Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 12186

Has your family moved from one location to another? Where were your socks made? How do reporters know what's happening around the world? What do these questions have in common? A theme of geography!



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

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Pretend someone in California began manufacturing new purple pants. The pants are an instant success in California.

Two years later, people worldwide are wearing the same purple pants.

  • How did this trend spread from California to the rest of the world?

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 movement!

When you hear that term, you are likely thinking about how and why people move from one location to another. While the human movement is included in this geographical theme, many other types of movement are also included.

Movement is described as the mobility of people, goods, and ideas across the surface of the earth.

The movement of people is the most obvious form of movement associated with this theme of geography. People have different reasons for moving.

For example, some early Native American tribes moved to follow their food source, the buffalo. In the 1800s, Americans began moving west to begin farming new land and to search for gold.

covered wagon train moving west

Today, people move for careers, to be closer to family, and to neighborhoods they think will be safer for their families.

  • Has your family ever moved?
  • If so, what was their reason for moving?

The movement of goods and services has become increasingly more common in the twenty-first century. This is because few people create their own resources or grow their own food.

Food and resources must come from different locations worldwide. For example, the avocados you eat may come from Mexico. The shirt you are wearing may have been made in China.

When you order goods online, such as clothes and electronics, those items must travel to you from where they are made.

Look at clothing or furniture in your home or learning space. Try to locate a tag that says “Made in…” That means that the good had to travel from that country to get to you.

clothing label made in china

The movement of ideas and innovations has also been growing in the twenty-first century thanks to technology.

At the beginning of the lesson, you were asked how the trend of wearing purple pants could spread from California to the rest of the world. Today, ideas can spread in many ways.

For example, someone may post a picture of the pants on social media, where people can see it worldwide. The pants could also be featured on a television show that people around the world watch.

Telephone, text message, email, and video communication also enable us to discuss what interests us with family and friends.

  • What is a trend that you are into right now?

It can be a certain type of clothing or a television show you are interested in.

  • How did you learn about that trend?
  • What trend have you shared with your friends or family?

As you can see, movement occurs in many different ways.

Move to the Got It? section to watch a video about this geographical theme.

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