ge·og·ra·phy 1 : a science that deals with the description, distribution, and interaction of the diverse physical, biological, and cultural features of the earth's surface Source-Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary
Geography is the study of the earth and everything on it.
5 THEMES OF GEOGRAPHY Visit each of the following sites. Follow all buttons on each page. Save the BACK ARROW button until you are done with each page. The BACK ARROW button will bring you back to this page. When you have visited all 5 Themes, click on the RIGHT arrow button below. PLACE LOCATION MOVEMENT Human-Environment Interaction REGION
The 5 Themes of Geography originated by the National Geographic Society to fulfill a need for geographers (people who study the earth and everything on it) categorize everything they learn. These 5 places are easy to remember. Just say the word “PRILM”.
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.
Regions are areas that can be grouped together by a set of things special to that region. We have countries, ruled by governments, areas speaking the same language, or having the same religion, and we have areas served by a particular service, such as a school district. 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.
Regions -- How can Earth be divided into regions for study? Regions can be defined by a number of characteristics including area, language, political divisions, religions, and vegetation (for example, grassland, marshland, desert, rain forest).
THE STUDY OF REGIONS What other regions are there in the United States besides this one? How are they different? How do these regions change over time? (Descriptions of regions can include information about the physical or cultural characteristics. Physical refers to mountains, deserts, climates, etc. Cultural refers to history, religion, and language.)
This is about the relationship between people and their environment, or how they work together. It answers a lot of important questions: 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?
It can be divided into 3 parts: How people have been changed by the environment. How the environment has been changed by people. How people depend on the environment .
How people have been changed by the environment can be called adaptation . It is the way humans change to suit their environment. An example of this is people who live in very cold climates wearing well-insulated clothes to keep warm. It can also include the way people transport things, in a desert the best way to transport some things is by camel.
How the environment has been changed or modification is the way people change their environment to suit themselves. 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.
Depending on the environment is when people depend on their environment for something. 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.
Sometimes it is difficult to tell exactly where something belongs . For example, if people clear forests to get wood for fires and to grow crops, that may be considered changing the environment to suit themselves and depending on the environment for something. When you think about the environment and people, just remember the three important questions: How have the people changed? How have they changed the environment? Do they depend on the environment for anything?
If you have the same answer for two questions, then it must be important, but you don't need to say it twice.
Human-Environmental Interaction Things to think about
Human-environment interaction -- What are the relationships among people and places? How have people changed the environment to better suit their needs?
HOW PEOPLE RELATE TO THEIR ENVIRONMENT What commodities do people depend on from, and in this area? How do people in Philadelphia adapt to their environment in terms of what they wear and how they build their homes? How do people in this city modify their environment to accommodate them? (e.g. building dams, changing landscapes)
This is divided into 2 parts: Specific location and General 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: 1, Silly Street, Anywhere Town, Nowhere Place A Map Address: 15 o 20' North, 20 o 15' West
Both of these examples well tell you exactly where a place is.
General location is shown by saying where something is in relation to somewhere or something else. It is also known as relative location. Here are some examples:
ten minutes away by train
in front of the bank
With these two examples you can only find what you want if you know from where you are starting. It's useful, though, for describing things. If I just told you that New York was located at 40 o North, 73 o West, you probably couldn't picture that in your head. If I told you that it was in the North-Eastern United States, you could probably imagine it much better.
Location -- Where are things located? A location can be specific (for example, it can be stated as coordinates of longitude and latitude or as a distance from another place) or general (it's in the Northeast).
LOCATION What is Eastman’s exact latitude and longitude? What is the city’s location in relation to other major cities? What geographic factors caused Philadelphia to be located where it is? (e.g. land, water)
Movement -- What are the patterns of movement of people, products, and information? A study of movement includes learning about major modes of transportation used by people, an area's major exports and imports, and ways in which people communicate (move ideas).
THE MOVEMENT OF PEOPLE, GOODS, AND IDEAS How are people transported in this city? How are goods transported in this city? What are they? Who depends on them? How are ideas transported in this city? (e.g. communication)
Quiz About The Five Themes of Geography Click the bell to the left of the correct answer. Applause will sound if the answer is correct. A gong will sound if the answer is incorrect. A key to the quiz follows the last slide. You may continue answering each question until the correct answer is found. Click on the orange arrow key to progress through the quiz .
Question 1 Which of the following is NOT a geography theme?
B. human-environmental interaction
Question 2 Which of the following is an example of Human-Environmental Interaction?
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?
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