Product Profile

Population Concepts (People & the Planet unit)



This product is an individual unit from the middle school curriculum People and the Planet. The unit includes a student background reading, nine lesson plans, and summative assessment. Scroll down to see the list lessons plans and readings included in the unit. Purchase the unit now and you’ll immediately receive the unit as a PDF.

Note: If you’re planning to purchase People and the Planet or have already done so, you don’t need to purchase this unit as it is included within the larger People and the Planet curriculum.

Other People and the Planet units include: Air Pollution and Solid Waste; The History of Population Growth; Land Resources; Our Global Family; Sustainable Future; Water Resources.

SKU: P&P_Concepts Category:


The following are included with the purchase of the unit:

Lesson Plans:

  • All in the Family – Students use beans to model population growth in one of seven different countries while varying four key demographic factors.
  • Measuring a Million – Through riddles and cooperative learning math activities, students work through problems to calculate and visualize millions and billions of things and people.
  • Double Feature – Students use mathematical formulas to calculate growth rates and doubling times, and to determine the difference between arithmetic and geometric growth.
  • Everything Counts – Acting as store owners, students conduct a mini-census to identify their potential market and then use different estimation strategies see how construction of their store will impact a local population of threatened mice.
  • The Stork and the Grim Reaper – In a short demonstration, students observe how populations grow when the birth rate exceeds the death rate.
  • Power of the Pyramids – Students construct and interpret population pyramids for six countries and discuss differences in the population growth rates of each.
  • Pop Ecology Files – Students graph and interpret growth curves for six mystery species and humans.
  • Panther Hunt – Students gain an understanding of carrying capacity when they act as predatory animals in a finite area and attempt to accumulate enough food to stay alive.
  • More the Merrier? – Students demonstrate the effects of crowding in a “jumping jack” activity, discuss the pros and cons of population density, and analyze a United States population density map.

Background Reading:

  • Demography in Action – Understanding demographics is foundational to population studies. Students examine key population concepts including birth and death rate, carrying capacity, doubling time, and population density. Glossary included.

Summative Assessment:

  • Population…It’s Not Trivial! – In small groups, students create a trivia game in any format (digital or paper) that teaches the players about demographic topics and population numbers. Rubric included.