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Social Studies Curriculum
Social Studies - Geography for Life
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Core Standards of the Course

Standard 1
Students will understand the world in spatial terms.

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Objective 1
Use maps and other geographic tools to acquire information from a spatial perspective.

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  1. Explain the differences between major types of map projections.
  2. Examine characteristics of maps and globes such as latitude, longitude, great circle routes, cardinal directions, compass rose, legend, scale, relief, grid system, and time zones.
  3. Explain selected map concepts, including rotation, revolution, axis, seasons, solstice, equinox, and the earth/sun relationship of weather patterns.
  4. Collect and interpret geographic data using maps, charts, population pyramids, cartograms, remote sensing, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Objective 2
Explore the concept of mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments.

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  1. Define mental mapping.
  2. Appraise mental maps, from simple to complex.

Objective 3
Analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on the earth’s surface.

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  1. Describe the importance and role of location in geographic studies.
  2. Apply the geographic mode of inquiry (What? Where? How? And So What?) to world regions
  3. Evaluate the locational importance of human and natural resources using maps, satellite images, and databases.
  4. Define absolute and relative location recognizing political and physical boundaries.

Standard 2
Students will understand the human and physical characteristics of places and regions.

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Objective 1
Interpret place by its human and physical characteristics.

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  1. Examine human characteristics, including language, religion, population, political and economic systems, and quality of life.
  2. Investigate physical characteristics such as landforms, climates, water cycle, vegetation, and animal life.
  3. Recognize that places change over time.

Objective 2
Assess how people create regions to interpret the earth’s surface.

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  1. Recognize how peoples create regions to understand a large, complex, and changing world.
  2. Characterize the similarities and differences within and between regions.

Objective 3
Evaluate how culture and experience influence the way people live in places and regions.

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  1. List and define components of culture; e.g., race, gender roles, education, religion.
  2. Explain the effects of cultural diffusion from country to country.

Standard 3
Students will understand how physical processes shape the earth's surface.

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Objective 1
Examine the physical processes that shape the earth’s surface.

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  1. Examine the role of plate tectonics in shaping the earth’s surface.
  2. Assess the external forces of weathering and erosion.
  3. Explain the factors that combine to shape climatic and vegetation patterns on earth.

Objective 2
Assess the characteristics and location of ecosystems.

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  1. Identify the characteristics of ecosystems.
  2. Use geographic tools to identify the location and distribution of global ecosystems.
  3. Compare regions of the earth with similar physical features, such as semiarid regions in Utah with other semiarid regions of the world.

Standard 4
Students will understand how human activities shape the earth's surface.

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Objective 1
Analyze the characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on the earth’s surface.

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  1. Describe how physical environments provide geographic advantage or disadvantage.
  2. Examine the importance of water to settlement patterns.
  3. Explain why people who modify their physical environment in one place cause change in other places.
  4. Investigate how people adapt to their environment.

Objective 2
Analyze economic interdependence among regions and countries.

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  1. Examine economic networks, from local to global.
  2. Assess how nations and cultures are linked through transportation, communication, language, currency, goods, and services.

Objective 3
Investigate various forms of governance and how they affect peoples and landscapes.

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  1. Compare and contrast political systems within world regions.
  2. Determine the role of government in contemporary and historical world issues.

Standard 5
Students will understand the interaction of physical and human systems.

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Objective 1
Explore how humans change the environment and how the environment changes humans.

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  1. Evaluate the role of technology in modifying the physical environment.
  2. Explain how historical events affect physical and human systems.
  3. Discuss regional issues; e.g., desertification, deforestation, pollution.
  4. Predict the potential effect of human modification on the physical environment.

Objective 2
Assess the importance of natural and human resources.

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  1. Describe the roles of natural and human resources in daily life.
  2. Identify worldwide distribution and use of human and natural resources.
  3. Compare and contrast the use of renewable and nonrenewable resources.
  4. Evaluate the role of energy resources as they are consumed, conserved, and recycled.

Standard 6
Students will use geographic knowledge to connect to today's world.

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Objective 1
Apply geographic concepts to interpret the past.

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  1. Apply an understanding of cultures as an integrated whole including traditions, behavior patterns, and technologies.
  2. Explain why and how individuals, groups, and institutions respond to continuity and change.
  3. Relate economic development to the distribution of resources.
  4. Recognize that both human choices and natural events have consequences.

Objective 2
Apply geographic concepts to interpret the present and plan for the future.

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  1. Examine how the unequal distribution of resources effects economic development.
  2. Investigate career opportunities available through the application of geography skills and concepts.
  3. Participate in community activities respecting the environment and personal property.

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