Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students learn about sustainability by looking at social equality and the imbalance of resources. They learn that rate and ratio problems can be solved using fractions or percentages and choose the most efficient form to solve a particular problem. 

Learning goals:

  • Students learn and revise the use of ratios in everyday life
  • Students use ratios, percentages and fractions to make calculations
  • Students are learning about social equality and the imbalance of a minority chewing through more than one planet’s worth of resources.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

  • Year 7 Mathematics: Recognise and solve problems involving simple ratios (ACMNA173) 
  • Year 8 Mathematics: Solve a range of problems involving rates and ratios, with and without digital technologies (ACMNA188)

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium

Resources needed: Student Worksheet, internet to view ‘miniature village’ clip.

Extension opportunity: Students can examine other statistics in the video and compare to Australia’s population or even to other countries. 

Time needed: 50 minutes

Key words: Mathematics, rates, ratio, sustainability, resources.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.



Teacher Worksheet

Teacher content information:

Approximately 7 billion people live in the world today. The world population increases by about 203,000 people every day. All of these people need resources in order to survive such as food, clean air, clean water and shelter. Some people are consuming more resources than others and this is placing a strain on our planet's ability to provide for us. It’s estimated that humans will consume more in the next 40 years than we have since we first stood on two legs. A big issue is not just consumption itself but the inequality of people receiving these resources and the impacts on our environment.

The richest people on our planet make up 20% of the population, but they account for 77% of the consumption of resources. The poorest 20% account for just 1% of resource consumption. Given that 14% of the world's population is going hungry there is an imbalance that occurs between these two groups. The poorest countries are the places where the biggest population boom

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Student Worksheet

As a class watch the video Miniature Earth Project from Before The Cross on Vimeo.

Imagine if the world was reduced to the equivalent of just one village of a 100 people with all the existing human ratios remaining the same. Using Table 1 below to estimate the number of people in each of the groups. For example, how many people in the village would be malnourished? Have internet? Have a computer? 

Groups of people Estimated ratio Actual ratio
Malnourished or hungry
Without clean water
Who can't read
Have a computer
Have the internet
Without basic sanitation 

 2. Express the following groups of people as a ratio, then simplify:

a. Those that can’t read to those that can:


b. Without basic sanitation to people who have basic sanitation:



3. Express as a fraction of the whole population, then simplify.

a. Muslim people:



b. Women (given

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