Population Growth Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Looking for ways to instruct your students on population growth? This engaging lesson plan uses a video lesson to explain the basics and introduce relevant theories and an activity gives students an opportunity for analysis.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • provide the world's population
  • define 'population growth'
  • list causes and issues related to population growth
  • analyze population changes in specific countries


1.5 to 2 hours

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.


Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.


Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.


  • A worksheet created using the associated quiz
  • Poster board
  • Markers

Key Vocabulary

  • Population
  • Thomas Robert Malthus
  • Karl Marx


  • Begin by asking the class to take turns guessing the population of the world.
  • Play the video lesson Marxist vs. Malthusian Theories of Population Growth and pause it at 00:14.
  • Did anyone in class correctly guess the world's population?
  • Now ask the class to consider some issues that might be of concern with this large number of people living in one place. Write key points on the board.
  • Play the video lesson again and pause it at 3:36.
  • How many of the students' concerns regarding population growth were mentioned in the video lesson?
  • Summarize the key points made by Thomas Robert Malthus before moving on with instruction.
  • Play the rest of the video lesson for the class now.
  • Summarize the key points of Karl Marx in regards to population growth now.

Discussion Questions

  • Which theory presented makes more sense in regards to population growth?
  • What other explanations might be viable in terms of population growth?

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