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Definitions of the 5 Themes of Geography Illustration

Definitions of the
Five Themes

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Location

Where is it?

  • Absolute: A location can be absolute (specific) as in coordinates of a map using longitude and latitude

  • Relative: A location can be relative - examples: next door, nearby, a short drive, down the road a ways. Or, it can be in the same general location as another location - example: next to the post office.

Place

A place is an area that is defined by everything in it. All places have features that give them personality and distinguish them from other places.

If you refer to your school as a place, then that place would include walls, windows, gym, cafeteria, classrooms, people, clothing, books, maps, mops, brooms, hallways, mice (if you have them) and everything else in the school, including the languages spoken.

Region

A region is an area that is defined by certain similar characteristics. Those unifying or similar characteristics can be physical, natural, human, or cultural.

Movement

Movement refers to the way people, products, information and ideas move from one place to another. This can be local such as how did you get to school today, or it can be global such as how did humans get to North America?

Human-Environment Interaction

Human-environment interaction looks at the relationships between people and their environment; how people adapt to the environment and how they change it.

  • How do people depend on the environment? (Example: In ancient times, the annual flooding of the Nile River produced good soil for growing crops.)

  • How to people adapt to the environment? (Example: The ancient Egyptians rebuilt their homes each year, after the annual flooding. As time went on, they built their homes above the flood plain.)

  • How do people modify the environment? (Example: The ancient Egyptians built irrigation ditches to help water the crops. In modern times, Egypt built a dam to control the flood waters of the Nile River.)

For Kids

Know the 5 themes of geography games

5 themes game

5 Themes of Geography

5 Themes of Geography (video)

The Big Ideas in Geography - 5 themes

Interactive Concept Map - 5 themes

For Teachers

Lesson Plans & Classroom Activities: 5 themes of geography

Presentations in PowerPoint format: 5 themes of geography

See Also: Overviews & Huge Sites

Free Geography Presentations in PowerPoint format

Geography Lesson Plan Index

Geography Games for Kids