Unit 1 The Geographer’s World
The Tools of Geography
In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students develop the basic map-reading skills they will need for success in this program.
A Spatial Way of Thinking
A Visual Discovery activity helps students read and analyze six types of thematic maps that geographers use to represent the world.
Unit 2 Canada and the United States
Settlement Patterns and Ways of Life in Canada
In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students explore how location influences ways of life by looking at population, climate, language, buildings, and economic activity in the five regions of Canada.
National Parks: Saving the Natural Heritage of the U.S. and Canada
In a Response Group activity, students plan adventure tours to learn about the topography and characteristics of North American national parks as well as challenges to their preservation.
Consumption Patterns in the United States: The Impact of Living Well
A Response Group activity introduces students to consumption patterns in the United States and around the world through analysis of a series of cartograms depicting global consumption patterns and gross domestic product.
Unit 3 Latin America
Spatial Inequality in Mexico City: From Cardboard to Castles
In a Writing for Understanding activity, students study the process of urbanization and the patterns of inequality that exist in urban areas such as Mexico City.
Indigenous Cultures: The Survival of the Maya of Mesoamerica
In a Problem Solving Groupwork activity, students dramatize five aspects of life in a highland Maya village to learn how the Maya of the Guatemalan highlands and Chiapas have preserved their traditional ways of life while adapting to modern society.
Land Use Conflict in the Amazon Rainforest
In a Response Group activity, students learn and then create news reports about groups with competing interests in how to preserve and use the resources of the Amazon rainforest.
Unit 4 Europe and Russia
Supranational Cooperation in the European Union
In an Experiential Exercise, students explore the economic, political, and cultural forces that work for and against supranational cooperation in the EU.
Population Dilemmas in Europe
In a Response Group activity, students explore the effects of population trends by creating and analyzing population pyramids for three countries with different levels of growth.
Invisible Borders: Transboundary Pollution in Europe
In a Visual Discovery activity, students explore the impact of one country’s pollution on other countries, analyzing images and maps to understand the causes and results of radioactive pollution from Chernobyl, acid rain from the “Black Triangle” region, and water pollution in the Tisza and Danube rivers.
New Nation-States from the Old Soviet Empire: Will They Succeed?
To understand why political maps can change, students in a Writing for Understanding activity analyze economic and political information from five nation-states that formed after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Unit 5 Africa
Life in the Sahara and the Sahel: Adapting to a Desert Region
Students in a Response Group activity investigate the ways people have adapted to living in the varied environments of a desert region.
Micro-entrepreneurs: Women’s Role in the Development of Africa
In a Writing for Understanding activity, students study three women micro-entrepreneurs to learn how they are changing the human characteristics of their African communities.
Resources and Power in Post-apartheid South Africa
In a Visual Discovery activity, students examine photographs of the new South Africa and evaluate how much progress South Africa has made toward achieving racial equality since the end of apartheid.
Unit 6 Southwest and Central Asia
Oil in Southwest Asia: How “Black Gold” Has Shaped a Region
In a Response Group activity, students analyze geographic data to answer a series of critical thinking questions about how oil has affected ten countries in Southwest Asia.
Unit 7 Monsoon Asia
Waiting for the Rains: The Effects of Monsoons in South Asia
Students in this Social Studies Skill Builder learn how monsoons influence the climate of South Asia and affect the lives of the people who live there.
Tech Workers and Time Zones: India’s Comparative Advantage
As reporters in a Writing for Understanding activity, students explore the global revolution in information technology (IT) and the factors that give countries such as India a comparative advantage in attracting IT jobs.
China: The World’s Most Populous Country
In a Response Group activity, students analyze the ways China has tried to address the challenges created by its large and increasing population.
Population Density in Japan: Life in a Crowded Country
In an Experiential Exercise, students discover the effects of population density on life in Japan and around the world.
The Global Sneaker: From Asia to Everywhere
A Visual Discovery activity leads students to understand globalization by investigating the key stages in the production of an athletic shoe.
Unit 8 Oceania and Antarctica
Antarctica: Researching Climate Change at the Coldest Place on Earth
In a Writing for Understanding activity, students explore how Antarctica is affected by world climate changes and why this unique land is ideal for the study of global warming.