- Interpret interactive, data‐driven tools to measure human progress change since 1950 in the USA and abroad.
- Compare and contrast international results to make inferences and draw conclusions about changes and improvements over time in the quality of life: locally, regionally, and globally.
- Analyze evidence to support or refute common misconceptions about the evolving state of humanity.
- Evaluate results and form conclusions to engage in intelligent discourse and debate about the factors that determine quality of life and the relationship between the individual and society.
Part 1: Bellringer: Essential Questions
Directions: Respond to the Essential Questions below (or on a teacher provided survey link) with careful thought and explanation.
- Create a google or Microsoft survey form
- Written response and oral sharing of answers
|Is life getting better or worse?
Reply on a scale of 1–5:
1 = Strongly disagree
2 = Disagree
3 = Neutral
4 = Agree
5 = Strongly agree
|Explain your choice and provide
an example as evidence.
|What is your perspective based on?
Family, friends, teachers, media? Explain.
Part 2: Make a Prediction
Directions: Choose your own country of origin or perhaps a country of your ancestry, write it in the blank, then circle either increased or decreased based on you what you believe top be true.
Complete this sentence: “The average income of a person in _________________________ increased/decreased in the last 15 years.”
Part 3: Analyze, compare, contrast, and interpret online sources to draw conclusions
Directions: Below are two established online interactive sites designed to help us understand the state of humanity and our progress as a species on Earth. Complete the Cornell‐style table below to provide insight into each’s purpose, the data they provide and their credibility. (Be sure to align your responses and prompts upon completion).
|Measure of America||Human Progress|
|Mission, Purpose, Goals|
|Call to Action|
|Who publishes the site?|
|What can you discover about
|Are the sources and documents each
uses credible and reliable? Explain.
|Describe how the sites are similar?|
|Describe how they are different?|
Can you find and identify evidence
|What persons, organizations, public
leaders support the work?
|List and describe your 2 to 3
main takeaways from each site.
Part 4: Using Humanprogress.org
Seeking evidence supported truths
Directions: Follow the steps below to complete this portion of the lesson.
- In the chart below, respond blindly to each of the prompts by circling or highlighting the answer you believe is correct. Once complete, as a class we will compare our responses by moving into small groups and discussing why you chose your response.
|Average life expectancy has…||Increased||Decreased|
|Average infant mortality has…||Increased||Decreased|
|Average income per person has…||Increased||Decreased|
|Food supply per person has…||Increased||Decreased|
|Average years of schooling has…||Increased||Decreased|
|Overall level of democracy in the world has…||Increased||Decreased|
- Watch the Human Progress YouTube video trailer
- Ask students to express their takeaways
- How do they feel about the message on progress?
- Click on “Life in Numbers” to compare your personal responses to the actual correct answers, which are supported by data on the webpage. As you read and review, be sure to click links to learn more about each measuring tool (you may be required to construct a vocab document to support your learning and retention to apply the information later in a written or objective assessment).
- Once you have completed Steps a through c, it is time to begin using the interactive tool on the web page. Select birth year and country, then a country to compare.
- You are encouraged to select the birth year of a parent/grandparent/guardian and change countries to expand your discoveries.
- Suggest specific times and countries based on the in eras we are/have/will study in this class.
- Use the chart below to collect data. Add rows to further your collection of data.
Why you chose
this specific year
|Improvements in USA since chosen year. Explain how life has improved using the categories provided in the charts generated on the page: life expectancy, infant survival, income per capita, food supply, education, democracy||Alternate country.
Why did you select this one?
Explain how life has improved using the categories provided in the charts generated on the page: life expectancy, infant survival, income per capita, food supply, education, democracy
Part 5: Exit Ticket and Extension Activities
- Exit ticket: At the conclusion of this lesson, you will submit an exit ticket (teacher will determine format) to provide a thoughtful reflect on your takeaways from this experience, the value of the lesson
Lesson Activities and Projects (individual or small group at teacher discretion): You will be assigned or have the option to choose one or more of the three extension activities suggested in the lesson plan document. collaboration or presentation are permitted by the teacher.
- Additional activities that can be substituted or added to one of the above options, at teacher discretion can be based on the creation cross‐comparative study charts:
- Demonstrating progress in a particular region of the world, using at least three separate countries from that region, as it compares to the US then and now, or over specific time increments
- Incorporate charts and explanations that demonstrate understanding of growth and progress over various time periods or historical eras
- Hypothesize and produce a thesis that accounts for the differences and similarities between countries and regions in terms of human progress, then write an essay using data to support your hypothesis
Potential writing or class discussion idea:
- A Scenario for Civil Discourse: The situation: You are at a family reunion and at your table are relatives, both immediate and distant of varying ages, who are carrying on a conversation about life in the world today. The consensus you are hearing is that life was so much better in the “good ole days” and the country is falling part. They are sharing stories from their personal perspectives about how much better their parents and grandparents had it. Some are even blaming the government or politicians.
Prompt: Having just completed this lesson, explain how you would use what you have learned, including the data and the conclusions you came to, to join in the conversation, knowing you may be presenting an entirely opposite, yet informed perspective. Remember, you are not trying to win, or force others to change their views. You are simply encouraging people to consider multiple perspectives. Think about:
- What questions might you ask to encourage them to think beyond their limited perspectives? To focus on them on one aspect of progress?
- Explain how you would introduce data into the conversation or even convince them to look at the sources.
- How might you help the conversation to become one that focuses on how much better off we are now, both individually, and as a country, then those who lived several decades ago? What subjects could you focus on and how would use data to support your view.