Training of Trainers Manual for Making Population Real

(April 2007) This manual provides a set of training materials selected from PRB's award-winning lesson plans "Making Population Real." The lesson plans were given the 2006 Geography Excellence in Media (GEM) Award by the National Council for Geographic Education.


(August 2005) Population shapes political systems, helps determine economic vitality, and affects Earth's natural resources. This teaching package, especially designed for the population unit of AP Human Geography,* helps students understand and master key population concepts, demonstrate research skills, and create charts and graphs. Through lesson plans, background readings, and classroom activities students learn about the following seven topics:

Population Fundamentals—Building a Foundation
This lesson plan includes three activities that allow students to: develop a working vocabulary for population geography; understand relationships and implications of demographic data; and construct and analyze population pyramids at different scales.

Populations in the Path of Natural Hazards
This lesson explores population movement and natural hazards in Florida and the Caribbean Basin. Through two activities, students examine population trends and evaluate the consequences for people when severe storms strike heavily populated areas.

The Demographic Transition—A Contemporary Look at a Classic Model
Through three activities students learn to: understand the classic demographic transition model; explain assumptions and limitations of this classic model; construct graphs of contemporary demographic change; and explain contemporary demographic patterns in the context of the classic model.

HIV/AIDS and Contemporary Population Dynamics
Key population dynamics, such as mortality, population change, and the spread of disease are presented for the United States and for the world. By looking at HIV/AIDS, students learn these concepts at multiple scales and learn more about the social and economic impacts of this disease.

People on the Move
These two activities have students explore migration patterns in the United States at national, state, and local levels. Students learn about push-pull factors and corresponding population mobility patterns.

This lesson plan was given the 2006 Geography Excellence in Media (GEM) Award by the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE). *AP and the Advanced Placement Program are registered trademarks of the College Entrance Examination Board, which was not involved in the production of these lesson plans.


Martha B. Sharma is an education consultant for the Population Reference Bureau.

Special thanks are given to the following reviewers: Kelly Swanson, Joseph Enedy, David Lanegran, David Carr, Stephanie Forsland, Claire Ginger, Rick Gindele, Ken Keller, Chris Hall, Pat St. Peter, Paul Gray, Nancy Yinger, Melissa Thaxton, Lori Ashford, Dara Carr, and Mark Mather. Additional thanks are extended to Lisa Colson, Roger-Mark De Souza, Marya Khan, Ellen Carnevale, Theresa Kilcourse, and Janice-Daphne Bassi for their contributions.

Making Population Real: New Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities was produced with funding from The World Population Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation.