Introduction to Geography

Contributor: Jodi Powell. Lesson ID: 10738

Do you care about geography? I hope so; without it, you wouldn't be here! You wouldn't be anywhere! Watch videos, read about real-life geographers and GPS, and complete projects about geo-relevance!



learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


You've heard the term geography before, but do you know what it really means? What do those who study geography actually study, and why do they do it? Why should you care about geography? In this lesson, become a geographer yourself and learn the reasons why!

Have you ever gone a road trip?

Climbed a hill or mountain? Observed the weather? Played in your backyard?

If you can answer "Yes" to any of those questions, then you yourself are a geographer!

Geography is defined as, "the study of the world, its people, and the landscapes they create."

Let's begin by taking a closer look at the overall use of geography as presented from this unique Australian point of view — Geography: What is it for? from the Government of South Australia, Department for Education and Child Development (below):


Now, take a more emotional look at people studying geography in the video Why Should I Care About Geography? from Sarah Kane (below):


Print Introduction to Geography, found in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar. Fill it out while watching the remaining videos and reading the articles throughout the lesson.

Geography Introduction

Let's dig into more of the specifics with this GIS for Youth Empowerment video, Lesson 1 - Part 1: Introduction to Geography:


Geography Tools

Read this Houghton Mifflin Company article to learn about the tools geographers use to do their jobs: Summary: The Geographer's Tools. Add important facts from this reading to your notes.

One of the more recent developments in tools used by geographers is the Global Positioning System, better known as GPS. How does your phone know where you are? Watch this How Does GPS Work (2005) video from AIRBOYD to find out:


Geography Levels

Geography is typically studied at three different levels: local, regional, and global.

  1. At the local level, geographers might study town, community, government, and transportation.
  1. A region is defined as a part of the world that has one or more common features that distinguish it from surrounding areas. These common features can be either physical or human characteristics. An example of a region might be the western United States, northern Alaska, or a mountain region or desert region. Geographers at this level study characteristics of the regions, as well as how regions around the world may change over time.
  1. Global geography is the study of the whole globe. Geographers at this level study the world and try to find relationships among people who inhabit different areas throughout the world.

Geography Branches

While geography is studied at three different levels, it is also divided into two main branches: physical geography and human geography.

Read this short article from Brightside for a further explanation: Human geography and physical geography. Continue to fill our your graphic organizer while reading!

Geography Themes

Geography is also categorized into five basic themes:

  1. location
  2. place
  3. human-environment interaction
  4. movement
  5. regions

Read this article to learn more about each: The Five Themes of Geography. Continue to fill our your graphic organizer while reading.

Geography Review

Review the themes one last time while viewing this Five Themes of Geography: Minecraft Edition video from Mr. Sinn:


Now that you are getting the lay of the geographical land, move on to the Got It? section to play geographer!

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We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.