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LA GÉOGRAPHIE: QU'EST-CE QUE C'EST? - Introduction to Geography

Recent studies have shown that a shocking number of American students lack basic geographic knowledge, particularly about the world outside United States’ borders. This includes simple concepts such as the location of large cities and their corresponding countries.

The study of geography, however, is paramount to understanding the modern world. Geography, with an emphasis on understanding social and physical processes within the context of places and regions, provides students with an endless array of opportunities to explore the world around them and to become more informed about the earth and its people, plants, and animals.

After completing this unit, students will be able to:

  • Utilize atlases and maps to find geographical features including cities and countries by absolute and relative location
  • Articulate the ways in which the curved surface of the earth can be represented in several different map projections
  • Describe the human and physical characteristics of a geographical location and predict how a place might look based on its location
  • Discuss and provide examples for the ways in which humans and the environment affect each other
  • Explain how the movement of people, goods and services has played a role in shaping the world as we know it
  • Define the term “region” and discuss ways in which various geographical regions can be mapped and analyzed
  • Observe, analyze, represent, interpret and report information about the world.
Summative Assessment

To demonstrate their understanding of the above objectives, students will work in groups to design a brochure for a dream vacation. This portfolio will include a map, illustrations and descriptions of the attractions that can be visited, as well as persuasive paragraphs and fast facts about the region.

Activity 1 What is geography?
Définition: Qu’est-ce que la géographie? Download Word version
Activity 2 Localization: "Where is ...?" La localisation: “Où se trouve …?” Download Word version
Activity 3 Globe projections Les représentations du globe Download Word version
Activity 4 Space: "How do we describe our surroundings?" L’espace: “Comment peut-on décrire ce qui nous entoure?” Download Word version
Activity 5 Geographic settings: What relationships exist between different locations? Les milieux: “Quels rapports existent-ils entre les milieux?” Download Word version
Activity 6 Movement: What is the relationship between different places? Le mouvement: “Quels sont les liens entre différents endroits? Download Word version
Activity 7 Regions: "How do we distinguish one place from another?" Les régions: “Comment distingue-t-on un endroit d’un autre?” Download Word version
Activity 8 Presentations: Dream vacations! Présentations: Des vacances de rêve! Download Word version

Teachers can use these activities as templates to personalize materials for their students' own context. This project is intended to be a collaborative group process with time for individual reflection. These activities assume that students communicate in the target language for both written and oral production.

Teacher Resources and Information

This unit is designed around the “Five Themes of Geography,” developed and written by the National Geographic Society in a text entitled Geography for Life (1994). To order the text, use the following contact information:

Address National Geographic Society
P.O. Box 1640
Washington, D.C., 20013-1640
Telephone 1-800-368-2728
Web site

Web and Literature Sources
  University of North Alabama

Teaching Geography

Université Laval

L’atlas du Canada

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