What Are the 5 Themes of Geography? Simple Examples (2022)

Geography is a huge subject. Since teaching such an expansive topic can be overwhelming, the topic is organized under five separate themes. Discover what are the 5 themes of geography, and use them as a tool to help effectively structure and organize your approach to teaching geography.

What Are the 5 Themes of Geography? Simple Examples (1) geography themes student world map

Advertisement

Geography Theme: Location

In terms of geography theme, location refers to where a particular place is physically positioned on the surface of the Earth. This can refer to a place's absolute location or its relative location. Every place has one absolute location that can be described in a few different ways. Every place has multiple relative locations, which change based on how their location is being described.

What Are the 5 Themes of Geography? Simple Examples (2)

Examples of Absolute Location

The absolute location of a place does not change. The broadest example of a place's absolute location is its combined latitude and longitude. The place's position on a map and its address are also examples of absolute location.

(Video) The Five Themes of Geography

  • The White House's latitude is 38.8977° N and its longitude is 77.0365° W.
  • The White House's address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.

These examples hold true for any place, from your home to your school to your favorite places to visit and beyond.

Advertisement

Examples of Relative Location

The relative location of a place changes based on how its location is being described in terms of its relative position to another location.

  • The White House is approximately nine miles from Ronald Reagan National Airport in the District of Columbia.
  • The White House is approximately 30 miles from Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia.
  • Washington, D.C. is around 40 miles from Baltimore, Maryland.
  • The Port of Baltimore in Maryland is 197 nautical miles away from the Port of Norfolk in Virginia.
  • AIM Mail Center is in the shopping center located at the intersections of Grelot and Hillcrest roads in Mobile, Alabama.
  • The fourth grade classroom is in the second building past the gymnasium.
  • Interests along the eastern coast of the Gulf of Mexico should closely monitor the storm's progress.

Geography Theme: Place

In terms of geography theme, place refers to the physical and/or human characteristics that make up a location.

(Video) The Five Themes of Geography

Examples of Physical Place Characteristics

Physical place is represented by the physical features of a location.

  • Islands are above water and surrounded by it.
  • Mountainous terrains can be steep, jagged or gently sloping.
  • Terrain can be flat, rocky, even, or uneven.
  • An area can be heavily forested or free of vegetation.
  • Arctic climates are extremely cold.
  • Tropical climates are extremely hot.
  • Soil can have varying levels of acidity.

Examples of Human Place Characteristics

The human characteristics of place refer to cultural features introduced and maintained by humans.

  • Land in rural areas may predominantly be used for agricultural purposes, with locals primarily earning a living from the land.
  • The architecture in New Orleans reflects the city's unique blend of French and Creole culture.
  • New Orleans is also known for its distinct cuisine, including crawfish, muffulettas, etouffee, and jambalaya.
  • The United Kindom's system of government is a constitutional monarchy with a royal family and elected officials (including a prime minister and members of parliament).
  • In large cities with extensive public transportation, such as New York City, it's not as common for people to own cars as in other types of locations.
  • In Amish communities, transportation via horse and buggy is the most common means of transportation.
  • In India, more than 80 percent of the population practices the Hindu faith.

Advertisement

Geography Theme: Human-Environment Interaction

Human-environment interaction as a geography theme refers to the connections and interactions between human beings and the overall environment.

Examples of human-environment interaction include:

  • drilling for oil in the oceans and gulfs
  • mining ore from below the surface of the Earth
  • harvesting and eating food that grows naturally in a location
  • changing soil conditions to be able to grow other foods in a location
  • building dams to control the flow of water and/or harness its energy
  • capturing energy from the wind or sun to use as power
  • deforestation of land and its impact on plant and animal life
  • extracting ingredients for medicine and natural remedies from plants
  • creation of pollution via industrialization and its impact on the environment
  • development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria
(Video) 5 Themes of Geography

Geography Theme: Movement

In terms of geography theme, movement refers to interactions between places due to people's movements from one place to another.

Some examples of movement are:

  • From 2019 to 2020 alone, more than 900,000 Syrian people were displaced from their homeland due to civil war, resulting in continuing mass migration.
  • In the United States, the industrial revolution (1760-1840) caused many people to leave rural areas and agricultural lifestyles to find factory work in cities.
  • People tend to move to areas where jobs are plentiful and the cost of living tends to be low, such as areas in the U.S. where fracking is being done.
  • If the trend toward remote, home-based jobs continues, some economists believe that a large portion of the population will leave cities for rural life.
  • When people in undeveloped parts of the world leave en mass to developed areas where they can find work, communities of immigrants develop in those areas.
  • If those who leave their families behind in undeveloped areas send money home to help their families, the economic climate of their homeland starts to change.
  • When companies offshore jobs to less developed countries, that creates a new middle class in the areas where they set up out-of-country operations.
  • In developing nations with such opportunities, fewer young people leave their homeland to find gainful employment, so families tend to stay together.
  • When businesses choose new locations, they look for ones that are well supported by road and airline transportation, as well as access to water and rail.

Advertisement

(Video) What are the 5 themes of geography?

Geography Theme: Region

In terms of geography theme, a region is an area that shares certain common geographic characteristics.

Examples of regions include:

  • The Gulf Coast region of the United States refers to those areas that touch the Gulf of Mexico (southern Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama as well as northwest and the western coast of Florida).
  • The term Tri-State Area refers to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. These three small states are close together, share a climate and are also within commuting distance of one another for work.
  • The term "rust belt" is used to describe the swath between the northeastern corner of Wisconsin through the central part of New York that has historically been a stronghold of manufacturing in the U.S.
  • The term "corn belt" is used to describe those states where the majority of agriculture production is linked to corn. This region stretches from the eastern edge of Nebraska through Indiana."
  • The Pacific Northwest is used to refer to Washington State, Oregon and the northern portion of California. The scenery and climate in this area is very different from what would be referred to as the Pacific Coast of southern California.
  • "Wine country" often refers to regions where wine production is big business. There are wine country regions in multiple countries. There are many wine regions in France. In the U.S., California is known for its wine production. Other states, such as Missouri, also have wine regions.

Advertisement

Learn More About Geography

Geography is a fascinating subject that can be explored from many angles, though it's most often organized in the context of the five themes discussed here. If learning about the five themes of geography has piqued your interest, continue learning even more. Start by building a strong vocabulary of geography terms.

(Video) Five Themes of Geography

Mary Gormandy White

Staff Writer

FAQs

What are the 5 themes of geography and examples? ›

The five themes of geography are location, place, human-environment interaction, movement, and region. These were defined in 1984 by the National Council for Geographic Education and the Association of American Geographers to facilitate and organize the teaching of geography in the K-12 classroom.

What questions do the 5 themes of geography answer? ›

The five themes of geography help answer these questions: • Location: Where is it located? Place: What's it like there? Human/Environment Interaction: What is the relationship between humans and their environment • Movement: How and why are places connected with one another?

How do you summarize the 5 themes of geography? ›

To summarize, you must read a passage closely, finding the main ideas and supporting ideas. Then you must briefly write down those ideas in a few sentences or a paragraph. It is important to understand the difference between a summary and a paraphrase. A paraphrase is simply a rewriting of a passage in your own words.

What is an example of human-environment interaction in the 5 themes of geography? ›

The third theme is Human-Environment Interaction. This teaches how humans adapt to and change their environment to suit their needs. Practices like irrigation, farming, damming, and other human actions that impact the physical features of an area are all instances of human-environment interaction.

What are examples of geography? ›

What are examples of geography? Geography can be divided into two fields. Physical geography includes geomorphology, climatology, meteorology, glaciology, hydrology, oceanography, biogeography, pedology, and ecology. Human geography can be economic, political, health, urban, military, cultural, or population geography.

What's an example of relative location? ›

Relative location is a description of how a place is related to other places. For example, the Empire State Building is 365 kilometers (227 miles) north of the White House in Washington, D.C. It is also about 15 blocks from New York's Central Park.

Which one of the 5 themes asked the question where is it? ›

Theme 1: Location

This theme answers the question “Where is it located?” Location refers to the position of something on the Earth's surface. Absolute and relative locations are two ways of describing the positions and distributions of people and places on the Earth's surface.

What are the 5 themes of geography and why are they important? ›

Geographers use five themes to explain and define where people live and why: 1) Location--a specific or relative spot; 2) Place--distinguishes different cultures and broader areas; 3) Relationships within a place--how humans interact with what's around them; 4) Movement--of people from place to place; 5) Regions-- ...

Which theme of geography answers the question where are we? ›

The five themes are location, place, human-environment interaction, movement, and region. Location answers the question, Where are we? It tells you where one thing is in relation to another.

What is an example of human-environment interaction? ›

By using water, recycling or even riding a bus to school, you have an impact on the world around you. The relationship between human beings and the natural world is called human-environment interaction.

What does movement mean in 5 themes of geography? ›

Movement – As humans, we move people, goods, and ideas across the planet at will. The theme of movement examines this and is one of the most essential parts of geographical exploration. It deals with the examination of immigration, emigration, populations, and distribution in the regions and countries of the world.

What is geography short answer? ›

Geography is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments. Geographers explore both the physical properties of Earth's surface and the human societies spread across it.

What are the 5 importance of geography? ›

It's more important than you think — learning geography will help you better understand news, help fight climate change, be a part of a global community, understand cultures, and learn history.

How do you find the absolute location using latitude and longitude? ›

Finding Absolute Locations - YouTube

What do we use to find out the location or position of a place Class 4? ›

The most common way is to identify the location using coordinates such as latitude and longitude. Lines of longitude and latitude crisscross the earth.

What's an example of absolute distance? ›

As with absolute location, absolute distance involves describing the distance from one point to another using units of measurements. For example, the U.S. Capitol is 0.3 miles from the The location could also be desired in terms of how long it would take to travel to the U.S. Capitol Building.

Which one of the 5 themes asked the question how are places similar or different? ›

Theme: Region. The question “How are places similar or different?” refers to region. A region is an area of the earth's surface with similar characteristics. Regions usually have more than one characteristic that unifies them.

What is the theme location? ›

In terms of geography theme, location refers to where a particular place is physically positioned on the surface of the Earth. This can refer to a place's absolute location or its relative location.

How do you describe what a place is like? ›

Places are jointly characterized by their physical and human properties. Their physical characteristics include landforms, climate, soils, and hydrology. Things such as language, religion, political systems, economic systems, and population distribution are examples of human characteristics.

What is an example of region in geography? ›

A formal region could be any country in the world, like the United States, or the linguistic region of a state. Specific examples that you may see on the AP® Human Geography exam could be: the French-speaking region of Canada, the dairying region of North America, or political boundaries demarcating nations and states.

What is an example of movement in geography? ›

MOVEMENT describes how people in one place make contact with people in another place through the movement of people, ideas, information, and products. Example: Interstate 10 runs through Tucson carrying goods and people in and out of town.

What does place mean in themes of geography? ›

One of the five main themes of geography, place describes the physical and human characteristics of any location on Earth.

What are the two types of location? ›

Location, one of the five themes of geography, seeks to answer a simple question: “Where is it?” There are two types of location that we have defined: absolute and relative location. An absolute location describes a precise point on Earth or another defined space.

What's a physical region? ›

A physical region is an area with geographic borders, or boundaries, that are part of the natural landscape. For example, in the United States, we have a major physical region called the Great Plains. This is a specific area with definable characteristics.

What is an example of modifying the environment? ›

For thousands of years, humans have modified the physical environment by clearing land for agriculture or damming streams to store and divert water. As we industrialized, we built factories and power plants.

What are the 5 themes of geography and why are they important? ›

Geographers use five themes to explain and define where people live and why: 1) Location--a specific or relative spot; 2) Place--distinguishes different cultures and broader areas; 3) Relationships within a place--how humans interact with what's around them; 4) Movement--of people from place to place; 5) Regions-- ...

What are the 5 geographical terms? ›

Major Geographical Terminology : Example Question #1

Explanation: The five themes of geography are movement, human-environment interaction, place, region, and location.

Which of the following would be an example of movement one of the five themes of geography? ›

Movement. Movement is the travel of people, goods, and ideas from one location to another. Examples of movement include the United States' westward expansion, the Information Revolution, and immigration.

What are three examples of physical geography? ›

Example 1: The North Sea—Map: Major Bodies of Water in Europe. Example 2: Scandinavia—Map: Physical Map of Scandinavia. Example 3: Strait of Gibraltar—Map: Major Bodies of Water in Europe.

What is an example of region in geography? ›

A formal region could be any country in the world, like the United States, or the linguistic region of a state. Specific examples that you may see on the AP® Human Geography exam could be: the French-speaking region of Canada, the dairying region of North America, or political boundaries demarcating nations and states.

What is an example of movement in geography? ›

MOVEMENT describes how people in one place make contact with people in another place through the movement of people, ideas, information, and products. Example: Interstate 10 runs through Tucson carrying goods and people in and out of town.

What is the theme of place? ›

Theme 2: Place

The theme of place considers characteristics that make one location different from all other locations on Earth. Geographers describe a place by two kinds of characteristics: physical and human.

What is geography in simple words? ›

Geography is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments. Geographers explore both the physical properties of Earth's surface and the human societies spread across it.

What are the 5 themes of social studies? ›

History, Geography, Economics, Civics, and Culture are the different themes that will focus our study of social studies.

How do you explain geography to a child? ›

Geography is about Earth's land, water, air, and living things—particularly people. The word comes from the Greek geo, which means “Earth,” and graphy, which means “writing or description.” Physical geographers study landforms, water, soil, and climate. They also study the distribution of living things.

What is an example of human-environment interaction? ›

By using water, recycling or even riding a bus to school, you have an impact on the world around you. The relationship between human beings and the natural world is called human-environment interaction.

What is the difference between location and place in the 5 themes of geography? ›

Location either refers to the actual latitude and longitude coordinates (absolute location) of something on Earth's surface, or it describes something's position in reference to something else (relative location). Place, on the other hand, refers to the physical and human characteristics of a spot on the map.

What is geographic theme of location? ›

Geography Theme: Location

In terms of geography theme, location refers to where a particular place is physically positioned on the surface of the Earth. This can refer to a place's absolute location or its relative location. Every place has one absolute location that can be described in a few different ways.

What are some examples of cultural geography? ›

Examples of cultural geography include the diffusion of religions and the diffusion of culture via colonialism and imperialism. Processes of cultural diffusion are closely tied to political geography.

What is an example of human geography? ›

Human Geography Examples

Populations - knowledge and insight on how human populations change over time, including quantities, movement, standards of living, and quality of life. One example is the impact of a disease spread on a population.

Videos

1. Five Themes Of Geography (AP Human Geography)
(Mr. Sinn)
2. 5 Themes of Geography-Place
(History with Howells)
3. 5 Themes of Geography-Region
(History with Howells)
4. 5 Themes of Geography
(Ms Perez)
5. Five Themes of Geography
(Taylor Semingson)
6. 5 Themes of Geography
(AHCCS YOUTUBE)

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Ray Christiansen

Last Updated: 11/18/2022

Views: 5657

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ray Christiansen

Birthday: 1998-05-04

Address: Apt. 814 34339 Sauer Islands, Hirtheville, GA 02446-8771

Phone: +337636892828

Job: Lead Hospitality Designer

Hobby: Urban exploration, Tai chi, Lockpicking, Fashion, Gunsmithing, Pottery, Geocaching

Introduction: My name is Ray Christiansen, I am a fair, good, cute, gentle, vast, glamorous, excited person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.