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Multiplying People, Dividing Resources

Elementary, Middle

Description

This resource contains 16 activities that make use of simulations, demonstrations, graphing, cooperative-learning and discussion questions to engage students. The activities are divided into two sections - "Multiplying People" and "Dividing Resources".

The "Multiplying People" section focuses on population growth and assists students in gaining a better understanding of large numbers.

The "Dividing Resources" section focuses on population growth and use and distribution of limited resources.

All of these activities can be conducted in a 40 to 60 minute Math period.

 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • students learn to analyze a variety of charts and graphs
  • students learn some methods to calculate their statistical impact on the Earth's resources
  • students also learn how to create a simple survey.

Strengths

This resources provides activities to a rotary math teacher interested in discussing global issues with her class without sacrificing the subject area requirements. The "Measuring a Million" activity does a great job of assisting students gain a real understanding of large numbers.

Weaknesses

This activity is U.S.-based.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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    • Grade 6
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      • Math
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        • Algebra: Equations express relationships between quantities.
        • Number
        • Patterns and Relations
        • Patterns: Awareness of patterns supports problem solving in various situations.
        • Statistics and Probability
        • Statistics: The science of collecting, analyzing, visualizing, and interpreting data can inform understanding and decision making.
    • Grade 7
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      • Math
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        • Number
        • Patterns and Relationships
        • Statistics and Probality
    • Grade 8
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      • Math
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        • Number
        • Patterns and Relations
        • Statistics and probability
  • British Columbia
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    • Grade 6
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      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Linear relations can be identified and represented using expressions with variables and line graphs and can be used to form generalizations
        • Mixed numbers and decimal numbers represent quantities that can be decomposed into parts and wholes
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Data from circle graphs can be used to illustrate proportion and to compare and interpret.
        • Decimals, fractions, and percents are used to represent and describe parts and wholes of numbers
        • Linear relations can be represented in many connected ways to identify regularities and make generalizations
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Analyzing data by determining averages is one way to make sense of large data sets and enables us to compare and interpret
        • Discrete linear relationships can be represented in many connected ways and used to identify and make generalizations
        • Number represents, describes, and compares the quantities of ratios, rates, and percents
  • Manitoba
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        • Number
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        • People & Places in the World: World Geography
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        • Number
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        • Number
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        • Number
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        • Patterns and Relations
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        • Number
        • Patterns
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  • Northwest Territories
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        • Number
        • Number Operations
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        • Number
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        • Number
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        • Statistics & Probability
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        • Number
        • Patterns and Relations
        • Statistics & Probability
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        • Number
        • Patterns and Relations
        • Statistics & Probability
  • Ontario
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        • Algebra
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      • Geography
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        • Natural Resources around the World: Use and Sustainability
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        • Number
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        • Patterns & Relations
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        • Urban territory
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        • Arithmetic and Algebra
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  • Saskatchewan
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    • Grade 6
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      • Math
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        • Mathematics 6 : Patterns and Relationships
        • Mathematics 6: Statistics and Probability
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        • Mathematics 7: Patterns and Relations
        • Mathematics 7: Number
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        • Mathematics 8 : Patterns and Relations
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        • Mathematics 8: Number
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Linear relations can be identified and represented using expressions with variables and line graphs and can be used to form generalizations
        • Mixed numbers and decimal numbers represent quantities that can be decomposed into parts and wholes
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Data from circle graphs can be used to illustrate proportion and to compare and interpret.
        • Decimals, fractions, and percents are used to represent and describe parts and wholes of numbers
        • Linear relations can be represented in many connected ways to identify regularities and make generalizations
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Analyzing data by determining averages is one way to make sense of large data sets and enables us to compare and interpret
        • Discrete linear relationships can be represented in many connected ways and used to identify and make generalizations
        • Number represents, describes, and compares the quantities of ratios, rates, and percents

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Carrying Capacity
  • Human Rights (2)

    • Poverty
    • Social Justice
  • Land Use & Natural Resources (2)

    • Forests
    • Transportation

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives SatisfactoryThe introduction outlines the goal of the resource. However, other values, biases and assumptions are not discussed explicitly.
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions GoodUses numbers and statistics to highlight the many dimensions of a problem of distributing resources among a high number of people.
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Poor/Not consideredA problem-solving approach is not used.
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered
Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education SatisfactoryThrough guiding questions are provided in the resource, students are challenged to explore their own biases and assumptions.
Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans SatisfactoryWhile the students are looking at statistics from different countries and from different ethnic groups, there is no evidence that people from a particular subgroup have been consulted.
Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Poor/Not consideredNo outdoor activities are presented and the information is human- centered.
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning GoodIn some of the activities, students are asked to survey classmates and community members.
Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future SatisfactoryStatistics are analyzed in this activity. Students are asked to make some predictions for the future based on the past. However, all discussion is based solely on the statistics without discussion around the factors that affect statistics in general.
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction SatisfactoryStudents have one opportunity to study topics more deeply. However, they are asked during each activity to reflect on the statistics.
Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning SatisfactoryThis resource begins to connect Math to Social Studies.
Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Poor/Not considered
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction GoodThe activities address a variety of learning styles through the use graphs and manipulatives in addition to charts of numbers.
Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning SatisfactoryThis resource is human-centered. However, students are encouraged to develop a personal affinity and emotional connection with humans through these activities.
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning GoodEach activity contains a group component and an individual component.
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Poor/Not consideredLimited assessment tools are provided.
Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching GoodStudents are asked to present to their peers.
Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Poor/Not consideredVery limited Canadian statistics are given. No case studies are used in this resource.
Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control SatisfactoryStudents are asked once to create their own survey.
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.