups to design the flow chart
with descriptive phrases and illustrations.
Many technological advances have enabled scientists to collect a vast
amount of data in their research studies. How do you think technology
can also be used to help protect animal species and their habitats?
Making Connections: Counting
Contact the Census Bureau. Interview staff from the bureau to collect
information about their work. Prepare interview questions in advance.
Use the data collected to teach others about census facts by creating
an informational flyer.
examine author’s strategies.)
Why do you think the author organized the information about the process
of collecting census data using a chronological framework?
What examples from the text demonstrate how the author provided context
clues and descriptive details to help readers understand complex words