IN YOUR CLASSROOM
Welcome to In Your Classroom, which invites teachers
(and parents too) to look at Discovering Mexico from a
geographers point of viewand to share that viewpoint
with students and children.
In Your Classroom presents several geographic ideas, accompanied
by questions, activities, and supporting references. Every screen can be
printed to use in a classroom or at home.
This months activities are geared toward students in grades
K4, 58, and
912. In Your Classroom you can explore . . .
|Population: A Growing Problem|
Fresh fruits and vegetables attract a throng to a Mexico City market.
Click image to enlarge
||The numbers are difficult to grasp: in 1950, the
megalopolis of Mexico City had a population
of 3.1 million. Today, 15.6 million live there. Thats a growth of 12.5
million in under 50 years, about a quarter of a million people a year.
Mexicos population has more than tripled since 1950. It was about 94
million people in 1995 and the projection for 2000 is more than 102 million.
Where do all of these people live? Where do they get food and water? And
where do they work?|
Demography is central to
geography. If you can understand the number and spatial distribution of
people, you can explain the demands for road development and the siting
of additional landfills. If you can understand the number and gender of
people under the age of 14, you can explain the future needs for schools and
hospitals, parks and jobs.
| Click image to enlarge
||Geographers look at the spatial patterns and processes of the
world in the light of demographic indicators such as
infant mortality and
fertility rates, and
A hazy sky overarches Mexico Citys urban sprawl.
Click image to enlarge
||We can identify fundamental questions about
geography and demography:|
1. What are spatial patterns of human population?
2. What are ecological consequences of those patterns?
In Mexico, we can examine rural-urban
migration, especially to Mexico City, and
to the United States, for example. We can look at the consequences of dense
masses of people in cities, or of traffic congestion and
In addition to teaching about population,
consider devoting a full week to Mexico. Youll find a wealth of
National Geographic resources to enliven your curriculum, including the August
1996 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC magazine,
a special issue on Mexico. See The Geography Library for
other helpful references.
Compass Rose by Charlie Regan