World Geography A

Course Description

World Geography A is the first semester in a two-semester series. One-half credit is awarded for successful completion of each semester. In World Geography you will examine people, places, and environments at local, regional, national, and international scales from the spatial and ecological perspectives of geography. You will learn the influence of geography on events of the past and present with emphasis on contemporary issues. A significant portion of the course centers around the physical processes that shape patterns in the physical environment; the characteristics of major landforms, climates, and ecosystems and their interrelationships; the political, economic, and social processes that shape cultural patterns of regions; types and patterns of settlement; the distribution and movement of the world population; relationships among people, places, and environments; and the concept of region. You will analyze how location affects economic activities in different economic systems. You will identify the processes that influence political divisions on the planet and analyze how different points of view affect the development of public policies. You will compare how cultures shape the characteristics of regions and analyze the impact of technology and human modifications on the physical environment. You will use problem-solving and decision-making skills to ask and answer geographic questions.

Course Objectives

Upon completing this course you will be able to:

  • understand how geography and processes of spatial exchange (diffusion) influenced events in the past and helped to shape the present.
  • understand how people, places, and environments have changed over time and the effects of these changes.
  • understand how physical processes shape patterns in the physical environment.
  • understand the patterns and characteristics of major landforms, climates, and ecosystems of Earth and the interrelated processes that produce them.
  • understand how political, economic, and social processes shape cultural patterns and characteristics in various places and regions.
  • analyze how the character of a place is related to its political, economic, social, and cultural elements.
  • understand the types, patterns, and processes of settlement.
  • understand the growth, distribution, movement, and characteristics of world population.
  • understand how people, places, and environments are connected and interdependent.
  • understand the concept of region as an area of Earth’s surface with related geographic characteristics.
  • understand the distribution, characteristics, and interactions of the economic systems in the world.
  • understand how geography influences economic activities.
  • understand the economic importance of, and issues related to, the location and management of resources.
  • understand the spatial characteristics of a variety of global political units.
  • understand the processes that influence political divisions, relationships, and policies.
  • understand how different points of view influence the development of public policies and decision-making processes on local, state, national, and international levels.
  • understand how the components of culture affect the way people live and shape the characteristics of regions.
  • understand the distribution, patterns, and characteristics of different cultures.
  • understand the ways in which cultures change and maintain continuity.
  • understand the impact of technology and human modifications on the physical environment.
  • understand how current technology affects human interaction.

Required Course Materials

  • Geography Notebook – In the form of a small composition notebook, a spiral notebook, or loose-leaf paper kept in a binder.
  • Pencil or Pen – In order to do well in the course, you must take notes, sketch diagrams and graphs, and solve problems when instructed to do so.
  • Internet Access
  • Adobe Reader

Note: This course does not require a textbook.

Course Organization

Each semester contains 8 units and one final exam that must be taken in person.

Each Unit contains:

  • 4–4 lessons. Each lesson includes some or all of the following components: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate.
  • Self-assessments to help you check your own understanding of the material covered in each lesson. You must complete these assessments in order to advance in the course.
  • 2–3 graded assignments

Final Examination

The final examination is comprehensive; it covers the material from all 8 units. To pass the course, you must receive a grade of 70 percent or better. You can apply to take the Final Exam after 100 percent of your graded assignments have been submitted, and at least 70 percent have been graded and returned to you.

Format: 50 multiple-choice questions
Time Allowed: 3 hours
Materials Allowed: #2 pencils

Semester Topics

Topic 1: Introduction to Physical Geography
Topic 2: Introduction to Human Geography
Topic 3: Physical and Human Geography of the United States and Canada
Topic 4: Physical and Human Geography of Latin America and the Caribbean
Topic 5: Physical Geography of Europe
Topic 6: Human Geography of Europe
Topic 7: Physical and Human Geography of Africa
Topic 8: Special Topics of Africa