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Welcome Teachers


World population is now over 7 billion and continues to climb. We have more than doubled the population of the planet since just 1965. The recent and rapid growth in the size of our global family is intricately linked to many of the environmental and social trends or our present society: strains on our natural resources, polluted air and water, climate change, unprecedented worldwide communication and trade, urban migrations, and an increase in people living in poverty.
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A Teachable Moment

Every single day, events occur around the world that impact and are impacted by population growth. Take advantage of these population connections to incorporate environmental education and global studies into your classroom. The following teacher-friendly activities are classroom-ready and will get your students to actively engage in these timely issues. All of the lesson plans are correlated to the national, state, and Common Core standards.

Themes:
P = Population Dynamics
E = Environmental Connections
S = Societal Connections




Middle School Lesson Plans:

7 Billion: Where do you Stand? (E, S)
Students articulate their thoughts about ethical issues related to a population of over seven billion and consider the opinions of their classmates.
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The Chips of Trade (S)
Acting as countries, students discuss how resources are inequitably distributed throughout the world and how this imbalance motivates trade.
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Code Blue: Endangered Oceans (E)
Through an interactive story, students experience the pollution of the ocean over time and critically examine ways in which to protect and manage our oceans worldwide.
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Everything is Connected (E, S)
Students identify ways that many factors in human society and the natural environment are interdependent by creating a concept map in cooperative learning groups.
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Lessons for Life (S)
Students will read and discuss a short conversation between two Kenyan girls, watch and listen to two photo essays of school girls in less developed countries, and interpret a graph correlating literacy and fertility rates worldwide.
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Looking to the Future (E, S)
Students create a futuristic news telecast 40 years into the future and imagine what their lives might be like in the future, given current realities, hopes, and dreams.
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Math Path to 7 Billion (P)
Through riddles, cooperative learning activities, and a demonstration, students work through problems to calculate and visualize large numbers.
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One for All (E, S)
In a simulation, students desiring to draw renewable resources from a common pool determine short-term consumption strategies that will preserve a long-term supply of the resource.
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Pop Quiz (P)
A pre-test/post-test quiz designed to give students an overview of world population trends and the consequences of these trends.
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Population Circle (P)
Students experience the changing pace of population growth by simulating the Earth’s population growth over the last 500 years.
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Watch Your Step (E)
Students learn about the concept of the ecological footprint by taking an online quiz about their resource use and then exploring why the footprint is an important measurement of their impact on the Earth’s resources.
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Background Reading

Seven Billion and Counting
Middle school level reading that will give your students a base knowledge of demographic trends and related issues.
Download PDF



A Teachable Moment

Every single day, events occur around the world that impact and are impacted by population growth Take advantage of these population connections to incorporate environmental education and global studies into your classroom. The following teacher-friendly activities are classroom-ready and will get your students to actively engage in these timely issues. All of the lesson plans are correlated to the national, state, and Common Core standards.

Themes:
P = Population Dynamics
E = Environmental Connections
S = Societal Connections




High School Lesson Plans:

7 Billion: Where do you Stand? (E, S)
Students articulate their thoughts about ethical issues related to a population of over seven billion and consider the opinions of their classmates.
Download PDF


A Quick Trip to 7 Billion: Exploring the Timeline (P, S, E)
Through group discussion and individual work, students explore how the events of our past have contributed to a world of 7 billion. (A companion activity to “A Quick Trip to 7 Billion” poster)
Download PDF

A Quick Trip to 7 Billion: Where Do We Grow From Here? (P, S, E)
Through individual and group work, students investigate how our numbers shape the world around us and how our actions today will impact our future population growth. (A companion activity to “A Quick Trip to 7 Billion” poster)
Download PDF

A Report Card for the Planet (P, S, E)
Students use the poster, “A Quick Trip to 7 Billion,” to examine changes in human well-being and environmental health over the past 200 years, and then discuss what the changes mean for our global family. (A companion activity to “A Quick Trip to 7 Billion” poster)
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Calculating 7 Billion (P)
Through cooperative learning activities and a class demonstration, students work through problems to visualize large numbers and use technology to graph population growth trends to make estimates about future growth.
Download PDF


Code Blue: Endangered Oceans (E)
Through an interactive story, students experience the pollution of the ocean over time and critically examine ways in which to protect and manage our oceans worldwide.
Download PDF

Development in Motion (S)
Using the “trendalyzer” program from www.gapminder.org, students construct and interpret dynamic graphs and discuss differences in life expectancy, fertility rates, health, economics, and total population among several different countries.
Download PDF

Everything is Connected (E, S)
Students identify ways that many factors in human society and the natural environment are interdependent by creating a concept map in cooperative learning groups.
Download PDF

Food for Thought (S)
Acting as the residents of five major regions of the world, students compare various statistics that affect people’s health, happiness, and well-being.
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Generating Heat (E)
Students observe and graph current carbon emissions and population growth trends using a computer simulation, then analyze the data.
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A Girl’s Life (S)
Students read an article about women’s status in less developed countries and watch/listen to several online photo essays and videos of women around the world. They discuss what they have learned and extend their learning with research, persuasive essays and/or book reports.
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A Moving Message – Pop Videos (E, S)
Students develop a persuasive message by writing, filming and editing a video relating world population at seven billion to one other global topic.
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Pop Quiz (P)
A pre-test/post-test quiz designed to give students an overview of world population trends and the consequences of these trends.
Download PDF


World Population DVD (P, E)
Students watch World Population to see a graphic simulation of human population growth over time.  Following the film, students answer questions about why population size has changed, where these changes occurred, and what factors may have contributed to these changes.
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Background Reading

The People Connection
High school level reading that will give your students a base knowledge of demographic trends and related issues.
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Why not involve your entire grade level in a World of 7 Billion? Or your entire school? Here are some ideas to engaging large groups with population topics. The following includes contests, one-time events, on-going projects, and more!





School Wide Events:

“Count Up” Population
Daily population numbers are displayed and changed as population increases.
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Dinner for The World

Students participate in a luncheon game that simulates inequities in the global distribution of food and wealth.
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Food for Thought
Acting as the residents of five major regions of the world, students compare various statistics that affect people’s health, happiness, and well-being.
Download PDF


 

A Moving Message – Pop Videos
Students develop a persuasive message by writing, filming and editing a video relating world population at seven billion to one other global topic.
Download PDF


Pop Tweet
Students engage in a social media contest where they develop a tweet on the topic of world population.
Download PDF


 

Service Learning Ideas

You may be interested in letting your community know about your event. Local media outlets are often looking for interesting, timely stories for their publications. Here are some ways you can get the word out on how your school is getting involved in population issues.

Tips for Getting Media Coverage


Sample Press Release