Unit 2: Reflection

Unit 2: Challenges of a Growing Population

Of the entire world, China is the country with the highest population so far. With a whopping around one billion people living in China, China has been facing overpopulation problems ever since the country started to thrive economically. From this unit, I learned that as a country, China has experienced many droughts throughout its history. These droughts led to famine which eventually rose the death rate, or the amount of people who died every year in the country. China has many ways of achieving to its ultimate goal, to reach zero population growth. One example was the One Child policy, where every couple was only allowed to have one child in their lifetime. This rule was commonly seen as a unfair one because in accidents like a gas leak, some couples’ only child would be lost in the explosion. Even now, China’s one child policy still holds, but the bonds have loosened slightly. Even though the one child policy was cruel, it’s efficient on moving China towards it goal on achieving zero population growth. From this chapter, we also learned that China has problems with its growing population because with more people, the demand for energy use rises rapidly. Therefore, if China could control the population growth, then it would lessen the demand for energy use.


As a learner, for Unit 2 I would aim for the same badge that I got in the last unit, the second highest one with the gold tier. I’m not sure what it’s called this unit, but in Unit 1 it was call Bartolome De Las Casas badge. I hope to achieve this by reading thoroughly and actually understanding the key points of what the chapter wants to teach me. Then I’ll write down the key points and study deeper into it with my notes.


In the Unit 1 reflection, I set a goal for Unit 2. I wanted to try to determine if China’s population is decreasing at all. I also wanted to challenge myself to find the reason why China’s population topped the highest in the entire world. And I have found evidence for both goals. In my first goal, I saw in the TCI textbook that the one child policy did decrease China’s population, which meant that on a graph, the slope would start to drop a little. I found that China had many ways of trying to achieve zero population growth, whether it was about the one child policy or the Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Either way, I did find out that nowadays, China’s population is starting to get under control. My second goal was to find out why China’s population was the highest. I gathered the evidence simply from what I learned in Unit 1. China’s geography is very suitable for settlement, which meant that along the coast, near south east China, economy would rise quickly as to because of the easy trading by sea. Some of the most populous cities in China are along the coast, for example Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen or Guangzhou. So when there’s a fertile place, it attracts people to settle there because they might find better jobs there. Since China’s east coast was rich with fertile soil, the most of China’s population condensed all in the coastal regions, resulting high population. (Picture taken from TCI Chapter 30 – China: The World’s Most Populous Country)





Just last week we had our fall parent conferences. For social studies, we discussed about class presentations, challenge by choice options and how much time I was spending each night on homework. We’ve only had one class presentation in quarter one, so there wasn’t much to say. But my teacher did mention that in semester 2, there would be a presentation on whatever subject the student wanted. I immediately chose three options: stellar, mythology or computer science. And then in quarter one, the Challenge by Choice options were introduced, on which the teacher, Mr. Pierce, suggested me to go to extra field tripes or reading/other clubs. Finally, we talked about how much time I was spending on homework every night. You can see a essay I wrote last year about “Is over scheduling of activities after school harming students?” that can elaborate about why a student might have little time to spare for homework. I told my parents and teacher that I spent about 1.5 – 2 hours every day on homework, and Mr. Pierce pointed out that I wasn’t paying attention to the time limit in the planner. The time limit was the fact that each sixth grader should only spend 60 minutes on homework, seventh graders should only spend 70 minutes, and eighth graders should only spend 80 minutes. Since I was spending too much time on homework, Mr. Pierce suggested me to start relaxing and actually learn how to use time carefully and smartly. As a goal for quarter 2 and the rest of the year, I plan to use time more quickly and efficiently to leave some time to sleep.


Unit 1: Reflection

Unit 1: Maps and Geography

The first unit of social studies was titled “Maps and Geography”, so expected, we learned a lot about maps and geography. Our unit started off with one of the main questions: In ten years time, will people still be using paper maps? Debates were risen about this question, which led us to the next part. We questioned ourselves about what maps include. From that, the KTW (Know, Think, Why) Chart was born. In this chart, we listed what we know about maps, what we think we know, and why. This chart helped us a lot through the unit. As homework, we were assigned to complete two packets from the textbook. Personally, I think these packets really challenged what you learned from class, helping us improve on the test. Then we looked at what makes a good, interesting, informational map. One website that showed us lots of interesting maps was a website called 40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World. The picture below was taken from the website.

Map of Europe Showing Literal Chinese Translations for Country Names


That was one of the most enjoyable parts of this unit. I really loved how enjoyable our teacher made this class really interesting, fun and engaging. I really liked how even though the assignments or homework might take some time, the class is unique and enjoyable. I also really like how there’s a lot of systems, like the China Chair, the Current Events Slips, the Elysium Field thing, and the Prize Box. Some may be bad, like the $2 box, where if you lose something you need to pay in order to get it back. The money goes to the charity.


Another cool system that our teacher made was the Badge Award, given out after each unit. For this unit, there are four badges: the Neil Armstrong badge, or exceeding above standards. Bartolome De Las Casas Badge is like meeting expectations, with three different tiers like Gold, Silver and Bronze. The Ferdinand Magellan Badge, which is like approaching standards, also separated with Gold, Silver and Bronze. And the Marco Polo Badge, which represents the developing badge. I was given the Bartolome De Las Casas Gold badge. I agree with the badge I was given, because I hadn’t expect such a low badge, but I also think I don’t deserve the Neil Armstrong badge. From the grades from the assessments and the work habits, I think the Bartolome De Las Casas badge was the most fit for me.


While studying for a test, I found that taking notes on all the main points of the textbook just didn’t work. It was tedious work, and sometimes I didn’t get what the main point was. So instead, for the summative, I studied by reading the two chapters and doing the reading challenge. I especially like studying with the reading challenge because it questions you like the actual test. Similar to last year, I found that using the reading challenge and reading through the chapters again can be really useful when studying for a test.


For Unit 2: Challenges of a Growing Population, I want to set a goal to try to determine if China’s population is decreasing at all. I also want to challenge myself to find the reason why China’s population topped the highest in the entire world.