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The Five Themes: Helping Geographers Look at the World

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Presentation on theme: "The Five Themes: Helping Geographers Look at the World"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Five Themes: Helping Geographers Look at the World

2 What Are The Themes? Movement Region Human-Environment Interaction
Location Place

3 Why Do Geographers Use the Five Themes?
Geography is a broad discipline… By dividing the subject into smaller “chunks” geographers can organize and analyze in a more informed manner.

4 Movement The theme of movement helps geographers understand how people are connected to other regions, cultures, and people in the world. People are connected! They travel from one place to another; they communicate with each other; and they rely upon products, information, and ideas that come from beyond their immediate environment. Geographers should be able to recognize where resources are located, who needs them, and how they are transported over the earth’s surface.

5 Fajitas. A Tex-Mex dish made from marinated, grilled skirt steak
Fajitas. A Tex-Mex dish made from marinated, grilled skirt steak...served in a wheat tortilla. The word derives from the Spanish faja, for "girdle" or "strip" and describes the cut of meat itself. There has been much conjecture as to the fajita's origins, though none has been documented. Grilling skirt steak ofver mesquite coals would be characteristic of Texas cooking since the days when beef became a dominant meat in the American diet. But the word "fajita" did not appear in print until In 1984 Homero Recio, a lecturer on animal science at Texas A & M University, obtained a fellowship to study the origins of the item, coming to the conclusion two years later that, ironically, it was his grandfather, a butcher from Premont, Texas, who may have been the first to use the term "fajita" to describe the pieces of skirt steak cooked directly on mesquite coals for family dinners as far back as the 1930s. Recio also hypothesized that the first restaurant to serve fajitas--though under the name "botanzas" (appetizers)--was the Roundup in McAllen, Texas. But Sonny "Fajita King" Falcon claimed to have opened the first "fajita stand" in Kyle, Texas, and in 1978 a "Fajita King" stand in Austin...The popularity of the dish certainly grew after Ninfa Laurenza introduced it on her menu at Ninfa's Restaurant in Houston Texas, on July 13, 1973, but that was under the name "tacos al carbon," and increased still further as a "fajita" after the item was featured at the Austin Hyatt Regency Hotel, which by 1982 was selling thirteen thousand orders per month." ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 125)

6 Remember… Movement answers the question “How are people and places connected?”

7 Region A basic unit of geographic study is the region, an area on the earth’s surface that is defined by certain unifying characteristics. The unifying characteristics may be physical or cultural. In addition to studying the unifying characteristics of a region, geographers study how a region changes over times. Using the theme of regions, geographers divide the world into manageable units for study.

8 Three Types of Regions Formal regions cannot be changed. They are defined by governing agencies or by physical regions are formal regions. Functional regions form when all places within share a service. If the service/function ends, the region no longer exists. Perceptual regions are regions that are defined by people’s preconceived images- and may often be inaccurate!

9 Remember… Region answers the question “How are places alike and different?”




13 Human-Environment Interaction
Humans Adapt to the environment Modify the environment Depend on the environment

14 Human-Environment Interaction
The environment means different things to different people, depending on their cultural backgrounds and technological resources. Geographers look at all the effects—positive and negative—that occur when people interact with their surroundings.

15 Louisiana Wetlands before and after


17 Dubai – Before and After

18 The World, Dubai


20 Palm Island, Dubai

21 Remember… HEI answers “How do humans and the earth affect each other?”
Studying the consequences of HEI helps people plan and manage the environment responsibly. Can be positive OR negative!


23 Location Absolute Relative

24 Absolute Location Every point on Earth has a specific location that is determined by an imaginary grid of lines called latitude and longitude. Parallels of latitude measure distances north and south of the the equator. Meridians of longitude measure distances east and west of the prime meridian. Geographers use latitude and longitude to pinpoint a place’s absolute, or exact, location.

25 5 Major Lines of Latitude

26 Longitude/Meridians On the globe, lines of longitude ("meridians") extend from pole to pole. Every meridian must cross the equator. Since the equator is a circle, we can divide it--like any circle--into 360°.

27 Relative Location Absolute location of a place is only part of the story. It is also important to know how that site is related to other places. Geographers call this relative location. Relative location deals with the interactions that occur between and among places. It refers to the many ways—by land, by water, even by technology—that places are connected.

28 Remember… Location answers “Where is it?” Absolute location
Latitude/Parallels Longitude/Meridians Relative location Compares two or more places

29 Place Each location on earth has distinct characteristics that give them meaning and character and distinguish them from other places on earth. Geographers describe “place” using both physical and human characteristics. Physical characteristics include such elements as animal life, climate, and vegetation. Human characteristics include all aspects of culture. Studied together, the physical and human characteristics of places provide clues to help understand the distinct nature each place on the earth.




33 Remember… Place answers “What is it like there?” Physical characteristics Human characteristics



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