Changing Populations and Places

Lesson Plans for Changing Populations and Places

This is a link page to sub-pages that provided detailed lesson plans and learning activities that cover everything in the IB guide for this topic. Lesson plans include resources to use on an interactive whiteboard and worksheets to print. The pages have full student access to give maximum flexibility to the teacher and the student. There are theoretical notes for extended reading and teacher notes at the top that provide timing information lesson objectives and activity instructions



2. Changing Populations and Places

Population change and demographic transition over time, including natural increase, fertility rate, life expectancy, population structure and dependency ratios

  • Detailed examples of two or more contrasting countries

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

How the impacts of population change and spatial interactions between places can be categorized and represented graphically

Population Change and The Demographic Transition

This page introduces the Demographic Transition Model and provides a number resources covering trends in population growth. The activities are based on graph analysis and well focused videos. The DTM is explored both in terms of main features and the processes that influence it through its different stages. The lesson finishes with an important video on maternal health car (pre-2015) featuring people experiencing the stark reality of coping with the problems at the early stages of the DTM as well as the changes that need to be made to move out of it.

Introduction to Population Structure and Population Pyramids

This page provides resources that introduce population pyramids as a way for examining population structures, linked to the demographic transition model. Students are introduced to population pyramids through a quick map-from- memory activity and sketch activity based on hypothetical population structures before they go on to learn more detailed ways of describing changing patterns linked to demographic transition.

Introduction to Dependency Ratios

This page introduces dependency ration as a concept. The lesson begins by calculating the dependency ratio for the class before going on to examine the issue of dependency in the UK and Uganda as exemplification rather than case study material. The page recaps population pyramids that have quirky dependency shapes and students mind map the challenges of both aging and youthful dependency.

Student Investigation into China and Nigeria

This page sets out instructions for students to complete an investigation either in class or as a homework assignment. Students use a series of focused sites to write a report contrasting the demographic change in China and Nigeria. Students focus on population structure, change in terms, life expectancy, fertility rate, natural increase and dependency ratio. They use screen shots of population pyramids and comment on different challenges the two countries face.


The consequences of megacity growth for individuals and societies

  • One case study of a contemporary megacity experiencing rapid growth

The causes and consequences of forced migration and internal displacement

  • Detailed examples of two or more forced movements, to include environmental and political push factors, and consequences for people and places


In the next twenty years, Lagos is likely to become one of the largest megacities in the world, but built 30% on water and facing the threat of climate change its future is uncertain. This page provides resources and activities based on the rapid growth of Lagos. It starts with a guess the city activity, before using a number of graphics and maps that explore the demographic data, spatial change and causes. It examines the consequences through an outstanding Journeyman documentary and takes an in-depth look at two potential future project, includingthe Eko Atlantic Project and 'Floating Communities' Project that may address the challenges facing very different groups within the same society.

Introduction to Migration

Migration takes place both internally, within countries and externally across countries. There is short term and long term, voluntary and forced movements of people. This unit introduces students to the main types of migration and reasons for it, through a variety of activities, including classifying photographs and infographics

Forced Internal Displacement in Nigeria

This page develops resources that look at the causes and consequences of forced internal migration in Nigeria, developing a detailed example of environmental and political push factors. Students look at the many environmental factors drawing on existing knowledge of land degradation and climate stress and focus in more depth through a mapping activity on the consequences of the 2012 flood, which led to over 2 million displaced people. Students then go on to look at the geo-political causes of migration through civil conflict and mind map the impacts of such displacement on both people and place

The European Migration Crisis

This page develops in-depth resources that get inside the causes and nature of the European migration crisis. It uses  Eritrea as place examples to map the numbers. Students are left with a true sense of the complexity of causes and the real challenges facing the people making the journey. The resources avoid over sensitive video footage and deal with the facts of migration.

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