Five Themes of Geography


Watercolour world map showing physical features
David Malan/ Photographer's Choice/ Getty Images

The five themes of geography are as follows:

  1. Location: Where are things located? A location can be absolute (for example, latitude and longitude or a street address) or relative (for example, explained by identifying landmarks, direction, or distance between places).
  2. Place: Characteristics that define a place and explains what makes it different from other places. These differences can take many forms including physical or cultural differences.
  3. Human Environment Interaction: This theme explains how humans and the environment interact with each other. Humans adapt and change the environment while depending upon it.
  4. Region: Geographers divide the earth into regions making it easier to study. Regions are defined in many ways including area, vegetation, political divisions, etc.
  5. Movement: People, items, and ideas (mass communication) move and help shape the world.
    After teaching these concepts to students, continue with the Five Themes of Geography assignment.

The following assignment is meant to be given after the teacher has presented the definitions and examples of the five themes of geography. The following directions are given to the students:

  1. Use the newspaper, magazines, pamphlet, flyers, etc. (whatever is the most readily available) to cut out an example of each of the five themes of geography (Use your notes to help you find examples.):
  2. Location
  3. Place
  4. Human Environment Interaction
  5. Region
  6. Movement
  7. Paste or tape the examples to a piece of paper, leave room for some writing.
  8. Next to each example you cut out, write what theme it represents and a sentence stating why it represents that theme.
    Ex. Location: (Picture of a car accident from a paper) This picture shows relative location because it portrays an accident by the Drive-In Theatre on Highway 52 two miles west of Everywhere, USA.
    HINT: If you have a question, ASK - don't wait until the homework is due!
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Your Citation
Kelly, Melissa. "Five Themes of Geography." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Kelly, Melissa. (2020, August 27). Five Themes of Geography. Retrieved from Kelly, Melissa. "Five Themes of Geography." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 24, 2023).

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