What Is Geography?

WHAT IS GEOGRAPHY? An Analogy with The Blind Men and the Elephant The Blind Men and the Elephant By John G. Saxe It was six men of [India] To learning much inclined Who went to see an elephant (though all of them were blind)

That each by observation Might satisfy his mind. The first approached the elephant, And happening to fall Against his broad and sturdy side At once began to bawl, God bless me! But the elephant Is very like a wall! The second feeling of the tusk Cried, Oh! What have we here

So very round and smooth and sharp? To me tis very clear. This wonder of an elephant Is very like a spear! The third approached the animal, And happening to take The squirming trunk within his hands Thus boldly up and spake: I see, quoth he, the elephant, Is very like a snake!

The fourth reached out his eager hand, And felt about the knee; What most this wonderous beast is like Is might plain, quoth he; Tis clear enough the elephant is very like a tree. The fifth, who chanced to touch the ear Said: Een the blindest man Can tell what this resembles most Deny the fact who can, The marvel of an elephant Is very like a fan!

The sixth no sooner had begun About the beast to grope, Then seizing on the swinging tail That fell within his scope, I see, quoth he, the elephant Is very like a rope! And so these men of [India] Disputed loud and long, Each in his own opinion Exceeding stiff and strong,

Though each was partly in the right, And all were in the wrong! What does this story have to do with Geography? What does this story have to do with Geography? A final verse for OCJH And so it is with students today Who as 9th Graders are mature.

They memorize facts about the world And think they have it down for sure, But like the blind men will miss the point If they dont see the BIG picture. Lets take a look at what Geography is so that we can see the BIG picture. Remember: Each part is important to know, but all the parts together will help you understand.

Geography is: A definition. The word Geography comes from the Greeks: o Geo = earth o Graphy = to write or describe o The Greeks were some of the first people to scientifically try to describe the earth The Greek scholar Eratosthenes (276-194 BC) is considered to be the Father of Geography. He was the first to use the word geography. He also invented a latitude and longitude grid and measured the circumference of the earth to within

1% accuracy. Geography is: Another definition. o Your textbook has another definition o Turn to the glossary and copy down the definition on a T-chart with the 3 parts of the definition on the left, and leave the right for examples. . . . the study of the Earths surface and the processes that shape it;

example example the connections between places, example example and the complex relationship between people and the environment.

example example Geography is: Yet another definition. o . . . the study of the relationships between and the distribution of things on the earth. o What does this definition add to the other two? o DISTRIBUTION o Think about how things are spread out on the surface of the earth. List in your notebook

anything you think is EVENLY distributed on the surface of the Earth. Be prepared to discuss (justify) your list with Mrs. Ashment Geography is: Finally! o . . . Concerned with how mankind Uses nature through culture to organize the earth. o What does this definition add to the other three? CULTURE- people think about and use the earth

differently. ORGANIZE- Geography is a way to organize things! How do Geographers organize things? Lets try an experiment. List the first names of the members of your family (your immediate family-not cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.) o Look over the list of names. How did you organize the list of family members? Did you do it from oldest to youngest (chronologically)? If not, how did you decide the order of the names? o What are some other ways to organize things?

Now imagine you are invited to a party in a part of town you have never been in. You get to the street and it looks something like this: 28 13 4

38 1 What direction would you go to get to 17? How do you think the numbers on this street are organized? 3 Chronologically? 3 Alphabetically? What kind of organization seems to work on our streets? So another way to organize things is GEOGRAPHICALLY. When we organize

things geographically it means that we organize things: 3 According to where they are in relation to SPACE! (Spatially) 3 Can you think of an example where you might organize something geographically besides house numbers? 3 It is quite normal to organize things geographically, but it is not the best way for everything! Geographic Fields

Political Regional Economic Physical Geography Cultural

Geospatial Technologie s Now that you have a better idea of what Geography is, it is time to think geographically. Look over your definitions of geography and write at least 5 questions that you think are geographic in nature. Each questions should deal with a different aspect of geography.

Be prepared to discuss the questions you wrote with Mrs. Ashment and explain why you think the questions are geographic in nature. Here are some generic examples: 3 Where is it? 3 Why is it located there? 3 How close or far away is it from other things? 3 Is it found mostly in one area or is it spread out? Now its time for the BIG picture. You have learned a lot about Geography today.

Now try to put all the pieces together by completing the following: 3 In your notebook, list 5 reasons why it is important to study geography. 3 Give this some real thought. Its not just, so we know where things are. 3 Be prepared to discuss your reasoning with Mrs. Ashment. Quiz: Write your responses to the following in your notebook:

1)What does the Greek root of Geography mean? 2)What does it mean to organize something geographically? 3)How are most history books organized? 4)How is geography similar to and different from other social science subjects? 5)Fill in the key words to this definition of geography: Geography is concerned with how uses Quiz

(continued): 6) Define distribution. 7) Which geographic field investigates things like earthquakes, volcanoes, weather, etc.? 8) Define density. 9) Explain how a geographic perspective could be used in a career. 10) You are talking to a friend and told her that you are taking a World Geography class. She wonders why you would take a whole class when you could just look things up on a map. Write

how you would respond in a way that would help your friend understand that Geography is more than just place location.

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