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Population Education


3rd, 4th, 5th


Science, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Activity - Classroom

Regional Focus




Earth: Apple of Our Eye

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Population Connection

  • This lesson plan on food production and agriculture centers around a demonstration that uses an apple to show students the small fraction of Earth's land that can be used for farming, followed by discussion questions and a follow-up activity.

Teaching Tips


  • Teachers can use the apple demonstration for students in a range of grade levels and then modify the remainder of the lesson to fit the age and ability levels of their students. 
  • This lesson is engaging and thought-provoking, especially for visual learners.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers who have not used the Population Education website before need to enter an email address to download the lesson plan.
  • Students should have a basic understanding of fractions. 
  • Teachers will need an apple, a knife, and paper towels or a plate for the demonstration.


  • This resource would be a great lesson for elementary math classes that are working on fractions, where students could also use modeling clay to divide up the segments.
  • This could be used in a geography or social studies class for lessons about where people live and where we grow food.
  • Before cutting the apple, teachers could have students predict what fraction of the Earth is used for farming and then compare the students' predictions to the actual fraction.
  • After going through the discussion questions, students could discuss with a partner or write down what was surprising and interesting about the lesson.
  • Other related resources include this video about creating a perfect farm, this article on food waste, and this activity about the space needed to grow food.
Scientist Notes
The resource models land availability and explains the impact it has on the agricultural system. This is recommended for the classroom.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Mathematics
    • Number & Operations—Fractions (3-5)
      • 3.NF.A.3 Explain equivalence of fractions in special cases, and compare fractions by reasoning about their size.
      • 3.NF.A.1 Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b. For example: If a rectangle (i.e. the whole) is partitioned into 3 equal parts, each part is 1/3. Two of those parts would be 2/3.
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