Even if you are on summer break at present, World Population Day presents a wonderful opportunity to explore concept of population with your Montessori students when you return to school in September: What are the benefits and problems that accompany a large or small population? When we discuss population, how large of numbers do we use? What can influence the rise and fall in population (affluence, poverty, disease, technology, war, etc.)? Look at population booms and how quickly populations can grow, and why. What happens when every two people have one or two children, and so on and so on?
Using your Montessori landform and biome materials, explore with your students where human populations are highest in the world, and even within your own country. What sort of natural (and man made environments seem to be preferred by humans in general? This opens the door to so many potential observations and comparisons to give your Montessori students a sense of the scope of world population, as well as that of different countries, or cities within countries. “Everyone Counts” can be brought into any project in order to further explore its meaning in the context of that activity.
Montessori Curriculum Activities for World Population Day, July 11
Older Montessori students can create a world map using whatever media and method they would like. Students can use symbols to represent human population by continent or country. For instance, a star might represent 100,000, or if more appropriate, one million people. This work can then double as a math work where students practice graphic and symbolic representation along with ratios. Depending on age, interest level, and time available, your Montessori students can also research and include other data such as GNP, natural resources, or the populations of select animals.
This year was a census year in the United States so students in this country might have heard the term “census” tossed around. Discuss the census and the benefits for Montessori schools and other positive aspects that can come from gathering this data. Students may want to create their own census and gather information from their classmates or the Montessori school has a whole. They can then use this data to create charts, graphs, or a presentation for the class.
The theme “Everyone Counts” is a great way to tie any of these or related activities to our own lives. As your Montessori students explore the meaning of population, human or otherwise, “Everyone Counts” brings into focus the significance of every individual among the collective, and can nurture a sense of community and stewardship among your Montessori students, as young citizens. http://www.unfpa.org/public/world-population-day.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, July 7, 2010.