Lesson Packet

Grades 9-12

Population Dynamics unit

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SUBJECTS: Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

TOPICS: Counting Populations, Demographic Transition Model, Carrying Capacity, Family Size Decisions, Fertility/Mortality, Ecological Footprints, Migration, Population Density, World Population Trends/History, United Nations, Women's Issues, Sustainability: Sharing Common Resources

Resource Overview

Thematic unit for the high school classroom covers the basics of population growth and demographics with real-world examples.

Included teaching materials explore real-world migration, the history of global population growth and future population projections, and demographic concepts including birth/death rate, rate of natural increase, doubling time and age-sex diagrams (population pyramids).

Features of This Resource

  • Unit includes 8 lesson plans, 2 case study readings, and 1 background reading.
  • Student skills include developing questions, interpreting graphs and charts, synthesizing research, and more.
  • Great materials for AP Human Geography’s unit 2 on population and migration.

Unit Lesson Plans & Readings

The following are included with the purchase of the unit:

Lesson Plans

Power of the Pyramids

- Students use real-world data to construct and interpret population pyramids and discuss differences in population growth rates among several different...

Peopling of Our Planet

- Students watch the video “World Population” and participate in guided exploration of an online timeline to explore how improvements in...

Double Trouble

- Students observe and collect data on the exponential growth of yeast cultures in both a lab experiment and under a...

Demographic Facts of Life

- Students calculate the rate of natural increase and corresponding doubling time or half-life for several countries and explore factors that...

Power of the Pyramids: Canada

- Students use real-world data to construct and interpret population pyramids and discuss differences in population growth rates among several different...

Migration Stories

- In small groups, students take on the role of real-world migrants and take turns in the “hot seat” to answer...

Where Do We Grow From Here?

- Students discuss the UN’s population projections to explore how small changes in the fertility rate can produce significantly different future population sizes. Students...

Demographically Divided World

- In small groups, students explore changes in regional fertility rates and life expectancy trends over time and discuss how factors...


Leaving Syria: Refugee Stories

- Population dynamics case study reading: Refugee stories from the unprecedented migration of people from the war-torn Middle Eastern country to...

The People Connection

- Population dynamics background reading: An overview of world population history, current demographic trends, migration, and the concept of carrying capacity.

Iran’s Demographic Transition: A Model for Other Countries?

- Population dynamics background reading: Examine Iran’s transition from high to low fertility in the late 20th century.

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