Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Teaching Population: Hands-on Activities

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Resource Overview

You’ve found the ultimate multi-disciplinary tool to introduce students of all ages to population studies – how human numbers have grown, changed, and shaped the world around us. It’s ecology, geography, anthropology, economics, biology, history, civics and real-world math all rolled into one.

This fully online curriculum offers 61 of Population Education’s hands-on lesson plans and activities for grades K-12, along with 24 student readings. It’s our “best-of” resource that includes many of our classic lessons combined with newly developed activities to meet the needs and realities of teachers today. Always developmentally and age appropriate, Teaching Population will help you find ways to tackle 21st century challenges with all ages and inspire students to be positive presence in their local and global community.

Teaching Population is an online lesson plan library for K-12 teachers on population, sustainability and global studies

Features of This Resource

  • Interdisciplinary lessons are great for team teaching.
  • Active learning methods get students out of their chairs and moving.
  • Includes many of the lessons you experienced at PopEd workshops!

Preview Lesson Plans & Readings

Sample a few of the lessons and readings found in the curriculum:

Lesson Plans

Crowding Can Be Seedy

- A simulation and gardening lab that gives students hands-on experience with the effects of increasing population density. Students will be...

Everything is Connected

- Students create a concept map in cooperative learning groups to display cause and effect relationships between population, the natural world,...

Lessons for Life

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

Food for Thought

- Acting as residents of five major world regions, students compare various statistics that affect people’s health and well-being. Students will...

Panther Hunt

- Students act as panthers hunting for food in a model habitat to learn about carrying capacity and explore changes that...

World of Difference

- Through a small group simulation using probability, students explore how different population growth rates are impacting biodiversity levels. Students will...


Kerala: A Model Case for Education

- The global status of women case study reading: The Indian state of Kerala leads the country in women’s education, family...

What are People’s Basic Needs?

- An elementary-level reading that describes the basic needs for all people.

The Human Footprint: Land

- Land use background reading: As population grows, we develop wild areas and arable land and overuse resources like soil, minerals,...

Oceans of Problems for the Blue Planet

- Oceans background reading: Take a closer look at the largest habitat on Earth and see the impact of humans’ demands...