To understand how overpopulation can bring about problems and issues for people and cultures.
1 class period
Students begin the lesson with a contest to complete as many sentences pertaining to overpopulation as possible by filling in the appropriate words, names, and terms. Each of the 16 statements includes a set of parenthesis with two answer choices. Correct answers are worth 4, 6, 7, or 8 points. A perfect score is 100. You can set a time limit and have class members exchange papers afterwards to determine who has scored the most points. I usually tell my students that the people with the top five scores are the winners.
After the contest, there are three Thought Questions relating to overpopulation that help develop critical thinking skills. Each contains a short description of something to do with overpopulation, along with a question for which students give written answers of 40-60 words.
For thousands of years, birth rates were high. However, the population increased slowly and sometimes declined because death rates also were high. Then, advances in agriculture, communication, and transportation caused the death rate to drop, and the population grew rapidly.
Why do you think that advances in agriculture, communication, and transportation have brought about a lower death rate and a rapid rise in the population in recent years? (40-60 words)
Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment or used as a review exercise later in the school year.