Focus on Land Use – This Month’s PopEd Theme

For the next two months, PopEd will be sharing hands-on classroom resources that require students to analyze issues related to land use, while also building skills in problem solving, graphing, and data analysis. Land is one of the most valuable natural resources on the planet and the way we use it impacts habitats, economies, and even human health and well-being. Needless to say, there’s no shortage of issues to investigate on the topic.

The Best Materials for Teaching About Land Use


Through PopEd’s hands-on lessons, students explore urbanization and sustainable city planning, the tragedy of the commons, impacts of our agricultural systems, and deforestation.

Follow along on Facebook or Twitter for FREE lesson plans and other resources for teaching about how we use and shape our land. And if that hasn’t convinced you, here’s a sneak peak of some of materials we’ll be sharing during PopEd’s land use theme:

  • Good News, Bad News (high school lesson plan): Students decide whether given statements on population growth and food issues are “good news” or “bad news” and design an action plan for a food issue of their choosing.
  • The Age of Humans: Living in the Anthropocene (interactive online tool): A collection of interactive maps that show urban growth in the 10 largest cities and explore the causes of growth.
  • The Human Footprint: Land (middle school student reading): Students learn about our growing human population and the resulting impacts on arable land, ecosystems, minerals, and timber.

Why You Should Teach About the Earth’s Changing Landscape

As we’ve grown from a global population of 1 billion to nearly 8 billion in just over 200 years, humans have altered Earth’s landscape to support our changing needs. Forests have been cut, agricultural lands expanded and exhausted, and urban areas sprawled. Many of these changes have had irreversible effects on the environment. As our population continues to grow, the strain on our land will be ever-increasing. As the next generation of global citizens, students must be aware of the inter-related impacts of how we use our land as well as be capable of weighing the demands of various stakeholders.

Don’t forget to follow along on Facebook or Twitter for exclusive hands-on lessons! #PopEdLandUse #PopEdTheme