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Population Growth Globalization Natural Resources PBL Unit Print & Digital

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip
  • Google Apps™
140 pages + 78 Google Slides pages + 46 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.).

Also included in

  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 increasingly concerning world’s population growth trends, the recent rise of economic and cultural globalization, and increasing eco footprints and consumption of natural resources with this eye-opening thematic, inquiry-driven, project-based unit unit.

This unit is part of a thematic, project-based course, Global Issues to Empower, a semester-long look at current events, human geography, 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
  • Globalization: a 4-week unit exploring the modern era of trade, technology, and travel that has created unbelievable economic cooperation and cultural diffusion


Greatness is harnessing the connectivity of today’s world to tackle our common problems.

Few teenagers know the world beyond their own surroundings and many have no idea how their lifestyle, their choices, their hopes are part of a global story. Yet at the same time, how capable they are to be part of the solution to the urgent problems industrialization and globalization have created.

Guide your students through a wide variety of sources (from documentaries and maps to simulations and news articles) as they grapple with the not-so-simple question: “Is today’s world getting smaller or larger from these changes?”

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 thematic, inquiry-driven PBL 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 on eye-popping statistics and facts about this global village
  • Population Growth Activities to analyze historical growth maps, take guided notes on a Crash Course video for background information, explore various countries' population pyramids and the demographic transition they are experiencing, then deep dive into the competing growth issues experienced by Japan and Nigeria with a documentary and photo gallery-style news article
  • Globalization Activities track the cross-globe journey of the humble t-shirt, take guided notes on a Crash Course video for background information, explore MIT’s OpenCourseWare and the explosion of free e-learning, and watch the fascinating documentary, Two Million Minutes
  • Natural Resources Activities explore alarming maps of the depletion of the world's resources, simulate the vastly uneven eco footprints using popcorn, compare eco footprint scores across the globe, and calculate one's own, then deep dive into the efforts of one of the world's most sustainable yet consumption-heavy cities, Singapore, about how it's planning for the future in a documentary, City of the Future: Singapore
  • Current Event Analysis Project & Discussion: research a chosen population, globalization, or natural resource issue, comparing countries throughout the world, exploring problems and solutions, then share and reflect with classmates in a Socratic Seminar-style class discussion
  • Reflective Letter Writing Project: using a step-by-step template, create a powerful evidence-based, reflective letter 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 “Is the world getting bigger or smaller?”

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, full-length documentaries, 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 book, Material World, and ownership of the videos to ensure continued access, Two Million Minutes and City of the Future: Singapore.


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
140 pages + 78 Google Slides pages + 46 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).
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.
Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.


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