The Five Themes of Geography

• Bellwork
– What is geography?
The Five Themes of
How geographers look at the world
Why study geography?
To understand more about the
changing world we live in
To learn more about the people and
cultures of the world so that we can
better understand each other
To look at the connection between
the earth and those who live on it
Elements of Geography
The World in Spatial Terms
Places and Regions
Physical Systems
Human Systems
Environment and Society
Uses of Geography
What are the Five Themes
of Geography?
 The ideas that geographers use to study
the world and the people that live in it.
 Using all five themes helps us to truly
understand the geography of a place
 The five themes are: location, place,
region, movement and human interaction
with the environment
Asks the question: Where is it?
Here’s Madagascar!
We can use absolute
location, which uses a
system to find an exact spot
on the earth.
Examples: latitude and
longitude, address with zip
codes, GPS, map coordinates
Grid System
Equator, Prime Meridian, and other
lines of latitude and longitude cross
one another to form a pattern
• You can use these to find absolute
• Precise location
We can use relative location,
which uses descriptions and
comparisons to find places on
the earth.
Example: I live in the condominiums
near Pennichuck off of Manchester Road.
Asks: What are the characteristics of
a location? What is the place like?
Describes what it is like there
For example, how would you describe
Pennichuck Middle School?
We can use physical features:
Climate – temperature, rainfall
Landforms – plateaus, plains, rivers
Topography - elevation
Flora - plants
Fauna - animals
Resources – petroleum, gemstones, trees
We can use human characteristics
Such as population statistics, economic activities,
religion, language, government, traditions, etc.
How do people, goods and ideas get from
one place to another?
Examples of movement
► Trading
products between countries
► Migration of people to new areas
► Buying clothes over the internet
► Flying to California to visit your relatives
► Coming to school on the bus this morning
► Buying oranges that come from Florida
► Watching the news for new information
Human Environment Interaction
How do we use the earth? How
have we changed the earth?
How does the earth affect us?
Examples of Human Interaction
with the Environment
Growing corn in fields
Mining iron ore from the earth
Building cities
Fishing on Lake Sunapee
Cars using gasoline and polluting the air
Natural Disasters destroying houses
Deforestation of the Rain Forest so that homes can be
Cold weather causing us to dress warmly
How is this place similar to other
Are there common characteristics
between places?
Examples of Regions
New England
The Rocky Mountains
Latin America
The Southeast
Biomes such as desert, woodlands, etc.
Regions can share characteristics, culture, physical
features, language, temperature, etc.