We learned about world population patterns and then did a case study on Chin’s One-Child Policy as a means of population control on two consecutive school days.

Click here to view the entire day 1 lesson

Click here to view the entire day 2 lesson

Our study of world population patterns started by utilizing cartograms and UN population data to discover what countries of the world had the highest populations and also the difficulties, for governments and people, that come with substantial population growth. Namely we discussed the issue by means of pulling details, inferences, and questions from the resources.

To close out day one of our studies, students completed a quickwrite for their formative assessment. The writing prompt was as follows:


The purpose of this writing prompt was to dually engage students’ prior knowledge of what resources people need to live safe and happy lives, while also putting them in the position of policy makers in government who need to attend to population growth crisis. This becomes a prelude to learning about China’s one child policy, allowing students to empathize with government’s difficult position in a growing China.

Below are some student sample responses to this prompt:

1A 1B 1C 1D


The next day, our thought starter was to share our ideas from our quickwrite the day before. Revisiting and refreshing our minds so that we could further build upon our prior knowledge later in the lesson.

Here is the thought starter in detail:



Next, students had a choice of creating a graphic recording (non-linguistic representation) or a circle map (tends to lend itself well to linguistic representation) to capture their ideas as we learned about China’s one-child policy by way of a documentary featuring people directly affected by the policy. They focused their thinking around the lesson’s essential questions:

1. What is the one-child policy in China?

2. What are the positives and negatives of the policy?

The following images contain examples of student work:

2A 2B 2C


For day two’s formative assessment, students used their graphic recordings/circle maps to turn their thoughts into a summary of what they learned. Refining their thoughts into paragraph form.

Student examples:

3A 3B 3C


Click here to view the entire day 1 lesson

Click here to view the entire day 2 lesson