1. Discuss the map of human migration around the world.
Project or distribute copies of the map Patterns of Human Migration and have students look at the current patterns of migration across the globe. Tell students that the thickness of the arrows indicates amounts of people migrating: thicker arrows indicate major migration streams and thinner arrows indicate minor migration streams. Emphasize to students that the arrows reflect current migration patterns and not composition of populations. Ask:
- From which continent(s) are the most people emigrating? (from Asia)
- To which continent(s) are the most people immigrating? (to North America)
- What is one pattern of migration within North America? (Mexico to the United States)
- Why do you think these patterns are happening? (push and pull factors)
Remind students of some common push factors and pull factors, such as better job opportunities (pull) or war (push).
2. Have small groups explore the data behind the map.
Divide students into small groups. Distribute copies of the handout Migration Data Table and the worksheet Global Patterns of Human Migration to each small group. Have small groups use the Migration Data Table to complete Part 1 of the worksheet. Provide support, as needed.
3. Have small groups create their own map of targeted human migration patterns.
Distribute copies of the World 1-Page Map to each group and have students complete Part 2 of the worksheet. Provide support, as needed. Make sure students include a map key.
4. Discuss students’ predictions about future global migration patterns.
Have a whole-class discussion. Use the provided Answer Key to discuss students’ answers to the questions on the worksheet.
Ask students to describe how the map of human migration around the world displays information about migration streams.
Extending the Learning
Have students explore migration relationships for countries other than the United States, and report to the class on their findings. Visit the provided World Bank website to download the full migration data set. The downloadable file, called the Bilaterial Migration Matrix 2010, can be opened in Microsoft Excel.
Subjects & Disciplines
- Human behavior
- describe current patterns of migration across the globe
- create their own map of human migration patterns
- predict future patterns
- Hands-on learning
- Information organization
What You’ll Need
Materials You Provide
The resources are also available at the top of the page.
- Internet Access: Required
- Tech Setup: 1 computer per classroom, Projector
- Large-group instruction
- Small-group instruction
Human migration is the movement of people from one place in the world to another. Human patterns of movement reflect the conditions of a changing world and impact the cultural landscapes of both the places people leave and the places they settle.
- push and pull factors
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry census Noun
program of a nation, state, or other region that counts the population and usually gives its characteristics, such as age and gender.
Encyclopedic Entry: census continent Noun
one of the seven main land masses on Earth.
Encyclopedic Entry: continent emigrant Noun
person who moves from their existing country or region to a new country or region.
to move from one's native land to another.
human migration Noun
the movement of people from one place to another.
person who moves to a new country or region.
to move to a new place.
process of moving to a new country or region with the intention of staying and living there.
migration stream Noun
flow of immigrants from a specific place, economic status, or skill set.
total number of people or organisms in a particular area.
pull factor Noun
force that draws people to immigrate to a place.
push factor Noun
force that drives people away from a place.
For Further Exploration