Teaching in a World of 8 Billion

  • Videos
  • Class Simulations
  • Contest

Global population will reach 8 billion people on November 15, 2022 according to the United Nations. Take advantage of this teachable moment to engage your students with geography concepts and skills. The lesson plans and classroom resources found below are free for teachers - please download as many as you'd like! Whether you teach in-person or online, kindergarteners or seniors, you're sure to find materials to make population come alive for your students and mark this newest milestone - 8 billion people! - for our global family.

Must Watch: World Population "DOT" Video

A teacher favorite, the video puts global population in geographic and historical context.

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Watch human population grow from 1 CE to present and see projected growth in under six minutes. We offer a…

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Lesson Plans & Student Readings

Some of our favorite population activities and student readings, now free to download. Get your copies today!

Students participate in a simulation that crowds them together to demonstrate population growth over the last 500 years
Oh, How We’ve Grown!

Students experience the changing pace of population growth by actively simulating the Earth’s population growth over a 500-year span and... Read more »

Students use paper plates and counting cards to simulate future population projections
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... Read more »

Unit for elementary grades covers how we count populations of humans locally and globally
What is a Population?

An elementary-level reading that discusses populations and habitat.

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... Read more »

Refugees from Syria walking from Croatia to Serbia.
The People Connection

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

In the graphing activity Population Future, students compare global population distribution today and future projections
Population Future

Students interpret a graph showing global population projections through 2100, then create gridded bar graphs to represent the relative size... Read more »

Classroom Tools & Resources

Supplement your teaching with these fun, interactive projects and materials.

World of 8 Billion video contest

The student contest challenges students to create a short video that connects human population growth with one other global topic, and offer their idea for a sustainable solution.

World Population History website

Interactive map of world population growth with annotated population "dots," data overlays, and thematic timelines.

Cartogram map of global population
World Population Map poster

Cartogram poster provides students a unique view of the Earth – the size of each country is shown in proportion to its population, rather than its land mass.

Articles & Continuing Education

Increase your own geographic understanding or share these articles with your students.

Students participate in a simulation that crowds them together to demonstrate population growth over the last 500 years
8 Billion People on the Planet by November… and 13 Other Takeaways from the 2022 UN World Population Prospects

On July 11, 2022 (World Population Day), the United Nations released its biennial projections for the growth of global population... Read more »

What is the Demographic Transition Model?

This is post 1 of 6 in a series about the Demographic Transition Model – a fundamental concept in population... Read more »

People wear masks at an outdoor market.
Day of 8 Billion – 9 Interesting Population Questions and Answers

1. When will the world population reach 8 billion? The day of 8 billion, which is when we say global... Read more »

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