Mason: It is sort of like the real world because Giovanni has this big piece of land and 42 people. Aliza has 1 square but she has more people than Giovanni.
Teacher: More people live in that one square than in that whole green country. How will it impact their lives and their cultures?
Ellie: I have a question. Is the population going to affect how many people immigrate from our country?
Teacher: That is something we need to think about.
Aliza: It might matter because like in China, if there are too many people, they might want to move.
Teacher: If you are in Aliza’s country and there are 71 people squished into that tiny square, do you think they might be anxious to get out to where they could have more land?
Teacher: We should figure out how many people per square so that we can compare them.
Giovanni: Joe’s country will have a really big immigration rate. They will feel really squished. There might be a lot more people immigrating from Joe’s place because they are squished.
Kali: I think the population does matter. He [Joe] has tons of spots and tons of people, but they are also squished among other countries that have tons of people, mine and Mason's. Our countries are practically hugging each other. They are surrounding each other. And they have got millions of squished people. You want to move. You want to get out of there. There are places like Giovanni’s where they might have too much room and people start to feel too free.
Giovanni: I don’t think that it is possible to feel too free.
Kali: They have too much room so they want to move somewhere else.
Rose: Population does matter. If you have a huge country and one person in it (haha) that person would just be like “Hi?.... Hello??”
Teacher: So if there is not enough population people might feel isolated and lonely?.
Max: The population would matter because in Aliza’s country, there wouldn’t really be room for an airport. The air plane would be running over people.
Teacher: I also think about them having to have really tall buildings.
Rose: Like China!!
Max: The other thing is, see in a lot of these countries. Kirby has 142 and Aliza only has 71. Aliza still kind of has more
Teacher: More PER…
Max: More density because even though Kirby has about double… no, exactly double, but she will have a lesser density because her land is much bigger than Aliza’s.
Emeline: I don’t think it really matters because we are doing a game about mixing cultures. I think it is getting off track.
Teacher: I think it will affect your culture.
Giovanni: I think the population vs land does matter. Joe has the most people and the most land. Joe’s country won’t have much need to technology. Aliza’s country will need a lot of technology. She will probably need airplanes that take off from sky scrapers.
So, we set out to calculate our population density. It is fairly straightforward until you have left over people that need to be split evenly among the squares of land. There was a variety of methods. Here are a few (quite beautiful, if you ask me!). The children worked for nearly 2 hours. Students who had figured out a good strategy for dividing the left over people made their way around the room to help support their friends.
"We have 24 5/8 in each pile, we took about an hour to figure it out. This is the final way I did it , but I did two other ways that were NOT right! We made 8 towers (one for each square of land) and added 2 people to each tower until we had 24 people. We had a few extra people, not enough for each tower to get one more, so Kirby found out it would be 5/8. She knew I had 8 squares of land and we have five people left. So she divided the five squares into eighths and gave 1/8 to each square. She did it again until she had given away all five people making the final answer 24 5/8."
Creating, imagining and innovating
Taking responsible risks
Striving for accuracy
Listening with understanding
Remaining open to continuous learning