Are you starting to dive into the vast topic of Geography with your students? Are you feeling like the tide has come in, and you are struggling to answer the question, What Is Geography? Well, don’t worry; we’ve got your back! This helpful teaching wiki is sure to answer most, if not all, of your questions about Geography. We’ve also included many handy Twinkl resources, so you feel confident and prepared to support your students on their Geography learning journey.
So What Is Geography? Geography is the scientific study devoted to the Earth’s physical properties and how they are affected by human activity. Scientists who study geography, also known as geographers, study material changes in the environment and many other things.
Why is Teaching Geography Important?
Teaching geography to your KS1 and KS2 students in their formative years is so important; you can cater geography to any level of learning and can make lessons fun and engaging. Learning geography helps children make sense of the world around them and piques their curiosity about different places and people. Making your geography lessons interesting will inspire your students to engage with the world around them. It often spurs them into action and is a subject they will thoroughly enjoy learning about.
Learning geography doesn’t just have to be classroom based either; there are lots of fantastic opportunities like exploring a local wild area or planning a school trip to a city where your children will not only be able to see the evidence of physical, human and environmental geography, but they will also be able to touch it and use their other senses too, this is great for fully immersing your class in this topic!
Because geography is such a broad subject, there are many areas your children will find fascinating; for example, you may inspire a future astronaut with an amazing lesson about space. Or you could have this generation’s next top environmental team in your class; with the right tools to teach, you could inspire them to fulfill their destiny!
What are the different types of geography?
Three widely recognized types of geography are commonly taught in our schools. To help you understand a bit more about each type of geography, we’ve put together the following information.
Physical Geography studies the Earth’s physical features, such as oceans, mountains, rivers, coastlines, forests, and plant life. Not only that, but Physical Geography also studies the Earth’s climate, weather, and animal life, including their habitats, and how these affect and can cause changes to the Earth’s physical features.
However, it can be argued that it’s a little oversimplified to say that Physical Geography studies the Earth. Because so much research has gone into Physical Geography, scientists have categorized key research areas into four categories called The Four Spheres.
The Four Spheres are as follows:
The Atmosphere – The Atmosphere has many different layers to research. Still, a topic under the lens of Physical Geography also includes areas of study such as the ozone layer, the greenhouse effect, wind, jet streams, and the weather.
The Hydrosphere – The Hydrosphere encompasses everything to do with water, from the water cycle to acid rain, groundwater, run-off, currents, tides, and oceans.
The Biosphere – The Biosphere concerns all living things on planet Earth and studies what they do and why they do it. This research covers biomes, ecosystems, food webs, and the carbon and nitrogen cycles.
The Lithosphere – The Lithosphere studies geological processes such as the formation of rocks, tectonic plates, earthquakes, volcanoes, soil, glaciers, and erosion.
Because the Earth and all its systems are so complex, there are many sub-branches and even sub-sub-branches of Physical Geography as a research area, depending on how stringent the categories are divided. Physical Geography also has overlapping studies with Geology. Because Physical Geography is such a diverse area of research, Geographical researchers and scientists will never run out of things to study!
Human Geography studies the human race, including its origins and interactions. Human geography involves studying populations and interactions with the natural environment. Geographical researchers that study Human Geography also explore how different cultures, politics, and economics have developed.
Built-up area with cities.
Environmental geography is the study of how humans interact with the physical environment and what effect each has on the other. This study could be described as a combination of human and physical geography, emphasizing the relationship between these two branches of geography.
Environmental Geography represents a vitally important set of analytical tools for assessing our human presence and our effect on the environment. Geographical researchers study this by measuring the result of human activity on natural landforms and cycles. Environmental geographers are familiar with how biological systems function, but they also know that humans are a dominant agent of change in nature. They also realize that it’s impossible to understand environmental problems without understanding the physical processes and the demographic, cultural, and economic processes that lead to increased resource consumption and waste.
Environmental Geography is a very important aspect of geography because it allows geographical researchers to understand and try to fix problems that humans are causing, for example, climate change which is when the weather makes long-term shifts in its temperature pattern; it is because of Environmental Geography that geographical researchers have been able to work out that humans are the main driving force of climate change, even though sometimes these long-term shifts in weather or temperature are naturally occurring.
Geography Facts Kids
There are so many interesting facts to learn about geography, so here are just a few your students are bound to love!
- Did you know there have been three periods where Dinosaurs roamed planet Earth? These periods are said to have taken place during the Mesozoic era and are the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods.
- The Amazon Rainforest produces over 20 percent of the world’s oxygen supply.
- The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil’s Triangle, is an area in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean. Here ships and planes are said to vanish mysteriously. However, recently researchers and scientists have debunked the ‘mystery’ element in these stories and come up with more logical explanations for the disappearances.
- About 90% of the total volcanoes on the Earth are found in the 40,000 km horseshoe-shaped area in the Pacific Ocean called the ‘Ring of Fire.’
- Did you know that Sweden has more than 2,57,000 islands? This makes Sweden the country with the most islands.