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Human Geography World Population and World Poverty PBL Unit Print & Digital

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Zip
  • Google Apps™
120 PDF + 66 Google Slide pages + 77 PPT slides
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Includes Google Apps™
The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).

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  1. This tightly-woven semester course combines Human Geography, Contemporary World Issues, and Environmental Science into a must-teach inquiry-driven, real-world, project-based experience.With these thematic, inquiry-driven units that build on each other, ask students to decide for themselves where the
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Explore everything from our world’s growing population, the demographics statistics that unite and diversify us, and persistence of extreme world poverty with this eye-opening thematic, inquiry-driven, project-based unit.

This is the first unit of the thematic, project-based course, Global Issues to Empower, a semester-long look at our most pressing issues by examining as they are: at the intersection of human geography, current world events, and environmental science.

Check out the Preview for a detailed look at this compelling unit or download the FREE Unit-At-A-Glance.

All student resources come in both printable PDF and editable, digital Google Slides.

Also available are stand-alone units intended for a traditional human geography course that deep-dive into these same topics.

  • Population Growth: a 3-week unit exploring the exponential, yet very uneven growth in recent decades, and what this all means for the future
  • World Poverty: a 2-week unit exploring the crushing strain of surviving on roughly $1 a day and the solutions that are easier than you'd think


Greatness is appreciating what separates and connects one’s self with the rest of the world.

Few teenagers know the world beyond their own surroundings and many have no idea that the vast majority of fellow humans live in the world of abject poverty, unsanitary conditions, and limited means of opportunity. Yet at the same time, they share tremendous similarities of human emotion, spirit, and dreams of the future.

Guide your students through a wide variety of accessible-for-all-levels sources (from children's books and data displays to news articles and documentaries) as they wonder and build towards answering this not-so-simple question: “Am I like most in of the world or am I unlike most?”

You will set each of your students up for success in this high interest, multi-faceted inquiry unit, regardless of ability, with highly scaffolded graphic organizers, skill sheets, powerful projects, and supplemental resources included at each step of the way.

Empower your students to become globally-aware citizens in this 5-6 week unit!

Activities are interchangeable to customize your own unit- mix and match depending on time constraints, student ability, or personal interests.

Included in this complete unit:


  • Teacher Unit Overview with general notes, links, standards, and a pacing guide
  • Daily Lesson Plans with step-by-step details, planning, and lesson takeaway notes
  • Detailed Answer Keys for each activity
  • Editable PPT slide show file to assist in daily lessons with student questions, images, step-by-step essay outlining support, etc.
  • Student Unit Review and Skills handouts with self-checking questions and "I Can..." statements
  • Student Unit Notes sheet for building deep and nuanced mastery of concepts over the course of the unit using powerful graphic organizers
  • Student Skill Handouts that include Annotating a Text, Analyzing News Media Sources, Deciding a Precise Position, Constructing a Thesis, Including Evidence, Creating a Works Cited, and Annotating a Works Cited

Student Activities

  • Unit Notes: record and reflect on learning throughout the unit
  • Unit Hook: quiz incoming knowledge on current world issues
  • World Population Count Activities: simulate the world's current population with grains of rice, explore various other mathematical comparisons, and create own poster project display of just how many people there on living on this planet
  • Quality of Life Measurement Activities: analyze and compare a variety of maps and graphs that measure aggregate and singular data, from the GDP per capita and the Human Development Index to cell phone usage and access to clean water
  • Photo Book Activities: explore 4 different powerful books (like Material World and Hungry Planet) to assess through images how different and similar the world's people are
  • Living on One Dollar a Day Activities: explore statistics and the backstory of Guatemala's instability as a introduction to showing the powerful documentary, Living on One Dollar a Day, then culminate with a micro-loan project in which students help a real-life fellow human
  • World Poverty Solution Activities: analyze extreme world poverty from both a data perspective using interactive graphs and maps from Our World In Data and a solution perspective exploring the United Nation's Sustainability Development Goals and the power of localized solutions
  • Current Event Analysis Project & Discussion: research a chosen issue, comparing countries throughout the world, exploring problems and solutions, then share and reflect with classmates in a Socratic Seminar-style class discussion
  • Reflective Poem Project: using a step-by-step template, create a powerful evidence-based, reflective poem that encapsulates both knowledge and perspective gained from the unit
  • Unit Essay: culminate learning and takeaway with this unit-encompassing DBQ-style essay that is supported with a collaborative brainstorm activity, detailed instructions, outline template, sentence stems, and rubrics, that asks them to answer “Am I like most in of the world or am I unlike most?”
  • Digital File: link to a Google Slides file with copies of all student sheets

Note to Homeschoolers

Though the included teacher lesson plans are written to fully support a traditional classroom teacher, this resource is also a great fit for your teenage homeschooler:

  • the inquiry, thematic structure of this unit is driven by critical thinking, reading, and writing skills and a central high-interest question
  • a wide ability range can easily access the rich variety of sources utilized in this unit,
  • your student’s voice is central to each activity, through talking out their learning, maximizing the one-on-one
  • most activities can be completed independently and aren’t solely reliant on group or whole-class work
  • all utilized sources are free and easily obtainable; either included or accessible online (links provided)
  • this unit is independent of a textbook, though one could be used for greater background knowledge
  • any one activity can easily be left out to customize for your student’s skill level or personal interest

Note on Resources Used

All video clips, the full-length documentary Living on One Dollar a Day, news articles, and limited books images can be accessed free online at the time of this latest update. However, it's encouraged to acquire the books (often available at your local library or inexpensively online) and ownership of the videos in case they ever become unavailable online. Links are included for free streaming and purchase.


Want to try just part of this unit?

Like this unit? Grab the rest of the course!

Global Issues to Empower is a semester-long current events, human geography, and environmental science all-in-one course that will create global citizens out of your students

This listing is for one license for regular, non-commercial classroom use by a single teacher only. In upholding copyright law, PDF resources are uneditable and resources made for Google Classroom have some editing abilities. By purchasing a license to this resource, you have access to all future updates at no cost, available under “My Purchases". Multiple and transferable licenses are available for purchase. To request a complete terms of use prior to purchase or if you have any questions about this resource, please leave a question below under Product Q&A.

Total Pages
120 PDF + 66 Google Slide pages + 77 PPT slides
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
1 month
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation.
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


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