1. Activate students' prior knowledge about crowded and uncrowded places.
Ask students if they have ever been to a place that's very crowded. Ask: What was it like? How did it make you feel? Then repeat the discussion for uncrowded places.


2. Ask students to use the worksheet to categorize their favorite places as crowded or uncrowded.

Distribute a blank Three-Column Chart to each student. Have students write in three heads: Favorite Place, Crowded or Uncrowded, and Reason. Then have students list some of their favorite places, write whether these places are crowded or uncrowded, and why they think so. Make sure students give examples of both indoor and outdoor spaces, such as cities, wilderness areas, parks, or supermarkets. Invite volunteers to share their answers.

3. Brainstorm possible reasons for crowding.
Ask students to brainstorm a list of reasons why some places are very crowded. They may give answers such as fun, small, or crowded on weekends. Then ask: Why do you think some parts of the state are more crowded than others? What about parts of the country? What about the world? Write students' responses on the board.

4. Brainstorm good and bad things about living in a crowded place.
Ask: What is good about living in a crowded place? What is bad? Draw a Venn diagram on the board and list all student responses. Encourage students to think about how they get around (car, train), where their families buy food (supermarkets), how far they live from the school, and more.

Subjects & Disciplines

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • describe crowded and uncrowded places
  • brainstorm possible reasons for crowding
  • brainstorm good and bad things about living in a crowded place

Teaching Approach

  • Learning-for-use

Teaching Methods

  • Brainstorming
  • Discussions
  • Information organization

Skills Summary

This activity targets the following skills:

Connections to National Standards, Principles, and Practices

National Council for Social Studies Curriculum Standards

  • Theme 3:  People, Places, and Environments

National Geography Standards

  • Standard 9:  The characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth's surface

What You’ll Need

Materials You Provide

  • Pencils
  • Pens

Required Technology

  • Internet Access: Optional
  • Tech Setup: 1 computer per classroom

Physical Space

  • Classroom


  • Large-group instruction

Background Information

Some places, or parts of the country and the world, are more crowded than others. Exploring the good and bad things about living in crowded and uncrowded places helps you understand why people live where they do.

Prior Knowledge

  • None



filled with too many people or things.


not containing a lot of people.