Population and Economic Development Patterns

Lesson Plans for Population and Economic Development Patterns

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


1. Population and Economic Development Patterns

Physical and human factors affecting population distribution at the global scale

Global patterns and classification of economic development:

  • low-income countries
  • middle-income countries and emerging economies
  • high-income countries

Population Distribution at the Global Scale

This page introduces population distribution at both the global and regional scale. It looks to introduce the patterns of population distribution through a variety of maps.  The activities in the lesson are centered around maps and describing the patterns in a geographical way. A variety of interesting maps including infographics and ooze maps are used. The lesson is well resourced with student worksheets and one activity requires the students to evaluate different mapping techniques of population distribution

Global Patterns of Development

This page provides resources and activities on economic development. In additon to the interesting starter on night satellite images it goes on to explore different representations of economic development through the north south divide and Hans Rosling's informative visualisation of statistics covering the last 200 years. There is an extensive Top Trump set of countries which students can use to familarise themselves with economic development and then for classifying countries. There is a critical question running through the lesson based on how important this classification is today given uneven development is present at all scales, especially within countries.


Population distribution and economic development at the national scale, including voluntary internal migration, core-periphery patterns and megacity growth

  • Two detailed and contrasting examples of uneven population distribution

Population Density and Development in China and Nigeria

This page develops resources and actvities that focus on the population density and nature of voluntary internal migration in both China and Nigeria. It starts by students looking at simple economic data to compare the two countries, which show stark differences but interesting similarities. Students then go on to look at the pattern of mega city growth and patterns of core periphery firstly, through a map-from-memory activity and then later, a detailed mapping activity based on a well focused resource pack (in the site). Students then look deeper into the patterns of migration through an excellent Economist videographic and worksheet as well as snippets from published journals on the causes of migration in Nigeria.

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