Social Studies 3: Five Themes of Geography
It's no Harry Potter, but geography has plenty of themes as well. Bonus: none of them involve a tree that whips people. We'll talk about those and how to use them in today's video.
|3rd Grade||Social Studies|
|Elementary and Middle School||3rd Grade|
In fact, there are five themes that make up the study of geography.
Let’s take a look at them.
First up: Location, location, location.
It's more than just the most important part about starting a business. [People approaching ice cream van]
So there are two types of location…
“Absolute location”, which uses latitude and longitude to precisely pinpoint a location
And “relative location”…
…which describes the location of one place in relation to another. [Dino discussing relative location]
For example, "just West of Philadelphia," or "ten miles south of Main Street."
If you ever invite some to your place, do them a favor and don't give them a relative
By the time they find you, they probably won't want to hang out anymore… [Woman opens door to man holding starbucks cup]
Location also helps explain certain features of landmasses.
There’s a reason glaciers are found at the poles – where its cold – and not the equator.
So…word to the wise, glaciers? [Glacier wearing sunglasses in the sun]
Cancel that cruise to the equator you booked.
The second theme of geography is place.
Place is just “what’s in a certain location.”
In other words: its physical and human characteristics.
It’s a place whose physical characteristics include bogs, bendy trees, fog, weird flying [Animal flying over the Dagobah]
animals, snakes, and underwater creatures that don’t like eating droids.
And its human element – aka who lives there, the religion practiced, and the work done [Yoda appears in a forest]
– pretty much centers around this guy, whatever he is…
… oh, and occasionally this dude.
They practice the Force, lift rocks with their minds, swing on vines and dispense wisdom.
The third theme of geography is movement, aka how people and things get around.
That can mean modes of transportation like how people get themselves to work, the store, [Cars moving in traffic]
or to their orbiting spaceship.
Movement can also mean how ideas get around.
And yup, that includes you getting these ideas right now.
Movement also has a historical element – meaning the movement of people over time, from one [People on a ship sailing in the ocean]
place to another.
And movement can even mean the traveling of the elements, too.
Moving onto theme four: Human/Environmental Interaction…
In others words, how we impact our environment, for better or worse. [Coop explaining human/environmental interaction theme]
Usually for worse.
Humans have polluted the air, land and sea with things like pesticides and greenhouse
But we change the environment in other ways, too, like building roads, and erecting buildings. [People constructing a building]
And sometimes, the environment chooses to interact with us, in the form of natural disasters.
They can be terrifying and deadly, and Dwayne Johnson almost never shows up to save the [Dwayne Johnson saves woman from lake]
Our final theme is “region”.
Regions are organized based on a place’s similar characteristics.
There are “uniform regions”, such as Latin America.
The cultures in this area are uniform, i.e., they share similar languages, food and music.
And then there are “functional regions” like the New York City Metropolitan Area,
whose “center point” is New York City…
… and whose surrounding areas include Long Island, the Hudson Valley and major cities [Cities surrounding New York]
in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
And that's that!
As you see, geography can tell you all kinds of things that help us better understand our
One thing geography still can’t do, however: pinpoint the exact location of your keys … [Person using smartphone to find location]
Sorry, Dr. Connie.
That's on you.
…Maybe Dwayne can help? [Dwayne Johnson holding Dr Connies keys]