• 1. Introduce the term population and discuss crowding.
    Introduce the term population. Tell students that population is the whole number of people living in an area, such as a town or city. Ask: What happens when more people live in the same amount of space? Provide students with the following example: In the middle of the school year, many more students join their classroom. Ask: What changes would we have to make? Encourage students to think about where new students would sit, how much noisier it would be, and any other changes they can think of.

    2. Explain why some areas are more crowded than others.
    Explain that people live in large numbers in some places and in small numbers in other places. Tell students that the reasons why include access to:

    • water
    • food
    • jobs
    • transportation

    Ask: What other reasons can you think of?

    3. Conduct a brief simulation.

    Direct the majority of the class into a small area of the classroom and allow three students to “claim” the rest of the classroom for themselves. Once students have taken their places, ask them to be as quiet as possible and to make silent observations on their current situation. Then ask: What do you notice? Ask students in the crowded area to share observations. Then ask students in the uncrowded area to share theirs.

    4. Compare and contrast living in crowded and uncrowded places.

    Have students return to their regular places in the classroom. Ask them to describe what they think it would be like to live in a place that's very crowded. Ask: What’s good about living in a crowded place? What’s not good about it?

  • Materials You Provide

    • Pencils
    • Pens

    Required Technology

    • Internet Access: Optional
    • Tech Setup: 1 computer per classroom

    Recommended Prior Activities

  • Background Information

    Some places, parts of the country, or parts of the world are more crowded than others. Exploring the reasons why people live where they do helps you understand the good and bad things about living in crowded or uncrowded places.


    Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    crowded Adjective

    filled with too many people or things.

    population Noun

    total number of people or organisms in a particular area.

    uncrowded Adjective

    not containing a lot of people.

  • For Further Exploration