WHERE DID THE 5 THEMES
5 Themes of Geography –
Originated by the
National Geographic Society
In order to fulfill a need for
geographers to categorize everything
they learn about the world.
These 5 places are easy to remember.
Just say the word “PRILM”.
WHAT IS “PRILM”?
PRILM is a mnemonic device that can be used to help
remember what the 5 Themes of Geography are.
Take the first letter of each Theme to
create the word PRILM.
5 Themes explained
Location – Where is it ?
Place – What is it like ? How does it look ? Is it hot, cold, dry,
wet, lots of buildings ?
Region – How are places similar and different ? Does it have
characteristics that unify it ?
Movement – How do people, goods, and ideas move from one
place to another ?
Human-Environment Interaction – How do people relate to the
physical world ? How do they use it ?
PLACEWhat makes that area different to others.
This is divided into 2 parts:
Things that occur naturally, such as
mountains, rivers, type of soil, wildlife,
Things that have changed
due to people, such as roads
and buildings, how people live
and their traditions.
Areas that can be grouped together
by a set of things special to that area.
Examples: Government, Language, Religion, Climate
The three types of area are:
Regions defined by a government or physical characteristics
are regions that are strictly maintained, such as countries or
continents. ( U.S.A vs. MEXICO ) or ( DESERT vs. RAIN FOREST )
Regions defined by a function are areas served by a particular service.
Take the example of the school district of McKinney ISD.
If MISD closes down, then the school district will no longer exist.
It will have to be named or described some other way.
Loosely defined regions are regions that are grouped together in general
Like the Far East and Middle East.
* The S.W. region of the USA or * The N.E. part of the USA
These are the sort of definitions that people will argue about.
The relationship between people and their environment,
or how they work together.
What effects have the people had on their environment?
How has the environment affected them ?
Do they depend on it for anything?
What changes have they made to their environment to make it easier
to live in?
How people have been changed
by the environment can be called adaptation.
How the environment has been changed or
modified is the way people alter their environment
to suit themselves.
2 parts : SPECIFIC + RELATIVE LOCATION
Specific location is shown by an address.
The address can be any type of address that gives an exact
position. It is sometimes called Absolute location
Here are some examples:
A Street Address:
152 Silly Street, McKinney, Tx. 75983
A Map Address:
20' North, 20o
Both of these examples well tell you exactly where a place is.
Relative location is shown by saying where something is in
relation to somewhere or something else is located.
( Down the street next to Taco Bell )
Movement includes :
• things, such as Goods,
• as well as Communications (the movement of Ideas)
What type of communications are there ?
What forms of transportation that takes place ?
What goods are exported and imported ?
These all come under the heading of Movement.
Which of the following is NOT a
Which of the following is an example
of Human-Environmental Interaction?
A. getting the mail
C. playing Gameboy
B. watching TV
C. National Council
for Social Studies
B. National Geographic
D. Social Studies
Teachers of America
Which of the following helped create
the 5 Themes of Geography?
Which of the following is an example
A. Deep South
C. Dodge County
D. Skating rink
Which of the following is NOT an
example of Location?
B. Dodge County Middle School
1103 Herman Ave
Eastman, GA 31023
D. the hills
Which of the following is an example of
C. United States
B. South America
D. The Midwest
What is the name of a person who
studies the earth and everything on it?
D. Cutting down
which of the following is not an example
of Movement ?
Making Sense of it All
Now that you have found out a little about the five themes, how can you use them?
Imagine for a minute that you are a newspaper reporter. An important discovery of a lost land
has been made, and you have the chance to be the first person to interview the returning
explorers. Make a list of the questions that you might ask. Remember, the five themes and
ask the most important questions from each.
Here are some questions to get you started:
Where is it?
Where exactly is that?
What does it look like?
How many people live there and where?
What settlements (cities, villages) does it have?
What sort of climate does it have?
Does it have any extremes of weather?
Is it prone to any type of natural disaster?
What are the natural resources and how are they used?
What type of agriculture is there?
What are the main types of transportation and communication?
What makes the people there different to people in other places?
What sort of government does it have?
Is it associated with any other place?