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Lesson Plan   

    Lesson Information
    Day Plans
    Enrichment Options
    Teacher Reflection

Stage 1
Identify Desired Results

Catchy Title: Around the World in a Day
Theme/Topic of Lesson: Geography
Time Commitment: 2 - 60minute class sessions
Subject Area(s):
    Social Studies - Geography
Grade Level(s): 6
Standards Alignment:
Class Challenge Question:

What factors have influenced population growth, migration, and settlement
patterns in world history?


This lesson gives sixth grade students the opportunity to move around a large world map that is placed on the floor. Through a video, class discussion, and activities connected with the large world map, students will gain a greater understanding of factors that have influenced people and their decisions about where to live on planet Earth. This lesson gives the teacher an opportunity to assess what students already know about geography and history, thus making this an ideal lesson to use at the beginning of the school year.

Students will have the opportunity to analyze a brief video that shows population distribution patterns over time around the world. Then students move to a large floor map where they will be walking and/or pointing to various parts of the map as they work to seek answers to difficult questions. The lesson concludes with students typing a thought-provoking essay about the concepts they have learned.

Prerequisite skills for teachers include knowing the lesson plan, video cassette, word processing skills, and knowing the discussion questions, which are provided in the lesson, well ahead of time. Familiarity with the enclosed question sheet entitled, Teacher Activity Worksheet, is a must so that the students are constantly being challenged and stimulated. This will be an important factor towards keeping the pace of this lesson moving at an appropriate rate of speed. Students should have a general awareness of the world’s continents, oceans, important meridians and parallels, and other important landmarks. They also need to be able to maneuver through a basic word processing program.

Stage 2
Determine Acceptable Evidence

Learning Objectives:

The Students will:
    • Explain characteristics that influence where people live in the world.
    • Analyze how our actions influence others in the world.


Students will be assessed informally through oral questioning. The students’ final word processing writing assignment will also be informally assessed.

Stage 3
Plan Learning Experiences


Other TechnologyComputer Lab

Students will type their final essays using a computer.

SoftwareMicrosoft Word

Students will use Microsoft Word to type their final essays.

Print MaterialsNovosad, Charles, ed. The Nystrom Desk Atlas. Chicago: Herff Jones, 1994.

This book is useful for students to use as a reference resource as they write their final reflection.

Video(s)World Population. Zero Population Growth, 1993.

Using this high-interest video is the first part of this lesson. It will stimulate thinking as well as questions from the students in order to prepare them for the rest of the lesson.

Per class
  • 10’ X 20’ tarp with a map of the world on it

  • Teacher Activity Worksheet  (View)
  • TV and VCR

Per Student
  • Student_Activity_Worksheet  (View)
  • Paper

  • Pencil

Not Specified
  • Around the World in a Day - Indicators  (View)

  • cultural diffusion - The spread of ideas from one place to another.
  • settlement patterns - The systematic occupation of land areas by humans.
  • physical features - Landforms, bodies of water, climate, soil, plant and animal life, and other natural resources.
  • population distribution - The way a population is spread out over a certain area of land.
  • interdependence - Dependence on one another; mutual dependence.


This lesson begins by having students view a thought-provoking video, titled World Population, which shows the growth of human population over the course of 2,000 years.  This lesson is one of the first lessons taught in the beginning of the school year. Therefore pre-assessment of students’ knowledge and skills will not be necessary because it is an integral part and one of the overall purposes of this introductory lesson.

One: Around the World in a Day
Daily Challenge Question: What are the factors that influence where people live in the world?
60 minutes
Set-up Directions:

Prior to day one, the teacher must create a large world map on a 10’ X 20’ tarp. Electrical tape is best for marking the boundaries of the continents. This task can be assigned to a small group of responsible, highly-motivated students as an enrichment or reward activity. Also, the teacher must prepare the video, World Population, and the TV and VCR. The focus question for the video should be written on the chalkboard: “Write down 3 generalizations you discover as you view the video.” Make one copy of the Teacher Activity Worksheet.

Teacher Presentation & Motivation:

Tell the students that they are about to see a very interesting 7-minute video. This video is very exciting because the students will enjoy watching three different events take place at the same time as the video shows a world map that becomes more and more populated as the centuries pass.

Activity 1 - World Population Video

Students are to watch the video closely and the Teacher Activity Worksheet provides examples of generalizations from the video.

Conclude by having the students verbally summarize the generalizations presented in the video.

Focus for Media Interaction
Focus for Media Interaction: The focus for media interaction is a specific task to complete and/or information to identify during or after viewing of video segments, Web sites or other multimedia elements.


Viewing Activities
What will your students be responsible for while viewing this piece of multi-media or video?

Students are to watch the video closely and write down three generalizations that they can make by thinking about the content on the video.

Post Viewing Activities
How will students utilize the information they gathered while viewing the multi-media or video?
At the conclusion of the video, proceed to Think-Pair-Share and then to teacher-led class discussion.


Activity 2 - Kinesthetic Map
Students sit around the perimeter of the map as the teacher asks questions that begin on a basic level and progressively get more challenging. Students respond by moving to places on the world map in answer to teacher questions. See Teacher Activity Worksheet for questions and problems that can be posed. Conclude this lesson with a verbal review of the information discussed in this activity.


Wrap Up:

The teacher will lead a class discussion that will answer the daily challenge question. Verbally review topics discussed and learned in this day’s lesson.

Two: Influencing Others in the World
Daily Challenge Question: How do our actions influence others in the world?
60 minutes
Set-up Directions:

Prior to class, the teacher must reserve the school’s computer lab. Make sure that the printers are working and that they are loaded with paper. Have the The Nystrom Desk Atlas available for student use. Copy the Student Activity Worksheet for each student. Group students in pairs prior to the beginning of class. Have extra pencils and paper for students to use.

Teacher Presentation & Motivation:
Review information discussed in the previous day’s lesson. Give each student the Student Activity Worksheet and review the directions and expectations with the students.


Activity 1 - Word Processing
Students are to type a short essay about how the actions of individuals and the United States as a whole affect the rest of the world. They must explain at least three actions and use proper CUPS (Capitalization, Usage, Punctuation, and Spelling). Students may use the Nystrom Desk Atlas as a reference material.


Activity 2 - Peer Editing

Students take turns editing each others’ papers. The teacher should assign partners. Peers should insist that fellow classmates include an introduction, conclusion, and well-phrased responses to the Class Challenge Question. Notify students when they have five minutes remaining in this activity so that students may finalize their essays.

Wrap Up:

Students may volunteer to read aloud the final drafts of their essays. Discuss as a class some of the most positive ways to influence others around the world.

Enrichment Options
Community Connection

Classes could act on their positive ways to influence others around the world.
For example, they could initiate a recycling program, send the best essays to be printed in the local newspaper, or create posters cautioning the public about how to refrain from negatively impacting others around the world.

Cross-Curricular Extensions

A language arts connection would be analyzing a newspaper to find examples of people making a positive difference on our planet. Students could then write a letter to the editor outlining some of the students’ own proposals.

An art connection could be made by creating posters to advertise how members of the public can make a difference in the world around them.

Stage 4
Teacher Reflection

As a reflective practitioner, note how this lesson could be adjusted after its initial implementation. How successful were the students? What did the assessment demonstrate about the students’ learning? What skills do the students need to revisit? What instructional strategies worked and what made them successful? What will you change the next time you use this lesson? Why?

Author: Darryl C. Calloway
Modified by: Megan E. Wheatley
Program: Maryland Initiative for New Teachers (MINT)
Author's School System: Queen Anne's County Public Schools
Author's School: Sudlersville Middle School