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Social Studies, Grade 7, Geography, 2004

1.) Describe the world in spatial terms using maps, major physical and human features, and urban and rural land-use patterns.

•  Explaining the use of map essentials, including type, size, shape, distance, direction, location, scale, and symbols
Examples: reference and thematic maps; topographic maps, globes, and map projections; aerial photographs; satellite images; lines of latitude and longitude; cardinal and intermediate directions; fractional, graphic, and verbal scales; conventional symbols used in atlases; Global Positioning System (GPS); Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

•  Using geographic technology to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective
•  Analyzing relationships among people, places, and the environment by mapping information about them, including trade patterns, governmental alliances, and immigration patterns
2.) Analyze regional characteristics for factors that contribute to change and for their relative importance.

Examples: economic development, accessibility, migration, media image, technological developments

•  Using field observations, maps, and other tools to identify and compare physical characteristics of places
Examples: soils, vegetation, climate

•  Comparing physical and human characteristics of various places using observational data and geographic resources
3.) Describe processes that shape the physical environment, including long-range effects of extreme weather phenomena and human activity.

Examples: plate tectonics and continental drift; ocean and atmospheric circulation; erosion; movements of the sun, moon, and Earth; renewable and nonrenewable resources; impact of hurricanes or typhoons on coastal ecosystems; heavy rainfall on hill slopes after deforestation

•  Comparing how ecosystems vary from place to place and over time

- place to place—differences in soils, climates, and topography;

- over time—destruction of natural habitats due to effects of floods and forest fires, reduction of species diversity due to loss of natural habitats, reduction of wetlands due to replacement by farms, reduction of forests and farmland due to replacement by housing developments, reduction of previously cleared land due to reforestation efforts

4.) Locate cultural hearths in Europe, Asia, and Africa on maps, globes, and satellite images.

•  Describing physical and human characteristics used to define regions in the Eastern Hemisphere

- physical—landforms, climates, oceans, rivers;

- human—government, economy, language, religion, culture

•  Relating place names to cultural and/or political perspectives
5.) Identify physical, economic, political, and cultural characteristics of selected regions in the Eastern Hemisphere, including Europe, Asia, and Africa.


- physical—principal features, natural resources, weather phenomena;

- economic—agriculture, industry, imports and exports;

- political—distribution and movement of human populations;

- cultural—architecture, foods, clothes, languages, religions

6.) Explain factors that contribute to conflict within and between countries of the Eastern Hemisphere.

Examples: economic competition for scarce resources, boundary disputes, cultural differences, control of strategic locations

7.) Describe historical and contemporary economic trade networks of regions in the Eastern Hemisphere based upon their geographic location and available resources.

Examples: Silk Road, Sahara salt trade of the 1300s, spice trade of the 1400s-1600s, imperialistic relationships, petroleum production, satellite-based communication systems

8.) Describe positive and negative environmental effects of human actions on the four basic components of Earth's physical systems: atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere.


- atmosphere—possible ozone depletion, Clean Air Act;

- biosphere—deforestation, reduction in biodiversity, expansion of the savanna, desertification, prevention of forest fires by proper forest management;

- lithosphere—land degradation, weathering by polluted air and water, reforestation, restocking of fish, water purification;

- hydrosphere—pesticides washing into river systems, decline of quality groundwater

9.) Analyze environmental consequences of major technological changes in human history for both intended and unintended outcomes.

Examples: nuclear waste storage, depletion of fossil fuel by automobiles, protecting the soil through crop rotation, soil degradation after the invention of the steel-tipped plow, increased food supply

•  Identifying the impact of urban growth on the environment
10.) Describe ways people in the Eastern Hemisphere prepare for natural hazards and disasters.

Examples: earthquake drills in Japan, construction of houses on stilts in typhoon-prone areas

11.) Compare the distribution of natural resources in various parts of the world by mapping locations of major deposits.

•  Relating the importance of energy resources to the development of human societies
•  Discussing the relationship between a country's standard of living and its accessibility to natural resources
12.) Describe problems involved in balancing the impact of human habitation on the environment and the need for natural resources essential for sustaining human life.

•  Assessing differing attitudes of people regarding the use and misuse of resources
•  Predicting the future spatial organization of Earth if present conditions and patterns of consumption, problem-solving innovations, production, and rates of population growth and decline continue
•  Applying a problem-solving model to a geographic issue, including the development of sound arguments for specific actions on the issue
Examples: building a dam and reservoir, constructing a revitalized downtown area, choosing the site of a new landfill

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