Geography 101
February 10, 2015 by David John Jones, Jr.  | 
As a dad and teacher, it's my responsibility to foster within my kids and students an appreciation for learning about the world in which we live. Geography is the study of Earth's environment and how it shapes people's lives and how Earth is shaped in turn by people's activities. 
 
Understanding geography is an essential part of being a citizen of the world. I invite fellow parents and teachers to help your children and students learn about geography by having discussions that are centered around the Five Themes of Geography:
  1. Location
  2. Place
  3. Region
  4. Movement
  5. Human-Environmental Interaction
Location
There are two kinds of location, absolute location and relative location. Absolute is your exact location on earth using coordinates or latitude & longitude. It's also know as your global address [GPS]. Relative location refers to the position of a place as compared to another place. Relative location is often described by using a compass rose for directions or scale for miles etc.

Place
Physical [natural] features and human features are characteristics of places. Buildings, roads and bridges etc. are examples of human features whereas mountains, hills, lakes and rivers etc. are physical or natural features found in places.

Region
Areas of the world made up of places with common physical features, human features or both are known as regions. Examples of regions include desert, costal, economic as well as the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest and West regions of the United States.

Movement
The way people, goods and ideas travel from place to place is known as movement. People and goods move in similar ways such as by car, bus, truck, boat and plane. People also move while walking or biking etc. Ideas move via conversations, letters, texts, newspapers, televisions, computers, telephones, mobile devices and other ways.

Human-Environmental Interaction
The ways in which humans impact Earth and how the environment shapes people's lives is known as human-environmental interaction. Humans plant and grow crops, clear land for buildings, fish, cause pollution, reduce, reuse and recycle. The environment produces precipitation, storms, natural disasters, cold and warm weather as well as other conditions that directly impact our lives with regards to food, clothing, shelter and jobs etc.

Learning about our world is exciting and sometimes daunting for children. Using the Five Themes of Geography as a way to break conversations about Earth and its people into categories makes it more manageable and easier for children to understand.