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Learner Description: This site is designed for middle school geography students as an introduction to the five themes of geography.
5 themes of geography concept map image link to video about region link to information about 2 kinds of location link to additional information about the theme of place Link to additional information about the theme of movement Link to additional information about theme of human environment interaction Watch the five themes of geography video

Geography's Five Themes

In 1984 the five themes of geography were created to better organize the teaching of geography in schools. Geography is the study of Earth. The earth is a big place which means that there are many things that can be studied from where things are to how people live. The five themes help us organize the many areas that geographers study. Below you'll learn each of the five themes of geography.


The first theme of geography is location. Location tells us where we can find something on the earth. An example of location would be giving the latitude and longitude for a city like 40 degree North, 70 degrees West for New York City. Click on location in the diagram on the right to learn about the two types of location.


The next theme of geography is place. Place sometimes gets confused with location. Place is the physical and human characteristics of an area. The physical characteristics are features and shape of the land in a given area. The human characteristics are things like the number of people living in an area or the kinds of jobs people have in that particular place. Click on place on the right to learn more about place.


The third theme of geography is movement. Movement referrs to the movement of people, things, and ideas from one place to another. A family moving from one town to another is example of movement. Another example of movement eating Chinese food in America because the idea of Chinese food moved from China to America. Click on movement in the diagram to read some more about movement.

Human Environment Interaction

The theme of Human Environmental Interaction looks at the relationship that humans have with their environment. Humans affect their environment in many ways such as building structures on the land or using resources to make different things. The environment sometimes also affects humans. It can provide resources for humans or it can cause problems for people such as floods. Click on human environmental interaction to learn more about this theme.


The final theme of geography is region. Region is when we group areas according to characteristics that they share in common. These characteristics can include things like religion, language, culture, physical features, or borders. Click on region in the diagram to watch a youtube video about the theme of region.
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