This critical thinking skill is included to reinforce basic map reading skills. Have students practice frequently with the template using various types of maps found in their government textbooks.
The lesson plan and sample student response sheet were developed to match:
- Government Core Learning Goal Indicator 3.1.3
- Students will analyze the roles and relationships of regions on the formation and implementation of government policy.
- Skills for Success Indicator 3.2.1
- Students will gather, manage, and convey information using a variety of skills, resources, and technologies.
Below is the population distribution map that students will use in this lesson. Make an overhead transparency or individual student copies.
Government Core Learning Goal Indicator 3.1.3
Students will analyze the roles and relationships of regions on the formation and implementation of government policy.
Skills for Success Indicator 3.2.1
Students will gather, manage, and convey information using a variety of skills, resources, and technologies.
Lesson Objective: Students will be able to:
- Analyze a population distribution map of the U.S.
- Identify problems and possible solutions to urban population growth.
- Show how local problems affect federal government policies.
As a class, construct a t-chart listing the positive and negative aspects of population growth in an area. Discuss each item. Have students make predictions about which areas of the U.S. are the most populated and why.
- Give students copies of the Population Map and have them complete the Map Analysis Skill Sheet to familiarize students with current U.S. population trends. Review student responses.
- Have students identify the five most populated cities in the U.S. (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia). Have students place the five cities on their population map.
- Ask students to list problems that have arisen due to the population growth in U.S. cities. (air/water pollution, housing discrimination/shortages,
drug abuse, infrastructure decline, traffic problems)
- Organize students into groups and assign each group an urban problem. Provide time for each group to create a list of possible solutions. Then have each group research federal legislation that addressed these problems (Urban Renewal Program; Open Housing Act 1958; Low Interest Loans; Clean Air Act; Anti-Drug Legislation; Infrastructure loans). Have students share their findings with the class.
Have students write a letter to the Governor describing what type of federal aid Maryland needs to solve its urban problems. The letter should include reasons why this aid to urban areas would benefit all Maryland citizens.