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Kennady got a head start on her freshman social studies credit by doing some of the Cultural Geography coursework last year. We are using the high school text Cultural Geography from BJUPress. Last year, Kennady had wanted to study Europe specifically, so we did some of the introductory chapters in the text and the chapters that covered Europe. This year she is completing the text, but of course we thought it was to do some quick review of the material she did last year. This text opens with two units that introduce general geography studies:
Unit 1: The World As God Made It
Chapter 1: Geography: Finding Our Place in the World
("what is geography?", the geographic grid, map projections, map relief)
Chapter 2: The Earth's Surface and Climate
(earth's history, surface, waters, surface-changing forces, climate, vegetation)
Unit 2: The World As Man Subdues It
Chapter 3: Industry: Man's Use of God's Resources
(industries, wealth of nations)
Chapter 4: Society: The Interactions of Mankind
(culture, demography, politics)
Kennady studied most of this material last year, so I asked her to basically skim and review the sections she'd already done and we talked about the keywords and definitions. Not much in the way of written work for this section!
Although she covered Unit 1 awhile ago, I thought I'd share some highlights of what was included.
What is geography?
The word itself comes from two roots meaning "earth" and "written description". There are two main branches of geography - physical geography, the study of earth and its resources, and human geography, the study of humans as they live on the earth and use resources. We learned about the ancient views of the earth, and about the history of exploration.
The Geographic Grid, Map Projections, and Map Relief
This section discussed the geographer's use of imaginary lines to help measure and describe the earth's surface, dividing the earth into hemispheres and using latitude and longitude to navigate. Because representing the earth's round surface on a flat map is a huge challenge, mapmakers have used various solutions to this distortion problem. Cartographers developed three basic styles of map projections: cylindrical, planar, and conic. We're most familiar with cylindrical projections like Mercator's, Goode's, and Robinson's. Relief maps are another type of map that show a more three-dimensional view of the earth's surface.
|Kennady drew a lot of her own maps last year, so she became quite familiar with it!|
The Earth's History
This text briefly lays out the two formative events that shaped the earth's surface as we know it today - creation and the global flood.
The Earth's Surface, The Earth's Waters
The section discusses the continents and major landforms. We enjoyed the Fast Facts about the Continents, where we learned the relative size of each of the continents and the highest and lowest points of each. Antarctica's lowest point is at sea level, while each of the other continents has a lowest point that is below sea level. Australia's highest point is 7316 feet above sea level, while Asia's highest point is 29,028 feet above sea level. That's quite a difference! We looked at comparisons of the world's major bodies of water as well - the four principal oceans, the longest rivers in the world, and the largest lakes and seas.
The Earth's Surface-Changing Forces
This section was a quick overview of plate tectonics, volcanic forces, weathering, and erosion; and how each of these forces has shaped and is still shaping the surface of the earth.
The Earth's Climate, The Earth's Vegetation
We spent extra time with this last year, as Kennady's Science was meteorology. This year, she quickly skimmed through this section describing seasons, winds, ocean currents, and the general climate types in the world. The type of vegetation that will grow is closely linked to the type of climate. A large region where a distinct population of plants and animals live is called a biome. Again, this text gives more or less an overview of biomes - different types of forests, grasslands, and wastelands.
What's in your high school lesson book? Leave a comment and let me know!
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