Reflection: Student Ownership Human Population Pyramids (1 of 3) - Section 4: EXPLORE: We are family


Data visualizations are not always exciting to students, especially those that have underdeveloped math skills or prefer writing. One way to make this work more engaging is to use student-generated data. In this activity, the data for the population pyramids comes entirely from students. Students identify all of their family members and sort these values by age and sex. Students  then share this data with each other. A wonderful benefit of this sharing is that students get to learn about the family structures of their peers, often for the first time. In all of my classes, this act of sharing created enormous positive momentum; students become deeply involved in the process of aggregating all the data from all students in the class. My take is that the data had life. It was not some random set of numbers. The data was telling a story about the people in the classroom. And because of this, students worked hard to capture classroom data in a population pyramid. While it is not always possible to use personal data in class, this course uses student-generated data as much as possible. In every case, data that comes from students is highly correlated with positive student engagement.

  Personal data=student engagement
  Student Ownership: Personal data=student engagement
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Human Population Pyramids (1 of 3)

Unit 4: Populations
Lesson 8 of 16

Objective: Students will be able to 1) calculate percentages using raw numbers for each age/gender group in a given population and 2) construct human population pyramid from raw data collected in class.

Big Idea: Human population growth statistics can describe the past and predict the future. How might we use visualized data tools called population pyramids to understand the implications of differing rates of human population growth in countries around the world?

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pyramid power
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