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Middle School | Social Studies | Geography

Understand world geography and the effects of geography on society, with an emphasis on the United States. The need for geographic literacy has never been greater or more obvious than in today's tightly interrelated world. Students must understand the world's physical features, how they blend with social systems and how they affect economies, politics and human interaction. Isolated geographic facts are not enough. To grasp geography and its effect on individuals and societies, students must know the broad concepts of spatial patterns, mapping, population and physical systems (land, air, water). The combination of geographic facts and broad concepts provides a deeper understanding of geography and its effects on individuals and societies.

Learning Objectives

Locate, describe and explain places, regions and features on the Earth:

  • Explain how people use geographic markers and boundaries to analyze and navigate the Earth (e.g., hemispheres, meridians, continents, bodies of water).
  • Explain how to make and use geographic representations to provide and enhance spatial information including maps, graphs, charts, models, aerial photographs, satellite images.

Analyze and explain characteristics and interactions of the Earth’s physical systems:

  • Explain how physical processes including climate, plate tectonics, erosion, soil formation, water cycle, and circulation patterns in the ocean shape patterns in the environment and influence availability and quality of natural resources.
  • Explain how changes in components of an ecosystem affect the system overall.

Understand relationships between geographic factors and society:

  • Explain how human activity is affected by geographic factors.
  • Explain how patterns of resources are used throughout the world.
  • Analyze how human processes influence settlement patterns including migration and population growth.

Understand the historical significance of geography:

  • Explain how and why spatial patterns of settlement change over time.
  • Explain how interactions of geographic factors have shaped present conditions.

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