DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.



Teacher: Mr. Weber
Room: 217
Contact: bweber@laalliance.org
Office Hours: M 3:30-4:30 Rm: 217

This course introduces students to critical issues in human geography, the study of human interaction with the environment and the organization, use, and representation of spaces and resources. Instruction is aligned with the College Board’s AP® Human Geography curriculum guide and the National Council for Social Studies curriculum standards. Through readings, collaborative activities, essays, poster projects, presentations, on-demand tasks, and discussions, students will prepare to demonstrate their understanding on summative assessments (research papers, group projects, quizzes, tests, for example).

1. Come prepared and ready to learn. Bring a pencil, pen, notebook, etc. to class every day, review notes the night before, know where we are in textbook, etc.
2. Actively participate. Contribute to class-discussions, collaborative activities (such as “think-pair-share,” jigsaw, and group projects), and in direct teacher presentations (by asking questions, taking notes, and demonstrating attentiveness).
3. Complete all reading assignments. Take responsibility for reading and/or re-reading any sections you missed or did not completely understand in class.
4. Maintain an organized notebook. Keep all notes, class-work (CW), homework (HW), projects, etc. (always writing the date at the top and re-writing notes at home when necessary).
5. Demonstrate learning on all summative assessments. Study diligently in order to showcase and apply your understanding of key concepts on quizzes and tests. Always expect to improve your performance.

• James M. Rubenstein. The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography, 9th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008.
• Jared Diamond. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2005.
• William Rees and Mathis Wackernagel. Our Ecological Footprint. New York: New Society Publishers, 1996.
• Mike Davis. City of Quartz: Excavating the Future of Los Angeles (excerpts).
• Eric Avila. Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight (excerpts).

It is essential that you complete all assignments in this class. Grades will reflect your ability to demonstrate proficiency on standards. Summative assessments will be the primary way through which you demonstrate your progress in mastering standards. They will come in various forms, including: debates, research papers, on-demand writing tasks, multiple choice tests, short-answer tests, and oral tests. Your academic achievement (how well you do on summative assessments) will be tracked separately from your participation, behavior, and work completion to give us both a clear sense of your individual strengths and challenges. All assignments will be graded on a four point scale (so get used to seeing 4, 3.5, 3, 2.5, 2, 1.5, 1, 0.5 on your work). Although assignments will be measured against a specific rubric, you must have a general sense of what these numbers mean. Study the chart below.

Topic Score on Scale Description of Place on Scale
Advanced 4.0 In addition to Score 3.0 performance, in-depth inferences and applications that go beyond what was taught
3.5 In addition to Score 3.0 performance, partial success at inferences and applications that go beyond what was taught
Proficient 3.0 No major errors or omissions regarding any of the information and/or processes (simple or complex) that were explicitly taught
2.5 No major errors or omissions regarding the simpler details and process and partial knowledge of the more complex ideas and processes
Basic 2.0 No major errors or omissions regarding the simpler details and processes but major errors or omissions regarding the more complex ideas and processes
1.5 Partial knowledge of the simpler details and processes but major errors or omissions regarding the more complex ideas and procedures
Below Basic 1.0 With help, a partial understanding of some of the simpler details and processes and some of the more complex ideas and processes
0.5 With help, a partial understanding of some of the simpler details and processes but not the more complex ideas and processes
0.0 Even with help, no understanding or skill demonstrated


• (1) Students will systematically study the following areas of human geography:

I. Nature of and Perspectives on Geography.
II. Population.
III. Cultural Patterns and Processes.
IV. Political Organization of Space.
V. Agricultural and Rural Land Use.
VI. Industrialization and Economic Development.
VII. Cities and Urban Land Use.
VIII. Resource Issues

• (2) Students will use spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human organization of space. The course will introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes which have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface.
• (3) Students will interpret maps, data sets, and geographic models in order to employ spatial concepts, geographic vocabulary, and landscape interpretation to a variety of locations and situations around the globe and in local areas.
• (4) Students will understand spatial relationships at different scales ranging from local to global. You will learn about and employ the methods of geographers, especially including observation, mapmaking, data gathering and reporting, and technical writing. To develop a geographic perspective with which to view the landscape and understand current events.

NCSS Performance Expectations:
• People, Places and Environments. (h) Examine, interpret, and analyze physical and cultural patterns and their interactions, such as land use, settlement patterns, cultural transmission of customs and ideas, and ecosystem changes.
• Production, Distribution, and Consumption. (a) Explain how the scarcity of productive resources (human, capital, technological, and natural) requires the development of economic systems to make decisions about how goods and services are to be produced and distributed. (j) Apply knowledge of production, distribution, and consumption in the analysis of a public issue such as the allocation of health care or the consumption of energy, and devise an economic plan for accomplishing the socially desirable outcome related to that issue.
• Science, Technology, and Society. (b) Make judgments about how science and technology have transformed the physical world and human society and our understanding of time, space, place, and human-environment interactions. (e) Recognize and interpret varied perspectives about human societies and the physical world using scientific knowledge, ethical standards, and technologies from diverse world cultures.
• Global Connections. (d) Analyze the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to persistent, contemporary, and emerging global issues, such as health, security, resource allocation, economic development, and environmental policy.


Unit I. Nature of and Perspectives on Geography
1. Define geography, human geography; explain the meaning of the spatial perspective.
2. Explain how geographers classify each of the following and provide examples of each: a) distributions b) locations c) regions.
3. Identify how each of the following plays a role in mapmaking: a) simplification b) categorization c) symbolization d) induction.
4. Identify types of scale and projections used in mapmaking; identify advantages and disadvantages of different projections.
5. List different types (models) of diffusion and provide examples/illustrations of each in the real world.
6. Distinguish between different types of maps and mapped information (e.g., dot distribution, choropleth, etc.) and provide explanations of strengths and weaknesses of each.
• NCSS Performance Expectations: People, Places, and Environments
(a). Refine mental maps of locales, regions, and the world that demonstrate understanding of relative location, direction, size, and shape.
(b). Create, interpret, use, and synthesize information from various representations of the earth, such as maps, globes, and photographs.
(d). Calculate distance, scale, area, and density, and distinguish spatial distribution patterns.
(i) Describe and asses ways that historical events have been influenced by, and have influenced, physical and geographic factors in local, regional, national, and global settings.

Unit II. Population
1. Map major and emerging population concentrations and describe demographic characteristics of each.
2. Consider the concepts of ecumene and nonecumene and consider: a) Why do most people live where they do? b) For what reasons have humans historically avoided certain areas? c) Where do nonexamples of each exist? Why?
3. Calculate arithmetic, agricultural, and physiological densities and describe the strengths and weaknesses of each for demographic analysis.
4. Explain the elements of a population pyramid and distinguish between characteristic shapes.
5. Explain the demographic transition model: a) What are its components? b) Which countries does it describe in each phase? c) Why might it not predict the future for developing countries today?
6. Give examples of pro- and antinatalist policies and their effects in example countries.
7. Define key demographic terms and identify regions in which high and low extreme examples of each can be found.
8. Concerning natural hazards, do the following: a) list various types of natural hazards and disasters b) map the areas most affected by them c) compare with the map of population distribution d) hypothesize the degree of danger in various regions e) discuss methods that are taken to adapt to these dangers.
• Migration/Population Movement:
1. Distinguish between and give characteristics of the following types of human movement: a) circulation and migration b) forced and voluntary migration c) push and pull factors
2. Discuss the contributions of Ravenstein to the study of human movement and migration.
3. Use the gravity model to predict migration and evaluate its efficiency and usefulness.
4. Map specific examples of historic and contemporary forced migrations, explaining push and pull factors associated with each.
5. Characterize a refugee and refugee populations.
6. Discuss the migration history of the United States through the following: a) immigration history b) immigration policy c) historic and contemporary streams of migration d) internal migration patterns
7. Explain how distance decay, intervening obstacles, and migration selectivity factors affect migration and circulation patterns.
8. Correlate migration patterns to the demographic transition model.

Unit III. Cultural Patterns and Processes
• (A) Culture:
1. Define culture and cultural geography.
2. Compare and contrast the following aspects of folk and popular culture: a) origins b) methods of diffusion c) culture regions
3. Examine specific examples of folk culture and regions.
4. Examine examples of specific popular cultural traits and discuss their diffusion.
5. Discuss ways in which cultural traits are affected by and affect the natural environment.
6. Discuss the role of racism and ethnocentrism in the understanding of the cultural landscape.
• NCSS Performance Expectations: Culture
(b) Predict how data and experiences may be interpreted by people from diverse cultural perspectives and frames of reference.
(d) Compare and analyze societal patterns for preserving and transmitting culture while adapting to environmental or social changes.
(g) Construct reasoned judgment about specific cultural responses to persistent human issues.
• (B) Language:
1. Discuss the importance and role of language as an element of culture.
2. Explain how languages are classified and related.
3. Map the distribution of major language families worldwide.
4. Show the division of Europe into the following language groups and give specific examples from major groups: a) Germanic b) Slavic c) Romance
5. Describe the following characteristics of English: a) origin and historical development b) worldwide diffusion c) spatial variation d) role in cultural convergence
6. Explain the how, why, and where of language change.
7. Discuss the regional and local variety in language using the following terms: a) slang b) isogloss c) accent
8. Explain how toponyms are derived and classified and give various examples.
• NCSS Pe4rformance Expectations: Global Connections
(a) Explain how language, art, music, belief systems, and other cultural elements can facilitate global understanding or cause misunderstanding.
• (C) Religion:
1. Identify the following characteristics of all major religions: a) point of origin b) method of diffusion c) current distribution d) landscape expression
2. Map the religious regions of the United States.
3. Discuss the major branches, their origins, and their current distributions for the following religions: a) Christianity b) Islam c) Buddhism
4. Distinguish between ethnic and universalizing religions: a) holy sites b) holy days c) methods of diffusion
5. Describe ways in which the environment influences religion and ways in which religions affect the natural environment.
6. Discuss various specific religious conflicts around the world in terms of the following: a) religion versus politics b) religion versus religion—interfaith conflicts c) religion versus religion—intrafaith conflicts.
• (D) Ethnicity Gender:
1. Describe the distribution of major ethnicities within the United States: a) identify states/regions in which they are clustered b) identify regions in which they are mostly absent c) provide reasons for the present distribution
2. Examine case studies of ethnic conflicts from different regions.
3. Consider ways in which gender-related issues are expressed spatially, particularly: a) economic roles and activity b) health and reproduction c) level of education
4. Discuss various nation-state configurations and illustrate them with examples: a) nation-state b) part-nation state c) multinational state d) stateless nation
• NCSS Performance Expectations: Individual Development and Identity
(c) Describe the ways family, religion, gender, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, and other group affiliations and cultural influences contribute to the development of a sense of self.
(g) Compare and evaluate the impact of stereotyping, conformity, acts of altruism, and other behaviors on individuals and groups.

Unit IV. Political Organization
1. Explain the concept of state by: a) identifying necessary qualifications and characteristics b) listing examples of states in various regions c) describing quasi-states
2. Describe the problems of multinational states and stateless nations.
3. List advantages and disadvantages of different types of boundaries and provide real-world examples of: a) natural/physical boundaries b) cultural boundaries c) geometric boundaries
4. List advantages and disadvantages of different shapes of states and provide examples.
5. Discuss the concepts of imperialism and colonialism and illustrate some of their consequences on the contemporary political map.
6. Define irredentism and devolution and illustrate with examples.
• NCSS Performance Expectations: Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
(a) Apply concepts such and role, status, and social class in describing the connections and interactions of individuals, groups, and institutions in society.
(d) Identify and analyze examples of tensions between expression of individuality and efforts used to promote social conformity by groups and institutions.
(g) Analyze the extent to which groups and institutions meet individual needs and promote the common good in contemporary historical settings.
• NCSS Performance Expectations: Power, Authority, and Governance
(c) Analyze and explain ideas and mechanisms to meet needs and wants of citizens, regulate territory, manage conflict, establish order and security, and balance competing conceptions of a just society.
(g) Evaluate the role of technology in communications, transportation, information-processing, weapons development, or other areas as it contributes to or helps resolve conflict.

Unit V. Agricultural and Rural Land Use
1. Explain how agriculture originated and identify its various hearths.
2. Describe the evolution of agricultural practices from their first use until today. a)Neolithic Revolution b)Second Agricultural Revolution c)Green Revolution and biotechnology
3. Consider how each of the following correlates with specific agricultural regions: a) climate b) terrain c) culture d) situation with regard to world markets
4. Describe and apply the von Thünen model to both small- and large-scale situations.
5. Identify the predominant agricultural practices associated with various regions of the world.
6. Use agricultural practice to differentiate between less developed and relatively developed countries.
7. Compare and contrast different types of rural landscapes and settlements: a) linear villages b) cluster villages c) dispersed settlements
• NCSS Performance Expectations: Production, Distribution, and Consumption
(a) Explain how the scarcity of productive resources (human, capital, technological, and natural) requires the development of economic systems to make decisions about how goods and services are to be produced and distributed.

Unit VI. Industrialization and Economic Development
1. Use examples of human welfare indicators to distinguish between relatively developed and less developed countries.
2. Use examples of economic indicators to classify countries as less developed or relatively developed.
3. Draw the Brandt line on a world or regional map.
4. Compare and contrast different theories and models of economic development and the relationship between less developed and relatively developed countries.
5. Provide examples of the different sectors of a country’s
6. Explain the Industrial Revolution by: a) describing its origin b) describing its diffusion and current pattern of industrial regions
7. Map regional manufacturing zones in each continent and identify the following for each: a) origin and resources b) current strengths and/or problems
8. Compare and contrast preindustrial, industrial, and postindustrial life and landscape.
9. Describe how site and situation factors influence the location of manufacturing and give examples.
10. Discuss the problems created by or associated with industrialization in: a) developed countries b) developing countries
11. Make graphic models that describe the inputs and connections of various industries.
NCSS Performance Expectations: Production, Distribution, and Consumption
(b) Analyze the role that supply and demand, prices, incentives, and profits play in determining what is produced and distributed in a competitive market system.
(d) Describe relationships among the various economic institutions that comprise economic systems such as households, business firms, banks, government agencies, labor unions, and corporations.
(e) Analyze the role of specialization and exchange in economic processes.
(i) Distinguish between the domestic and global economic systems, and explain how the two interact.
(j) Apply knowledge of production, distribution, and consumption in the analysis of a public issue such as the allocation of health care or the consumption of energy, and devise an economic plan for accomplishing the socially desirable outcome related to that issue.

Unit VII. Cities and Urban Geography
1. Contrast European and North American cities: a) Central business districts b) Suburbs and suburban growth
2. Compare and contrast elements of the following urban models: a) concentric zone b) sector c) multiple-nuclei d) galactic city/edge cities
3. Describe the move of retail and industry to the suburbs.
4. Explain the growth of suburbs in terms of social, transportation, and economic changes.
5. Differentiate between three models of North American cities.
6. Compare and contrast spatial characteristics of cities in the following regions: a) Latin America b) Africa c) Southeast Asia
7. List and evaluate the problems of the inner city.
8. Explain and illustrate important models dealing with the urban hierarchy: a) central-place theory b) rank-size rule and primate cities.


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.