In human geography the students are learning about population density and distribution. After going through several days of effects of populations density, the students did an in-depth look at Bangladesh and the effects of population density. The lesson included an article on the effects of population density on Bangladesh. Almost all of my students have never heard of Bangladesh. The make the article more approachable, I inundated them with images, maps, videos, and discussions that built their background knowledge.
I first gave them the location of Bangladesh and its relative size to the USA.
Then, I gave them a map of Bangladesh. The class discussed the impact of the water on the population.
After looking at the maps, the students watched a three minute video clip on the population growth and water problems associated with the rapid population increase. Finally, the students looked at several images of Dhaka. Again, the class discussed the visuals.
The process took thirty minutes. The students read and annotated the article. It was great! The students were engaged the entire time they read. The post reading discussion was high level and their comprehension was fantastic! It just shows the power of building their understanding before they read.