Human-Environment Interactions

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 12185

When you walk, you leave footprints. Did you know people leave footprints in other ways? How we interact with our environment can affect it in good and bad ways. Learn what's going on in your area!



learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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The image above shows present-day New York City.

  • What do you think this location might have looked like before humans inhabited it?
  • How has the growth of the human population in the region changed the land and environment?

Check out this video showing how the same area looked in 1609!

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Geography is organized into five themes to make geographical concepts easier to understand and study.

  • location
  • place
  • human-environment interactions
  • movement
  • regions

This lesson explores human-environment interactions.

Human-environment interactions describe how humans adapt to and modify the land. Some human-environment interactions have negative effects.

For example, humans construct factories that can be used to power the electricity in our homes and build cars and other modes of transportation. On the downside, factories often release chemicals and carbon that can contaminate water and make the air we breathe toxic.

  • What are some other ways human interactions hurt the environment?

Not all human-environment interactions are bad. Some human-environment interactions have a positive impact on the environment.

For example, many organizations plant trees and flowers throughout communities. Plants help to purify the air and beautify the land.

Human groups also have created national parks and nature preserves where humans are prohibited from building and hunting. These areas help protect wildlife and endangered species.

  • What are some other ways humans positively interact with the environment?

Look at the image below showing another part of New York City.

  • What are some examples of positive and negative human environment interactions you see?

Check your answers by clicking on the hot spots.

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When you are finished examining the picture, move to the Got It? section to take a look at more examples of positive and negative human-environment interactions.

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