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Crash Course


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Biology, History, Mathematics

Resource Type

  • Videos, 10 minutes, 53 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus


Human Population Growth

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  • This video explains human population growth, especially the exponential growth that has occurred since 1650 that can be explained by humans conquering the limiting factors of food, disease, and inhospitable environments. 
  • Students will learn about r-selected vs. K-selected species, growth rates, limiting factors, estimates of Earth's carrying capacity for humans, and ecological footprints.
Teaching Tips


  • This video is engaging and includes funny graphics and explanations. 
  • After viewing, students will have a good basic understanding of human population growth. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand the terms population and exponential.
  • Students should be familiar with the concept of population growth. 


  • This video would work equally well in a science or social studies classroom as there are many historic events described and connections to ecological carrying capacity of populations.
  • Social studies or ethics classes could discuss the connections between equal rights for women and girls, access to healthcare, the rights of other species to exist, and the topics in the video.
  • This content is essential for environmental science or ecology classes and can supplement AP environmental science classes.
  • Try pausing the video incrementally for students to share out their thinking. Consider adding their ideas to a class brain map or individual graphic organizers. 
  • This video can be used as an introduction to explore carbon footprints, ecological footprints, the 6th mass extinction event on Earth, and climate solutions.
  • After viewing, have students generate a list of questions they have or related topics they are interested in. Then, have students answer one question or research one topic with additional videos and articles. 
Scientist Notes
This video explores the impact of population growth on the environment. It provides a historical background on population growth and ways to reduce our ecological footprint to avoid human extinction. This resource is insightful and recommended for teaching.

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

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-1. Use mathematical and/or computational representations to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales.
      • HS-LS2-6. Evaluate claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.ES.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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