19 Citizen Kid

British Columbia
David J Smith British Columbia

David J. Smith, a teacher with more than 25 years of experience, is the author of three inspirational books for children, If the World Were a Village, If America Were a Village and This Child, Every Child. Smith believes that helping children become "world-minded" is vital to the well-being of our planet, and all of his books create a realistic picture of the world that is understandable and accessible to young people. Smith has won the U.S. Read more

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 1:00pm - 2:15pm
Waterfront Theatre
$17 / $8.50 for student groups

The size of the world's population is almost impossible to comprehend. Author David J. Smith has created two books that not only provide a way to understand the world’s variations, but allow kids to make a difference in the world through activities and insight. Re-issued and updated this year, If the World Were a Village reduces the global population to 100 people, of which 38 are school-aged villagers but only 31 attend school. This Child, Every Child shows children around the world working, playing, at home and at war. Smith makes the whole world accessible, and is a master at leading young people in discussions that will change their views about our planet and its inhabitants.

Suitable for grades 3–6

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View the study guide for this event.

Citizen Kid

It’s almost impossible for anyone to imagine the world with its six billion people. But former teacher David Smith has created two books that not only provide a way to understand the world’s variations, but allow kids to make a difference in the world through activities and insight. Re-issued and updated this year, If the World Were a Village reduces the global population to 100 people, of which 38 are school-aged villagers but only 31 attend school. This Child, Every Child shows children around the world working, playing, at home and at war. Smith makes the whole world accessible, and is a master at leading young people in discussions that will change their views about our planet and its inhabitants.

Curriculum Connection:

  • Cultures, Local & Global Community
  • Human geography
  • Global awareness
  • Math
  • Develop a respect for diversity in themselves and others
  • Develop research skills

Activities:

  1. Have students write a ‘recipe poem’ listing all of the ingredients of who they are. Post them anonymously around the room and ask students to match the recipes with their classmates.
  2. Have students visit the United Nations website for world population statistics. With this data, give students blank world maps and have them locate, shade and label the countries identified in the questions that follow:
    1. What is the current population of the world?
    2. Rank, in descending order, the 10 countries with the largest population.
  3. Ask: What proportion of the world's people live in Africa? In Asia? In North America? In Latin America? In Europe? Have students estimate what area will experience the largest growth over the next fifty years.
  4. Have students construct a bar chart showing the regional distributions of the world's population for the current year, 2025 and 2050, or have students create a color-coded map of the five main regions.
  5. Discuss with students how a growing human population has a variety of consequences. What are these consequences, both negative and positive? Ask the class: What services are easier to provide for an area of high population density? What qualities are desirable about areas of lower population density? How do they characterize their own community?

Online Resources

NOVA: "World in the Balance": Human Numbers Through Time: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/worldbalance/numb-nf.html

Journey to Planet Earth: State of the Planet: http://www.pbs.org/journeytoplanetearth/stateoftheplanet/

U.S. Census Bureau: World Population Clock: http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/popclockworld.html

World Almanac for Kids: http://www.worldalmanacforkids.com/explore/population.html

PBS Lesson Plans/Activities

PBS Mathline: What We Do Adds Up: http://www.pbs.org/teachers/mathline/concepts/earthday/activity1.shtm

NOVA: "World in the Balance": Classroom Activity: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/teachers/activities/3108_worldbal.html