Lesson 2: Where We Live

Grades 5–8

words to know

Strand: Map Literacy

Skills and Objectives

  • bullet Explain the factors that influence Guam’s
    population density, including its geography
    and economic activity
  • bullet Research factors that could influence future
    population growth and density on Guam
  • bullet Forecast future population growth and population
    distribution on Guam

Materials: Where We Live Student Worksheet 2, Guam wall map, pen, computer (optional)

Time Required: 45 minutes

    Getting Started

  1. Using the information included on the Guam wall map, lead a student discussion on the factors that drive Guam’s economic growth. What are the goods and services that drive the economy of Guam? How are they related to the geographic location of the island? Why are they important to the future of Guam?

  2. Explain that several political decisions may have a future impact on Guam’s population and economic activity. Discuss two of these decisions:
    • Between 2010 and 2014, approximately 8,000 U.S. soldiers stationed on the island of Okinawa, Japan, are expected to move to Guam.
    • The U.S. government has established the new Mariana Trench National Monument in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. It will preserve a rich and unique natural area, but it will also restrict commercial and recreational fishing, which may affect Guamanians.

  3. Individually or in pairs, have students use the Internet and other resources to research the facts or data of these decisions. They may want to start with the following Web site: The CIA World Factbook for Guam at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gq.html. Using this and other sites students may find, ask them to focus their research on the geography and natural resources of Guam, its demographics, its economic issues, and its history with the U.S. military. Using the information students find, have them forecast how and where Guam’s population might shift based on potential changes in economic activity.
  4. Using the Student Worksheets

  5. Based on their research, have students use the map on Where We Live
    Student Worksheet 2 to mark up their forecasts of how the population might change in the future. Have them include the maps in an oral presentation of their forecasts.


Following the presentations, lead a student discussion on the forecasts they’ve heard about the future growth and distribution of Guam’s population. Which are most credible? If the forecasts come about, how might they be reflected in 2010 or 2020 Guam maps?

Teaching Options

Younger or less skilled students can focus on the facts outlined on the Census at a Glance reference page. Pair students and challenge them to ask and answer questions about the 2010 Census Guam based on the printed information and what they’ve learned in class. Have them share their questions and answers. Ask them to share Census at a Glance at home.

Older or more skilled students can build upon the following historical details to write a factual essay about the factors that have led to the rise in population from 1710 to present day. Hold a brief discussion on the history of the census in Guam. Explain that the island’s first census was taken in 1710 when it was still in Spain’s possession. The population count then was 3,614. From 1710 through 1897, the government of Spain conducted 20 additional census counts. After the Spanish-American War, Spain ceded Guam to the United States in 1898. The naval governor took a census in Guam in 1901 and 1910. Since 1920, the United States has included Guam in its decennial census.

Privacy Policy




Here's something interesting from Scholastic.com