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Population Dynamics

Population Dynamics Photo Credit: Clipart

Introduction

The size of the human population and its pattern of growth are influenced by the physical setting and by many aspects of culture: economics, politics, technology, history, and religion. In this activity you'll investigate the causes and consequences of population growth and the environmental factors that contribute to it.


Exploration

Consider how social systems are influenced by population growth and how large, gradual increases in the size of the population will require many adjustments, like new government responsibilities, new kinds of institutions, and the need to marshal a more complex distribution of resources.

Go to Population Studies for a good overview of factors influencing population growth. As you read, take notes so you can answer these questions:

  • Why do you think most of the huge growth of the world’s population between 1900 and 2000 (from 1.6 to 6 billion people) occurred after World War II?
  • What factors contributed to the doubling of life expectancy during this period?
  • What does “population momentum” mean?
  • What impact does industrialization appear to have on population growth rates?
  • What concern does the aging population pose for the governments of many countries?

Use the Population Growth Group student sheet as you go through your assigned reading from the DEPweb, part of the World Bank site, and answer the questions on the sheet. You will discuss your answers to these questions in class.

GROUP 1
Go to Did You Know? Read the page completely, but do not go on to pages 2 and 3.

Click on the hyperlinks for Charts 1 and 2 to view them clearly. Pay close attention to the way presenting information in graphic form makes it possible to immediately see patterns of change. Also click on any other highlighted terms that are unclear.

When you have finished reading, discuss the material with your group members. For discussion purposes, you will refer the class to Charts 1 and 2 as part of a presentation.

GROUP 2
Go to Population momentum. Read the page completely, but do not go back to page 1 or on to page 3.

Click on the hyperlinks for Charts 3.1 and 3.2 to view them clearly. Pay close attention to the way presenting information in graphic form makes it possible to immediately see patterns of change. Also click on any other highlighted terms that are unclear.

When you have finished reading, discuss the material with your group members. For discussion purposes, you will refer the class to Charts 3.1 and 3.2 as part of a presentation.

GROUP 3
Go to Population growth, the economy, and the environment. Read the page completely, but do not go back to pages 1 and 2.

Click on the hyperlinks for the highlighted terms—GNP per capita, access to safe water, deforestation, and desertification.

When you have finished reading, discuss the material with your group members.


Knowledge Check

Consider writing a letter to your congressperson or local newspaper summarizing the problem of population growth and highlighting a specific, realistic action the government or individual citizens can take to help keep earth and its people in balance. You could use graphs or other available data in describing both the problem and its proposed solution.


This esheet is a part of the Population Dynamics lesson.

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Esheet Details

Grades
AAAS