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GEO 03 – Population Distribution


You can download this activity as a rich text file (RTF) using the links at the bottom of the page.





Subject Area

    Geography





Suggested Level

    Years 9–10




Overview

    This classroom activity uses the Year Book Australia, 2008 (cat. no. 1301.0) to look at the distribution of population in Australia. It examines the methods used to represent distribution. In addition, the manner in which geographers describe a distribution pattern is modelled. Factors affecting the distribution are classified into social, historical, environmental, economic and political in order to explain the distribution of population.



Requirements

    • Attachment, Map of Australian states and territories



Instructions

    Representing the Distribution of Population

    1. Ask the students to use their own knowledge and without reference to an atlas or textbook, to show the distribution of population in
    Australia using a map of Australia (see attachment at the bottom of this page).

    2. Working in groups, students should compare their distribution patterns and the methods chosen to represent the distribution.

    3. Students should compare their maps with the distribution of population map (Figure 1). On Figure 1, the distribution of population is shown by
    small dots. Each dot represents 1,000 persons.

    4. Ask students to identify the advantages or disadvantages of representing population distribution as a dot distribution.

    FIGURE 1: DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION IN AUSTRALIA

    Image: Figure 1: Distribution of Population in Australia
    Describing the Distribution of Population in Australia

    Students describe the distribution of population from Figure 1 and support their response with data drawn from the map and appropriate geographic conventions. These guidelines may help:
    • Is the population evenly or unevenly spread?
    • Where do most people live?
    • Where do least people live?
    • How does the pattern change across the area?
    • Are there exceptions to the pattern described above?
    Explaining the Distribution of Population

    1. Ask students to brainstorm their own reasons to explain the distribution of population in Australia or use the list provided in Table 1 below.
    Image: Table 1. Factors affecting the distribution of population in Australia.
    2. Classify these factors into social, historical, environmental, economic and political. Some factors may be classified in more than one category.

    3. Students choose one factor from each category and discuss its influence on the population distribution in Australia.


Extension

    Compare the distribution of the Australian population (Figure 1) with the distribution of the indigenous population using figure 7.23 in Year Book Australia, 2008 (cat no. 1301.0), noting that the legend is different on each map.



Glossary

    Distribution of Population


    Distribution of population is the spread or arrangement of something over an area.


References

    Note: Links to ABS publications are to the most recent release. Previous releases can be accessed by selecting the 'Past & Future Releases' tab.

    Year Book Australia, 2008 (cat. no. 1301.0)



Download the Activity


Student Activity





Teacher Solutions



Marking Rubric


Attachments
Geo_03_Pop Distribution_Student Worksheet.rtf
Geo_03_Pop Distribution_Student Worksheet 2.rtf
Geo_03_Pop Distribution_Student Worksheet 3 extn.rtf
Geo_03_Pop Distribution_Teacher Answer Sheet.rtf
Geo_03 Pop Distribution Rubric2.rtf



Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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