Some of the information on this page comes from http://emsc32.nysed.gov/ciai/socst/grade3/geograph.html
Click here for the Geography note taking guide
Click here for a “What is Geography Booklet” from national geographic
Here is a video about the 5 themes of Geography
Geography literally means “earth description.” It seeks to describe and explain the distribution of phenomena that characterize our planet’s surface. In so doing, geography seeks answers to questions that include:
- Where are things located?
- Why are they there?
- What is their significance?
- What is a particular location or region like?
- How and why are some places on Earth alike or different from others?
All told, an amazing variety of attributes characterize our planet. They include physical features such as climates, landforms, and natural vegetation. They also include human beings, their attributes, and their works-such as cities, towns, agriculture, transportation systems, and industries.
The Five Themes of Geography
The five themes of geography are;
- Human-environment interactions
Location can be described in two different ways:
- Absolute location, a location as described by its latitude and longitude on the Earth. For example, the coordinates of Albany, New York is 42°39′9.34″N 73°45′26.33″W
- Relative location, a location as described by where it is compared to something else. For example, Albany, New York is roughly 150 miles east of New York City.
- Place is the description of what it is like to live in a certain place. Examples are government types, climate, diet, etc.
- It is a description of what makes that place different to others. If I was trying to tell you about the bedrooms in a house, and I wanted to explain to you exactly which one I meant, I could say, “the one with two beds and one window”. If the other rooms had only one bed each, or two windows, then you could easily tell which room I meant.
- This is divided into 2 parts:
- Physical Differences and Human Differences
- Physical differences, or characteristics, include things that occur naturally, such as mountains, rivers, type of soil, wildlife, climate etc.
- I might say that a place is flat with rich soil and many rivers. I’m still being vague, but already you can see a picture of it in your head, and maybe even begin to imagine what the land is used for.
- Human differences, or characteristics, are things that have changed due to people, such as roads and buildings, how people live and their traditions.
- This is where you can really go to town in your description. You can discuss the cities, lifestyle, culture and all sorts of other interesting facts that make the place you are talking about different and special.
How people interact with the environment, and how the environment responds. Scientists currently are debating how much the environment has changed in response to how humans have emitted certain pollutants into the atmosphere.
2. How the environment has been changed by people.
3. How people depend on the environment.
Artificially watering your lawn, if you live in a dry area is one example, or on a grander scale, creating fertile land in desert areas to grow food crops. Another good example is clearing forests to make room for growing crops.
Examples of this are using trees for firewood, or coal to warm us in winter, rivers to transport goods and natural resources like oil and coal, to sell or exchange for other needed items that are not available.
Movement is the travel of people, goods and ideas from one location to another or political events. Examples of movement include America’s westward expansion, the Information Revolution, and immigration. New devices such as the airplane and the Internet allow physical and ideological goods to be transferred long distances in short time intervals. The travel of oneself from place to place, and the actions they do there, is also considered movement.
Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of areas that are distinctive by their uniformity of description based on a range of statistical data, for example demographic, and locales. In astrophysics some regions have science-specific terms such as galactic clusters. ex. The United States is a POLITICAL region because it shares the same government system
The three types of area are: Defined by a government or physical characteristics, Defined by a function, Loosely defined
- Regions defined by a government or physical characteristics are regions that are strictly maintained, such as countries or continents.
- Regions defined by a function are areas served by a particular service.
- Take the example of the school district for Geek’s Rule School. If Geek’s Rule School closes down, then the school district will no longer exist. Of course, it won’t just disappear in a cloud of smoke, but it will have to be named or described some other way.
- Loosely defined regions are regions that are grouped together in general terms.
- These are things such as the North, or the Midlands or the Buddhist World, or even the Far East and Middle East. They are the sort of definitions that people will argue about, and say that a certain place should or shouldn’t be included in the definition of that region.