Digital Tools for Teaching PopEd High School Lesson Plans Virtually

This is the third post in a three-part series on specific distance learning tools and strategies for some of Population Education’s most popular lesson plans. The series is divided by grade band, with this post focusing on high school distance learning activities. Other posts focus on elementary grades distance learning lessons and middle school level distance learning lessons.

Are you looking for ways to share your favorite Population Education lessons with high school students? Over the summer, the PopEd team developed a variety of digital tools, modifications, and supports for teaching on a virtual platform. Bring the best of our collaborative, hands-on learning to your virtual classroom platform.

Teach about government, environmental justice, urbanization and global equity with one of these six lessons adapted for distance classrooms. Each lesson title below is a link that has everything needed to upload to your platform and to teach the activities ASAP.

Distance Learning Tools for Virtual and Blended High School Classes

  • Everything is Connected

Using the lesson Everything is Connected, create small group mind maps with “7.8 billion people and growing” at the center. What increases or decreases with population growth? There are many tools for creating mind-maps with groups online. You can use our PowerPoint or Google Slide to make one with student suggestions. You can also use Padlet or to allow real-time collaboration within small groups. Both are free or have free limited uses. The Whiteboard option in Zoom or Blackboard also works well.

  • People’s House

Just in time for an election! Use primary sources to debate increasing the number of members in the House of Representatives with the activity People’s House. Students then use images in this folder with your whiteboard or annotation tool to practice gerrymandering and packing Congressional districts in Texas and Massachusetts.

  • Power of the Pyramids

Power of the Pyramids is a classic lesson from PopEd that introduces students to population pyramids. Use our Google Sheet to build electronic population pyramids in small groups. There are six tabs representing six countries with unique pyramid shapes. Students change the cell colors on their tab to “draw” the bars of the pyramid. They can then browse through other country pyramids made by classmates to analyze different shapes and discuss implications.

  • Tale of Three Megacities

Learn about urbanization by becoming an expert in one of three megacities around the world. The activity Tale of Three Megacities lets students analyze data to find common challenges and benefits of dense urbanization. Data points and worksheets are divided into Drive folders for ease of facilitating this jigsaw activity with breakout rooms.

  • Trash Trouble in Paradise

Simulate a city council meeting, and decide which of three communities should be the home of a new landfill. In the lesson Trash Trouble in Paradise, students think critically about the impacts of waste on the environment, economy, and culture of a community. Jump into environmental justice issues with a real-life case study from Hawaii. Our Drive folder has all of the worksheets and background reading needed for this lesson, organized by breakout rooms for ease of virtual use.

  • Unfair Race

Explore the links between income and health at a global level as students compare social and economic indicators of 24 countries in the lesson Unfair Race. Use a Google Slide to illustrate the advantages different countries have in a “race for health.”

Get the Lesson  Plans!

The lesson plans for these activities are from our high school level curriculum Earth Matters. Purchase the curriculum for these and many more plans, or find a selection of the plans available for free download here on our program website under Classroom Resources.