What is Geography?

(Lecture Notes from Mr. Kersey's 7th Grade Geography, History, and Culture Class)

What is Geography

Geography is the study of the Earthís surface and the processes that shape it, the connections between places, and the relationships between people and their environment.

The Five Themes of Geography

  • To make this easier, we can think about Geography in five different themes, or parts.
  • The five themes of Geography are:
    • Location
    • Place
    • Human-Environment Interaction
    • Movement
    • Regions


  • Location is where something or someone is.
  • There are two ways to refer to location:
    • Absolute
    • Relative
  • An absolute location describes an exact position on the Earth using latitude and longitude.
  • A relative location tells us where a place is by giving us places near it.


  • Place describes a locationís physical and human features.
  • Physical features describe things like a locationís climate or terrain.
  • Human features describe things like population or religion.


  • Human-Environment Interaction, or H.E.I. is the interaction between people and the world around them.
  • It is how humans affect their environment, and how the environment affects humans.


  • Movement helps describe how people, goods, and ideas get from one place to another.
  • It helps us understand the relationship between places.


  • A region is a place with a unifying characteristic like climate, land, population, or history.
  • Regions help us make comparisons between different places.

Putting it together

Geographers use these themes to help them study and organize information about different places and groups of people. You will too.