2120 L St, NW
A simulation where students populate "continents" drawn to scale in yarn on the classroom floor and discuss how people and resources are distributed worldwide.
Classroom tip: This activity is wonderful, but lengthy. Recognize that if need be, it can be abridged, or divided over several days.
Classroom tip: Refer to the Region Information chart when distributing students through the areas. If you have fewer than 26 people, don't panic. Before starting, go around to each region and explain how many students would be there if there were 26 in the class. Use the Extra People Cards, found under Facts and Background Materials below, to fill in the gaps. If you have extra students, they can be appointed to a "United Nations International Advisory Board."
» Whole class hands-on
» "Ambassador Cards"
» "Kisses" or other small chocolate candies
» Matches or toothpicks
» Resealable plastic bags
» Extra People Cards (optional)
» Social Studies
» Prep: 30 minutes
» Activity & Discussion: Whole class period
Facts and Background:
» Extra People Cards
This PDF includes four "extra people" faces for use in activities when class size alone may not be sufficient to present activities.
» American Energy Use Graphic
A bar graph that compares American energy use to other countries around the world.
» Global Family Ties
A middle-grades appropriate reading that addresses the role of poverty and inequity in population issues.
» People Count: Facing the Population Challenge
This reading, appropriate for middle grades, provides a primer on population issues.
» Population and Environmental Data
A data chart which lists population and environmental data for regions of the world, as well as the 15 most populous countries.
» Living on $500 a Year
Students complete a reading and other exercises to examine the lifestyles of the world's "Haves" and "Have-Nots."
» Power of the Pyramids
Students construct and interpret "population pyramid" graphs for several countries.