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Current Population: current population World: US population US:

Middle School Activities

Middle School Activities

Encourage critical thinking and group problem solving while making connections across the curriculum.

High School Activities

Go more in-depth on specific issues with information on global trends and national/international policies.

School Wide Events

Involve your entire grade or the whole school in real-world simulations and fun contests.

Lessons for grades 6–8 cover topics addressed in life sciences, social studies, and mathematics including understanding population growth trends through history, human-environmental interactions and their impacts on ecosystems, carrying capacity, wealth and resource distribution, scarcity, the role of gender in education, and quality of life indicators. Download the free lessons below to actively engage your students in these timely issues.


Middle School Lesson Plans

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

*These four lessons are a great fit with the 2021-2022 student video contest topics!


*Moving Messages – Pop Videos (E, S)

Students develop a persuasive message by writing, filming and editing a video relating world population of 7 billion to one other global challenge.

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*Growing Pains in Texas Hill Country (S)

Students read a news article about local population growth and the resulting sprawl, create and write a proposed solution, and simulate a city council debate.

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*Like Oil and Water (E)

Students make observations about a simulated oil spill and then use the engineering design process to create and test potential solutions for cleaning up oil spills and rehabilitating marine birds.

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*Meat of the Matter (E, S)

Students graph global meat production, use manipulatives to explore the environmental impact of four different types of protein, and discuss the pros and cons of a shifting global diet.

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Chips of Trade (S)

Acting as countries in a simulation game, students discuss how resources are inequitably distributed throughout the world and how this imbalance motivates trade.

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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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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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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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Lessons for Life (S)

Students read and discuss a short conversation between two Ethiopian girls about attending school and read and analyze poems about girls’ education.

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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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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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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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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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Background Reading

Demography in Action

Middle grades reading that examines key population concepts including birth and death rate, carrying capacity, doubling time, and population density. Glossary included.

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Want More?

The World of 7 Billion lesson plans found here are only a piece of the larger Population Education curriculum library.


Before submitting your video use this checklist to make sure you have followed all the
rules and guidelines of the World of 7 Billion video contest.