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GEOG 710

Critical Essay #1
Brittany Stanford
WG-3.1 Evaluate demographic patterns to predict trends in the spatial distribution of
population using graphs, maps, and other models (e.g., Hispanic population growth in the
United States).
This indicator challenges students to look at the arrangement of certain groups of people
across Earths surface and then use that information to predict future growth and developments.
It might be helpful to define demographic patterns for students as the patterns of a particular
section of the population. Additionally, spatial distribution might need to be defined as the
arrangement of a phenomenon across the Earths surface. Although these indicators arent
intended to be taught in order or in isolation, in this example it would be imperative that students
understand the factors that contribute to emigration as well as the factors that draw populations
to certain destinations, like jobs, educations, and natural resources. This knowledge would aid in
students ability to predict trends in future spatial distribution.
To help teach this indicator, I the use of maps and graphs are essential. I would give
students a side-by-side map of demographic patterns throughout history. Examples of these maps
could be the Hispanic population in the US in 1995 and in 2005 or the immigration of German
Jewish refugees in 1930 and 1938 into Western countries. I would then ask students to look at
the differences between the two maps and make an educated guess of what caused the increase of
Hispanic immigration into certain regions of the US or what was going on in Germany between
1930 and 1938 that led to the emigration of so many Jewish refugees. This first activity would
then give students the practice they need in evaluating demographic patterns to be able to take it
a step further and predict trends in the spatial distribution of future populations. To demonstrate
this next step, I would give students a map of current demographic patterns in a particular region,
and physical or cultural factor, like a devastating earthquake or the opening of the Boeing plant
in Charleston. Students would then use a blank map to draw their predictions for the distribution
of a population in 10 years next to the current demographic map they were given. To make this
activity possible, I would need various maps demonstrating demographic patterns across the
Earths surface throughout history. Additionally, I would need maps demonstrating the current
spatial distribution of populations in order for students to make educated predictions about future
demographic patterns.
This indicator aligns with national standard 3, how to analyze the spatial organization of
people, places, and environments in Earths surface, and especially 3.1 and 3.2, analyze and
explain the spatial organization of people, places, and environments using spatial concepts and
analyze and explain changes in spatial patterns as a result of the interactions among human and
physical processes through time. Indicator 3.1 aligns with these national standards because it
uses demographic patterns to help students analyze the spatial organization of people.
Additionally, the state indicator 3.1 aligns with national standard 9, the characteristics,
distribution, and migration of human populations on Earths surface in that it asks students to
predict patterns of human population distribution and migration on Earths surface.

WG- 3.4 Evaluate the impact of human migration on physical and human systems
including changes in population density, the use of resources, and the provision of services
(e.g., the environmental costs of refugee settlement camps in Africa).
This indicator challenges students to understand the consequences that human migration
can have on both the resources and culture of their destination. Prior to this lesson, I should make
sure students can distinguish between physical and human systems, as well as understand the
versatility of the two. Students might also need the definition of population density as the
number of people in a defined area.
To teach this indicator, I would divide the students into groups of 2-3 and assign each of
them a case study. Such case studies could include things like refugee settlement camps in
Africa, Fordlandia rubber plant in the amazon of Brazil in 1928 or the mid 1800s California
gold rush. There could also be case studies at the local level, like the opening of BMW plant in
Spartanburg County, or the conversion of the Charlotte-Douglass airport in Charlotte to a hub for
US Airways. The students would then create a chart with sections for migration, human systems,
and physical systems. As they studied the case assigned to their group, students will identify the
various components including traces of emigration/immigration, continuity and change across
culture (language, music, food), and continuity and change across the physical environment
(increase/decrease of resources, pollution, etc.). Students will then organize these factors into the
chart under the category with which they most closely align. After the completion of their
individual case studies, students will present to the class their findings. This activity will require
multiple different case studies spread out throughout history and around this world. It will
hopefully demonstrate to students the implications of migration on a destinations physical and
human systems through numerous different examples.
This indicator aligns with national standard 3, how to analyze the spatial organization of
people, places, and environments in Earths surface, and especially section 3.2, analyze and
explain changes in spatial patterns as a result of the interactions among human and physical
processes through time. Moreover, SC standard 3.4 also could be linked to the national
geography standard 4, the physical and human characteristics of places, and especially section
4.2, the interaction of physical and human systems result in the creation of and changes to
places. These national standards relate to the SC standard 3.4 in that they challenge students to
make connections between the spatial organization and migration of humans and physical and
human processes that are affected as a result.