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World in the Balance

Viewing Ideas

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Before Watching

  1. Ask students to estimate how many people live in the United States (about 290 million). How many people do students think live in the world (approximately 6 billion 360 million). Tell them that the world population in 1980 was 4.4 billion, and ask students what they think might be some of the consequences of a rapidly growing population.

  2. Countries worldwide are facing different population challenges. Organize the class into three groups and have each group take notes on the challenges and population pyramids of India, Kenya, and Japan.

After Watching

  1. Discuss with students the various challenges facing the populations of India, Kenya, and Japan. What are the issues facing each country? What does the population pyramid for each country look like and why? How might each country's issues be addressed?

  2. In 2050, there will be approximately nine billion people in the world, according to the most widely accepted estimate. Ask students what problems this might create for developing countries. What challenges will industrialized nations face? What problems will a nation like Japan, with a declining population, face?

  3. As Earth's population expands, additional resources are needed to support the additional people. Ask students what kinds of actions could be taken by individuals to conserve Earth's resources. What are some actions that could be taken in each student's home or community? What can countries do to use the available land, food, and water resources more efficiently?

Teacher's Guide
World in the Balance
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