[ARCHIVED CONTENT] Teachernet, Assemblies

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World Population Day (11 July)
Year group:

Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, Year 10, Year 11, Post 16

Key subject:


Cross curricular:


QCA scheme of work: Citizenship and geography: Debating a global issue, Citizenship
and geography: Debating a global issue
Useful equipment:

Data projector, screen and computer connected to the internet

This Y7-Y13 assembly seeks to raise awareness of the issues involved in World
Population Day, 11 July. A population clock shows the world's population growing in real
time, and a student role play explains how population doubles itself in half the time of the
last expansion. The assembly aims to:
highlight the effects of ever faster population increase
consider why population growth should concern us
and discuss factors such as improved education and living standards that can slow
down future growth.

This assembly marks World Population Day which is held on 11 July each year. Since 1950
the world's population has increased rapidly to a figure of 6 billion on 12 October 1999.
Most of the rapid increase has occurred in less developed countries and as a result global
poverty has increased. Such continual growth cannot be sustained without resulting in
greater misery.

Main presentation
What is the present growth of world population?
For maximum initial impact display the population clock. It shows the population of the
world growing in real time before the students' eyes. The presenter can ask them to
make a careful note of the world population totals at the beginning and end of the
Remind them that it took 100,000 years until 1800 for the world's population to reach one
billion. Now it is well over six billion.
The population explosion
32 students take part in a prepared role play to explain how population doubles itself in
half the time of the last expansion. A space is made at the front of the room and the 32
students are ready to participate. A line of 32 chairs is used to represent the total seats
in a classroom, the point where the classroom is FULL.
The presenter asks the audience: "We start with one student. The number of students
doubles every 10 seconds and it takes 50 seconds to half fill the classroom — how much
longer will it take to fill the classroom completely?"
The presenter takes an answer from the younger students and hopefully gets an answer
of 50 seconds.
The rehearsed students then sit down every 10 seconds. The numbers progress as
1 — 10 seconds
2 - 20 seconds
4 - 30 seconds
8 - 40 seconds
16 — 50 seconds
32 — 60 seconds
What happens when population increases rapidly?
high infant mortality
poor education
humanitarian crisis
increased spread of Aids/HIV
Why should population growth concern us?
This section can be resourced from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) website
and supplemented with images from the internet. Acknowledge that population pressures
in less economically developed countries (LEDCs) may not seem to touch us in the UK.
Then using images and news stories from the internet, discuss:



With prior computation the presenter can reveal that the world population total will increase by approximately 70 million people this year. This last section can be completed with the idea that. webarchive. raised living standards and access to birth control.uk/teachingandlearning/assemblies/index.org/issues/ Print | Download | New search Recently visited Home > Assemblies T eac herN et has been developed by the D epartment for C hildren. Recommended resources Population clock http://math. The population clock depends upon the technology being available. Sc hools and Families as a res ourc e to s upport the educ ation profes s ion.uk/20101224224217/http://teachernet.edu/~galen/popclk.org/billions. The least developed countries are estimated to triple their populations in the next 50 years. Additional notes The concept of population increase is easily understood if visualisations are used.gov. Living in a developed country means that we have wealth and comfort beyond the dreams of most people who live in less developed countries. the very countries that are least able to bear the burdens of additional services and care. In the next 25 years.nationalarchives. This compares with the poorest 20 per cent of the world's people. The internet has many useful digital images that will provide powerful messages if they are displayed behind or beside the presenter.gov. through education. Should we be happy standing by? how poverty in LEDCs effects us by increased international migration. Almost all that increase will be in developing countries.html Population totals http://www.didyouknow. Summary The 20 per cent of the world's people who live in the highest income countries have 86 per cent of the world's total wealth. Extension/shortening tip To lengthen There is scope within the assembly framework for any of the parts to be given more weight.3 per cent of the world's wealth. We have a responsibility to do what we can to spread knowledge and resources to those less fortunate than ourselves. political instability and the increased spread of major viruses such as HIV. who have just 1.9/17/13 [ARCHIVED CONTENT] Teachernet. What can we do about population growth? Return to the population clock.berkeley. Assemblies the moral issue. the world will experience a 2 billion gain in population. future growth can be slowed down. If this is a problem then it can be removed.htm UNFPA http://www. This assembly uses an internet site and student role play to represent the nature of population increase. To shorten Either of the two starters to the body of the assembly can be removed.cfm?mode=searchdisplay&id=66&histor… 2/2 . That is equivalent to the population of the UK.unfpa.