Population and Agriculture
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- Subject(s): Mathematics
- Region / Country: Asia & Pacific Islands / People's Republic of China
- Grade Level(s): 3–5, 6–8
- Related Publication: Slide show | A Taste of Tongren
Students will use information from Peace Corps Volunteer Amy Throndsen's slide show about her experience in China, as a springboard for investigating numerical relationships between population and agriculture.
Begin by viewing Amy Throndsen's slide show, A Taste of Tongren, and discussing the central concepts using the accompanying lesson plan, What Can Food Tell Us About a Place? The slide show mentions that China is home to 20% of the world's population, but has only 10% of the world's arable land. Students will use this information as a springboard for investigating numerical relationships between population and agriculture.
- collect, represent, and analyze real-world data
- perform operations to produce figures for comparison
- apply the concept of ratios to human populations and natural resources
- Find the current population of China, the total land area of China, and the percentage of China's land that is arable. Useful links:
- Calculate the number of square kilometers of arable land per person in China.
- Use the same process to calculate the amount of arable land per person in the U.S. and in several other countries of your choice. Create a graph to represent this comparative information.
- How might these figures change with increased population growth and urbanization?
- How do we (or how should we) make up for global resource inequities?
Framework and Standards
- Population and land use changes have the potential to affect global food production and supply.
- Data can help us recognize trends and discrepancies in the real world.
- What can data tell us about real-world situations?
- How should we adapt to inequitable distribution of resources?
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics
- Operations and Algebraic Thinking
- Use the four operations with whole numbers to solve problems.
- Numbers and Operations in Base Ten
- Perform operations with multi-digit whole numbers.
- Ratios and Proportional Relationships
- Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.
- Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.