Shifting Demographics


US History (11th) Contemporary America Shifting Demographics
Students respond to photos of Sun Belt and Rust Belt cities. Then, they study the facts of population shifts from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt. Next, they examine changing immigration trends in relation to those demographic shifts. Finally, they explore current demographic trends and make predictions.

This learning experience is designed for device-enabled classrooms. The teacher guides the lesson, and students use embedded resources, social media skills, and critical thinking skills to actively participate. To get access to a free version of the complete lesson, sign up for an exploros account.

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Teacher Pack

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Here are the teacher pack items for Shifting Demographics:

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Overview

In this experience, students respond to photos of Sun Belt and Rust Belt cities. Then, they study the facts of population shifts from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt. Next, they examine changing immigration trends in relation to those demographic shifts. Finally, they explore current demographic trends and make predictions.

Objectives

  • Analyze the population shift from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt.
  • Explain the changing population of immigrants in the contemporary United States.


The period from the 1970s to the present has seen dramatic changes in demographics—population patterns—in the United States. In this experience, you’ll learn the what, where, and why of the changing demographics of the United States, and you’ll also look at some of the effects.  

Objectives

  • Analyze the population shift from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt.
  • Explain the changing population of immigrants in the contemporary United States.




Sun Belt: Downtown Houston, 2011




Rust Belt: Abandoned auto body plant, Detroit, 2009


Look at the two photos. The first photo shows an image from the Sun Belt in 2011. The second photo shows an image from the Rust Belt in 2009. 


Based on the photos, what do you think the names Sun Belt and Rust Belt mean? 

Post your answer

Use students’ responses as discussion starters.

Be sure to point out that the photographs show very different perspectives on the Rust Belt and Sun Belt. Students may say that there are rusty, abandoned factories in Houston, as well. The images reflect general trends in regions of the United States.

Tell students that they will learn more details, from a more objective slant, in the next scene.


When everyone is ready to continue, unlock the next scene.

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The Complete List of Learning Experiences in Contemporary America Unit.
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