Five Themes of Geography

  1. Location

    (Absolute and Relative): Location answers the basic question: "Where?" Absolute and relative location are two ways of describing the positions of the Earth's physical and cultural features.

  2. Place

    (Physical and Human Characteristics): All places on Earth have special features that distinguish them from other places. Geographers usually describe places by their physical and human characteristics.

  3. Human-Environment Interactions

    (Relationships within Places): People interact with their environments and change them in different ways.

  4. Movement

    (Mobility of People, Goods, and Ideas): People everywhere interact. They travel from place to place, they communicate and they depend upon other people in distant places for products, ideas, and information.

  5. Regions

    (How They Form and Change): Regions are areas on the surface of the Earth that are defined by certain unifying characteristics. These characteristics may be physical. Or they may be human.

adapted with permission from
National Geographic Society, Teaching Geography: A Model for Action, 1988

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