• Unit 1: World Geography Outline

    Essential Question: Why Does Geography Matter?

    Focus Unit Focus Questions:ions

    • How do geographers look at the world?

    • How do geographers use tools to interpret maps?

    • How do physical features and climate affect human settlement?

    • How do communities adapt to and modify environments to meet their needs?

    • How does geography affect the culture of a community?

    • What is culture?

    • What are the elements of culture?

    • Why should all people be treated fairly and have the opportunity to meet their basic needs?

    Unit Planning OverviewConnected Academic Vocabulary

    Academic Vocabulary:

    continent hemisphere culture compass rose valley longitude latitude climate

    orientation coordinates globerelief maplocationmap key environment

     anthropologistgrid customs terrain language tradition practices landforms 

    scalegeographerreligious cardinal directions adapt geographic features ocean natural resources


    Student Outcomes:

    What the student should know and be able to do by the end of the unit:, Concepts, Understandings, and Skills

    • Identify the continents and oceans using globes and maps.

    • Use map features such as title, legend or key, compass orientation, author, date, grid, and scale to interpret political, physical, vegetation, and resource maps.

    • Use cardinal and intermediate directions and principal parallels to locate communities or resources relative to the United States and other selected world communities.

    • Develop an understanding of how physical features (landforms and bodies of water) and climate support human settlement.

    • Examine how communities adapt to and/or modify their environment to meet their needs.

    • Develop a working definition of culture by examining a variety of cultures as well as their own.

    • Identify and explore examples of the elements of culture: arts, music, dance, literature, languages customs and traditions, religious beliefs and practices, holidays and festivals.

    • Act as an anthropologist to explore cultural heritage.

    • Understand roles in local and global community.

    Performance Tasks and Formative Assessments

    Possible Performance-Based Assessment (Mid-Unit): Geography

    Students interpret a New York map to select the best location for human settlement. Students
    use compass orientation, grid coordinates, scale, and relative position to locate and describe their settlement area. Students describe the physical features and explain how humans can use the natural resources available to support their settlement.

    Performance-Based Assessment (End of Unit): My Family, My Culture

    Students assume the role of an anthropologist to find out more about their culture by consulting an expert source, a family member. Students develop interview questions to find out about his/her family culture (social organization, customs and traditions, language, arts and literature, religion, forms of government, economic systems). Students then interview a family member, record his/her responses, and transcribe the interview. Finally, students do a presentation about what they learned. 

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