Lesson 1: The Peopling of Our Planet

Lesson 1: The Peopling of Our Planet

As the video World Population illustrates, global population has grown exponentially since the Industrial Revolution. Advances in medicine, nutrition, and sanitation have led to a global decline in the death rate and have been the primary drivers behind population growth in the 20th and 21st centuries. In this lesson, the teacher will use the Timeline to guide students through an interactive reading and discussion of these advances from the invention of the microscope and flush toilet to the use of chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, and vaccines. Then students will create posters capturing a “demographic moment in time” for different points in history, by building population pyramids and researching influential events.

Subjects: World History (General and AP), World Geography, AP Human Geography, AP Environmental Science

Key Concepts: Human population dynamics, human population history, age-structure diagrams, industrialization and innovation, historical causation

Lesson Materials