Reflection: Online Resources Predicting Human Population Change Part 1: Age Structure - Section 3: Guided Practice


While reviewing this lesson, I almost panicked when I checked the link to the "Shape of Things to Come" website and got the dreaded "Not Found" message.  Luckily, I wound up being able to locate another functioning link to the site, but it's a fact of the constantly updating nature of the internet that our "best laid lesson plans" can wind up laid to waste by factors beyond our control. 

I should mention that on the day that I taught this lesson, the original link worked fine, but sometimes the unthinkable happens and a critical online resource is not available and you only discover this fact when you're actually teaching the lesson. 

A similar problem arose in the second lesson of this sequence when my school district's internet filter decided that an online population growth estimator was a "game" and blocked its use during school hours.  I came up with a last minute workaround by using a compound interest calculator, but that experience speaks to the need to build in some flexibility with the online resources you use for your lessons.


So, seeing as how some web resources come and go, an alternative website to find current age structure information for this lesson is the CIA World Factbook.  This lists countries in alphabetical order and provides detailed age structure data and age structure diagrams for each country.  In the video below, I show how I would demonstrate this website to my students:


The following are some additional online resources that might be useful in planning activities in a populations unit:

The worldometers site has a wealth of information on past and projected population growth, including historical growth rates.


The world bank site has a wealth of data on many topics that intersect economics, environmental and geographic factors.


This site is an amazing resource to look at the climate, soil type and vegetation of a particular area.  The whole globe is searchable.


This story maps site is about the age of humans and explores many ways we are affecting the environment.


This compound interest calculator is a good tool to predict future human growth.  Just substitute current population for principal and enter current growth rate as the interest rate and watch the population increase!


  When good links go bad... Don't Panic!
  Online Resources: When good links go bad... Don't Panic!
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Predicting Human Population Change Part 1: Age Structure

Unit 4: Populations
Lesson 5 of 10

Objective: Students will be able to collect and compile population data from online resources and predict patterns of future human population growth by comparing age structure diagrams of three different nations.

Big Idea: Historical trends and ecological understanding make predictions of future developments possible.

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