Arizona Geography Strand (Adopted 2005)


The goal of the geography strand is to provide an understanding of the human and physical characteristics of the earth's places and regions and how people interact with their environment. Geographic reasoning is a way of studying human and natural features within a spatial perspective. Through the study of geography, students will be able to understand local, national, regional, and global issues. Students will interpret the arrangement and interactions of human and physical systems on the surface of the earth. As these patterns have changed over time and are important to governments and economies, geographic reasoning will enhance students' understanding of history, civics, and economics.

CONCEPT ONE - The World In Spatial Terms

The spatial perspective and associated geographic tools are used to organize and interpret information about people, places and environments.  Mastery of these tools enables students to better understand information and make decisions that affect the future.

CONCEPT TWO - Places and Regions

Places and regions have distinct physical and cultural characteristics.  These concepts are a foundation for many economic, political, and social decisions made throughout the world.

CONCEPT THREE - Physical Systems

Physical processes shape the Earth and interact with plant and animal life to create, sustain, and modify ecosystems.  These processes affect the distribution of resources and economic development.   Science Strands are summarized as they apply to Social Studies content in Grades K-8.  In High School, the Performance Objectives are a summary of skills and content for grades 9 -12.  These concepts are reinforced in Social Studies classes, but assessed through Science.

CONCEPT FOUR - Human Systems

Human cultures, their nature, and distribution affect societies and the Earth.  The world is increasingly interconnected and these concepts allow full understanding of major issues facing us.

CONCEPT FIVE - Environment and Society

Human and environmental interactions are interdependent.  Humans interact with the environment- they depend upon it, they modify it; and they adapt to it. The health and well-being of all humans depends upon an understanding of the interconnections and interdependence of human and physical systems.

CONCEPT SIX - Geographic Applications

Geographic thinking (asking and answering geographic questions) is used to understand spatial patterns of the past and the present, and to plan for the future.  The use of geographic analysis is elemental in solving problems and making good decisions.