Population Matters

School materials

School materials

Resources for introducing and exploring the issue of population in the classroom are listed below. They include a brief summary, deeper insights and case studies for older and more developed students and information about textbooks and films. Contact our education group for details of our speakers and facilitators. Sex and relationship education material is provided by the Personal Social Health & Economic Education Association. Please get in touch if you have any questions or wish to contribute to education on population issues.

Introducing the issues

Population Matters’ Material for Geography Teachers
Our comprehensive introductory briefing for geography teachers interested in exploring the topic of population and sustainability. A thorough overview of the main teaching-points, plus a helpful guide to further resources. Available in PDF or Word format.

BBC Bitesize – Population and Sustainability
Does an excellent job of framing population growth in context with its ill effects on society and the environment. Includes sections on population growth, waste, pollution, endangered species, fishing, forestry and sustainable development.

Teacher Resource Bank (Environmental Science) – Assessment and Qualifications Alliance
Provides a number of useful links to information about population, sustainability, environmental management, energy use and climate change. Gives key teaching points for each, suitable for teaching at the General Certificate of Secondary Education level.


How to Teach Population – The Guardian
Lesson ideas including debates on food shortages and studying population pyramids.

Student Factsheets – Young People’s Trust for the Environment
A selection of factsheets on the environment for students to work through while exploring the effects of population growth. Other factsheets are available on pollution and endangered species.

Population Information and World of Seven Billion – Population Connection
Selections of free graphs and infographics useful for presentations and for students to explore by themselves.

Education Resources (Population) – National Geographic
Free activities, whole lessons and case studies on a variety of issues related to population that are filterable by students / teachers, subject and the type of resource.

Just How Fast is the World Population Growing? – TES Connect
Two worksheets for children on population growth featuring projections and reasons why the world population is growing. Linked to Second Geography Unit 3 – People Everywhere and Primary Unit 25 – Geography and Numbers.

Enough Room for You? – TES Connect
Worksheets addressing population density and ecological footprints. Linked to Secondary Geography Unit 3 – People Everywhere and Unit 14 – Can the Earth Cope?

Case studies

Student Resources – Sustainable Population Australia
A booklet for students and three short videos on environmental conservation through smaller families.

China’s One-Child Policy – TES Connect
A lesson comprising a PowerPoint, an activity and a video framing overpopulation in the context of China’s attempts to tackle theirs.

Youthquake – Population Matters
Summarises the key points of population growth and provides an excellent in-depth analysis of population growth and policy in the United Kingdom.


The selected films are useful for not only specific sections, but as an end-of-term video framing and summarising the topic of population.

Critical Mass
A documentary about the impacts of human population growth and the links between consumption and psychology.

Mother: Caring for 7 Billion
Follows the story of a mother trying to understand how and why female empowerment is linked to the sustainability of our world.

Sense & Sustainability
Asks the question, “Is a species set on endless growth sustainable?”


Assessment and Qualifications Alliance A2 Biology, Unit 4: Populations and Environment – Collins
Specific to the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance course but provides a number of questions that may be useful to individuals not taking the course.

Migration & Population Issues (Volume 12) – Independence Educational Publishers
Useful material tailored for Key Stage 3 students. Introduces migration with a case study of the United Kingdom.

Our Changing Population (Volume 292) – Independence Educational Publishers
Covers migration and population. Tailored primarily towards the 14 – 18 age group.

Sustainability (Volume 290) – Independence Educational Publishers
Covers sustainability issues and solutions. Tailored primarily towards the 14 – 18 age group.

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