6, 7, 8

Students will learn about overpopulation and its connection to hunger.

Print2 hours

Students will:

  • define the concepts of overpopulation and population density.
  • relate overpopulation to hunger.
  • computers for research
  • copy of lesson “Is hunger caused by overpopulation?” from Kempf, Stepahine. "Finding Solutions to Hunger." World Hunger Year, 1997. Web. (Handout)
  • population density
  • overpopulation

Kempf, Stepahine. "Finding Solutions to Hunger." World Hunger Year, 1997. Web.


  1. Tell the students that with over 7 billion people on our earth, overpopulation creates problems for the planet. Tell them that today they are going to explore whether population causes world hunger. 

    • Explore the idea of overpopulation as a root cause of hunger by examining two countries (the Netherlands and Afghanistan) to determine if overpopulation is a reality or a myth. See the handout.  
    • Encourage students to conduct further Internet research of other reputable sources about the relationship between overpopulation and hunger. 
  2. Discuss with students the real causes of hunger. What are the real problems with overpopulation? What is the problem with believing that overpopulation causes hunger?  

  3. Students identify parts of the U.S. that might be considered overpopulated and research hunger to see if this myth is based on fact. What are the causes of hunger in those areas?


Students demonstrate an understanding of overpopulation, hunger, and possible solutions to the hunger crisis in the world by writing a three-paragraph essay.