TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Unit 1

 

Domain specific terminology is important to all subject areas as are the skills associated with this academic vocabulary. Essential to geography are the concepts of location, scale, and the characteristics of places/regions. Consequently, geographers are dependent on map reading skills and spatial information presented in graph or table format. The Unit 1 test seeks to assess a student’s ability to define, identify, use, and apply geographical concepts as well as use map/chart reading skills to interpret spatial information, analyze spatial characteristics, and interpret spatial patterns. The foundational concepts and skills assessed in Unit 1 are applied to all other aspects of Human Geography.

Agricultural

The Agricultural Geography Test assesses students’ ability to understand the regional and global variations of food production, supply, and distribution. Feeding the world’s population consumes all aspects of agricultural geography. Students are expected to understand how the types and forms of agricultural activity impact food production, supply, and consumption. Students are expected to explain how the domestication of plants/animals has impacted the development of agriculture all levels from that of subsistence farming to commercial farming. Students are expected to have experience with models used to explain why different types of agricultural activities are associated with transportation costs, distance from the market, value of the product, etc.  Students are expected to describe how advancements in technology, genetically modified seeds, mechanization, and specialization, have impacted the size and productivity of farms. Students are expected to understand how agricultural revolutions have impacted food production. Students are expected to explain why there are variations in regional and global per capital food consumption as well as the implications of these variations on malnourishment world-wide, food supply, and distribution.

Cultural

The Cultural Geography Test assesses students’ abilities to interpret the cultural landscape and explain regional variations in popular culture. The cultural landscape is an expression of both the human and physical characteristics of a place. Students are expected to give examples of the ways in which language, religion, human environmental interaction, and cultural practices have influenced social customs.  Students are expected to give examples of how culture has impacted the built environment. Housing types, religious temples, and ethnic neighborhoods are just a few of the ways culture has impacted the human and physical characteristics of a place/region.  Students are expected to explain the concept of spatial diffusion. Students are expected to use the origin and spatial diffusion of cultural practices to explain how people have been impacted by the spread of ideas and goods. In addition, students are expected to have experience with spatial diffusion models used to explain the adoption of innovations over space and time.

Economic

The Economic Geography Test assesses students’ ability to explain and analyze the impact of development at both the regional and global scales. Students are expected to identify varying stages of economic development used to describe both developed and less developed countries/regions of the world. Students are expect to analyze economic industries and systems that develop as a result of available resources, transportation and communication technology. Students are expected to give examples of economic activities associated with various aspects of economic development used to define industrial regions, for example. Students are expected to have experience with models used to study the location of markets in relationship to source of power, quantity of raw materials, distance from consumers, etc. Students are expected to demonstrate how globalization and multinational corporations have had a major impact on economic development and culture.

Political

The Political Geography Test assesses students’ understanding of nation and nation-state. Students are expected to explain how boundaries and borders have impacted the development of political entities world-wide but more importantly, how the concept of a nation-state is used to define territories. Students are expected to explain how political boundaries (e.g., 37th Parallel) impact many aspects of a country’s population as do the physical boundaries (e.g., land-locked). Students are expected to understand the concept of “world-order” and how it has been affected by a history of territorial disputes, colonialism, alliances (e.g., NATO), and/or unions (e.g., European Union). In addition, students are expected to analyze the impact of geo-political processes on land division, congressional district lines, sea laws, etc. Students are expected to explain how Interdependence and the rise of a global economy impacts the changing political geography of the world.

Population

The Population Geography test assesses students’ understanding of the world’s distribution of people, factors that influence the growth/decline of population, and the ways in which population models can be used to make predictions. No concept is more fundamental to human geography than that of population.  Students are expected to use spatial analysis skills to explain and describe the major/minor concentrations of the world’s population. Students are expected to analyze the changes in population patterns at both regional and global scales using quality of life indicators such as infant mortality rates, fertility rates, and life expectancy rates. In addition, students are expected to have experience with models such as the demographic transition and population pyramids used to document the impact birth/death rates have on regional population concentrations and clusters. Students are expected to explain population patterns as a result of migration (forced or voluntary) as well as analyze population distribution due to economic, political, and/or environmental factors.

Urban

The Urban GeographyTest assesses students’ ability to explain and interpret the location of and relationship between cities as well as the internal structure of cities. Students are expected to explain how central places or nodes in a circulation system form the basis of our world’s network of cities or major metropolitan urban areas. Students are expected to use Central Place Theory to explain the hierarchy of settlements as well as the location and development of cities over space and time.Students are expected to analyze how site/situation, size and wealth of the hinterland, concepts of threshold/range, and transportation technology have impacted the growth of cities. Students are expected to make connections between city size and function. Students are expected to have experience with models used to analyze the city’s structure, sectors/zones, and growth or decline. Urbanization’s impact on the quality of urban life is a part of the geographical analysis at all levels.