THE 5 THEMES OF
GEOGRAPHY
DEFINITION OF GEOGRAPHY
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
Where did it come from?
► The
five themes were written in 1984 by the
Joint Committee on Geographic Education of
the National Council for Geographic
Education (NCGE) and the Association of
American Geographers (AAG). They are
outlined in greater detail in the NCGE/AAG
publication Guidelines for Geographic
Education, Elementary and Secondary
Schools.
THE FIVE THEMES OF GEOGRAPHY
►Location
►Place
►Human-Environment
Interaction
►Movement
►Regions
LOCATION
Where are we?
► Absolute
Location
 A latitude and longitude
(global location) or a
street address (local
location).
 Paris France is 48o
North Latitude and
2o East Longitude.
 The White House
is located at 1600
Pennsylvania Ave.
► Relative
Location
 Described by
landmarks, time,
direction or
distance. From one
place to another.
 Go 1 mile west on
main street and
turn left for 1
block.
Latitude
►
Latitude:
 “I'm climbing the Ladder of
latitudes, latitudes, latitudes.
I'm climbing the ladder of
latitudes, all around the
world.”
 Latitude is measured from the
equator, with positive values
going north and negative
values going south.
Longitude
► Longitude:
 “It's a LONG, LONG way from
pole to pole, pole to pole, pole
to pole
It's a LONG, LONG way from
pole to pole, so we call those
LONGITUDES.”
 Longitude is measured from
the Prime Meridian (which is
the longitude, with positive
values going east and negative
values going west.
►
Latitude and Longitude Grid
Combining latitude and longitude results in a grid that covers
the globe. Every point can be defined by a north/south degree
and an east/west degree.
► For example, Seattle, Washington, USA is at latitude 47° North
and longitude 122° West. From the center of the earth, look up
46° from the equator and turn right (west) 122° from the Prime
Meridian and you will be looking right at Seattle.
►
PLACE
What is it like there, what kind of
place is it?
►Human
►Physical
Characteristics
Characteristics
► What
are the main
languages, customs,
and beliefs?
► How many people
live, work, and visit a
place?
►Landforms
(mountains, rivers,
etc.), climate,
vegetation, wildlife,
soil, etc.
PLACE
► What
kind of place is it? What do you think of
when you imagine China? Egypt? Mexico?
► Places have both human and physical
characteristics, as well as images.
► Physical characteristics include mountains, rivers,
soil, beaches, wildlife, soil.
► Places have human characteristics also. These
characteristics are derived from the ideas and
actions of people that result in changes to the
environment, such as buildings, roads, clothing,
and food habits.
PLACE
► Place
is a theme of geography that conjures up
a mental picture of a place with people going
about their everyday lives in the familiar
environment. Place is the personality of
geography.
► How is your hometown connected to other
places?
► What are the human and physical
characteristics of Gilbert?
► How do these shape our lives?
HUMAN-ENVIRONMENT
INTERACTION
► How
do humans and the environment
affect each other?
 We depend on it.
► People
water.
depend on the Colorado River for
 We modify it.
► People
modify our environment by
► heating and cooling buildings for comfort.
 We adapt to it.
► We
adapt to the environment by wearing clothing
suitable for summer (shorts) and winter (coats),
rain and shine.
HUMAN-ENVIRONMENT
INTERACTION
► All
places on Earth have advantages and
disadvantages for human settlement. One
person's advantage may be another person's
disadvantage.
► Some like the excitement of large cities whereas
others prefer remoteness. Environment is not
just trees, spotted owls, and rain
forests. Environment is a feeling.
► What is the environment of a big
city? Boston? Los Angeles? Dallas?
HUMAN-ENVIRONMENT
INTERACTION
► Given
the choice, where would you
live? Why? What is the
environment? How do people interact
with the environment? How do the
physical features affect us?
► How have we adapted to or changed
our landscape? The construction of
Hoover Dam on the Colorado River,
for example, changed the natural
landscape, but it also created a
reservoir that helps provide water and
electric power for the arid Southwest.
Higley, AZ - Then
Higley, AZ - Now
MOVEMENT
► How
are people, goods, ideas moved from
place to place?
 Human Movement
►Trucks,
Trains, Planes
 Information Movement
►Cell
Phones, computer (email), mail
 Idea Movement
►How
do fads move from place to place?
TV, Radio, Magazines
MOVEMENT
The movement of people, the import and export of goods, and
mass communication have all played major roles in shaping our
world. People everywhere interact. They travel from place to
place and they communicate. We live in a global village and
global economy.
► People interact with each other through movement. Humans
occupy places unevenly on Earth because of the environment
but also because we are social beings. We interact with each
other through travel, trade, information flows (E-Mail) and
political events.
► Not only do humans move but also ideas move; fashions move;
fads move. What is an example of an idea that
moves? Fashion? Fad? How do we depend on people in other
places? How would our lives change if our movement options
changed? What would happen if we traveled by camel or
horse? How do we move from place to place? How do we
actually get food?
►
REGIONS
►A
region is the basic unit of study in
geography. A region is an area that is
similar in terms of the government,
language, or possibly the landform or
situation.
► Regions are human constructs that can be
mapped and analyzed.
► There are 3 basic types of regions: Formal
regions, Functional regions, &
Vernacular regions.
REGIONS
►
How are Regions similar to and different from
other places?
 Formal Regions
► Regions
defined by governmental or
administrative boundaries (States, Countries,
Cities)
►Regions defined by similar characteristics
(Southwest region, Rocky Mountain region,
Chinatown).
 Functional Regions
► Regions
defined by a function (newspaper service
area, cell phone coverage area).
 Vernacular Regions
► Regions
defined by peoples perception (middle
east, the southwest, etc.)
REGIONS
► What
region do we
live in? What type of
region is it? What are
its characteristics?
► What states do you
define as the
South? The
Northeast? The Bible
Belt? What
characteristics and
perceptions go along
with these regions?
Remembering the 5 themes
► If
you can’t remembering what they are just
ask MR. HELP!!!
►M – Movement
►R – Regions
►HE – Human Environment interaction
►L – Location
►P - Place
Review
Why is it Important?
► The
5 Themes of Geography are used in
Social Studies and History lessons
throughout the school year.
► You need to be familiar with each theme of
geography, provide examples of each, and
understand its importance.
► Geographers use the 5 Themes of
Geography to study and learn about the
world.
►
Take a Quiz
http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/story.php?title=five-themes-geography_2
5 Themes of Geography Poster
Project
►
Pass out project description and review
expectations with students.
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5 Themes of Geography - Dearborn Public Schools