The Five Themes in Geography
The Five Themes were developed by the National Council for Geographic
Education to provide an organizing framework for the presentation of geographic
The Five Themes are as follows:
- Location: Position on the Earth's Surface (Absolute/Relative).
Geographic study begins with the location of places on the earth. Places
have absolute locations that pinpoint them on the earth, and relative locations
that place each location in respect to other locations. For example, North
Dakota has an absolute location that can be pointed to on any basic map.
It also has a relative location in that it has a location within the economic
system based on its characteristics and location within the world market.
North Dakota has its absolute location's characteristics for soil and climate,
yet the success of wheat growing is also related to its location to the
edge of more expensive arm land to the east.
- Place: Physical and Human Characteristics. Place have physical
and human characteristics that make them what they are. Geography emphasizes
the understanding of both of these factors and their integration together.
- Human/Environment Interactions: Shaping the Landscape. The landscape
of the earth is no longer a purely physical feature. Human have impact
every area of the earth, but in varying ways. The geography of places is
influenced by the degree to which humans have impacted their local environment.
- Movement: Humans Interacting on the Earth. The postmodern world
is one of great interaction between places. This movement is inherently
geographic, whether it is by telecommunications or ship.
- Regions: How They Form and Change. The essential geographic
feature is the region. A region is any unit of space that is unified by
the presence of some characteristic. The Corn Belt, stretching from Indiania
to eastern Nebraska, is an area in which corn is a dominating product.
The Corn Belt is a region within the United States.