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Ms. Erika Skiba





Advanced Placement Human Geography is designed to prepare students for the rigor of a college course by imposing similar demands that will strengthen students’ analytical and critical thinking skills. The purpose of this course is to learn and utilize geographic processes to systematically study patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface.  Students will utilize spatial concepts and landscape investigation to analyze human social organization and its environmental consequences. They also gain knowledge of the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice. Students’ evaluation and analysis of primary and secondary sources shape and develop writing and reading skills, Students’ interpretive analyses are presented in free-response essays, oral presentations, currents events and research assignments; all focusing on the fundamental concepts of geography.



Learn and utilize the geographic toolbox

  • o Using Maps and Spatial Data
  • o Becoming “Geographically Literate”
  • o Critical thinking involves discovering what is concealed in various maps and spatial arrays


Employ spatial concepts, geographic terminology, and landscape interpretation

  • o Use spatial perspective to understand spatial organization and the material character of Earth’s surface changes 
  • Spatial perspective: how are phenomena in different places related?
  • Recognize and interpret patterns

Spatial perspective: what is the nature and significance of phenomena occurring in the same place?

  • How do taste, value, political regulation, and economic constraint work together to create cultural landscape?


Patterns and Processes: Recognize and Interpret Relationships

  • o Geographical analysis of scale requires sensitivity
  • Use of Multiple Scales: Phenomena is influenced by various scales: local, regional, national and global

Evaluating the Regional Process

  • o Define Region to describe patterns
  • Locate and describe

o Using Region as objects of analysis

  • How did regions come into being
  • How does the world change


Developing the Geographic Perspective as a lends for landscape and current events

  • o Characterize and analyze changing interconnections
  • How events/processes/phenomena in one place influence other places
  • View of patterns/places in terms of spatial and functional relationships instead of in isolation
  • How and why relationships are constantly changing


All students are required to take the AP Human Geography College Board Examination on May 18, 2012.  Students have many resources at their disposal during the school year and leading up to the exam.  These resources include previously released AP exams, (AP exam information, online practice test, and additional AP support), Power of Place education videos (Annenberg Media), Pearson Publishing (textbook companion website including practice questions and additional resources), after school teacher-led review sessions, a myriad of resources on the class website and personal email contact. 


The AP exam consists of two sections.

Section I: students will answer 75 multiple choice questions in 60 minutes (50%)

Section II: students will have 3 Free-Response essays, each with a 25 minute time period (50%)


Students in this course receive instruction on how to respond to these essay questions as well as exercises in assessing the multiple-choice questions.


This course contains a varied methodology of instruction; however, a majority of time is allotted to lecture and discussion. Students are responsible for a significant amount of reading each week; most reading takes place outside of the classroom. Weekly reading may include chapters from the assigned textbook, not including additional assignments. Assessments determine retention and understanding of these materials. Students are expected to summarize/take lecture notes, write essays, complete study guide tasks and participate in activities. The classroom experience includes Socratic discussions (inner/outer circle), simulations, debates, and collaborative learning (group learning) used to focus on primary and secondary resources. The goal of these activities is to develop the students’ habits of mind and higher order thinking skills.




Rubenstein, James M. The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography. 10th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ.: Prentice Hall, 2011.


*Additional texts and websites are utilized throughout the course*


Kaplan AP Human Geography (2011)    



De Blij, H.J. and Alexander B. Murphy. Human Geography: Culture, Society, and Space.  9th edition.  New York: John Wiley, 2010.


Domosh, Mona, Roderick P. Neumann, and Patricia L. Price. The Human Mosaic: A Thematic Introduction to Cultural Geography. Boston: W.H. Freeman & Company, 2005.


The Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century series. Video.N.p.: Annenburg/CPB Project, 1996. The programs in this series are used for the video case studies.


AP College Board website










Students’ performance is assessed through Homework, Class participation, Quizzes, Exams, and Projects. There will be approximately two to three unit tests per term, as well as a mid-term and final exam. Grades are accrued on a point basis through test scores, quizzes, projects, and class participation. 


Quizzes and Unit Exams: Quizzes are used throughout the course to assess retention of information.  Exams will be given at the end of each unit.  Exams consist of combination of multiple choice questions and essay questions that resemble those given on the AP Exam.  A Midterm and Final exam will also be given.


Projects:  Students are assigned several projects throughout the course.

Additional projects TBA during the school year.

Class and Homework: Homework assignments are given on a regular basis to reinforce material covered in class or prepare for the next days’ work.  Map activities, document analysis exercises, textbook reading assignments, geography labs, group projects, individual projects, current events, and topic review questions are just several types of in-class and home learning tasks that are completed throughout the year.


Binder: To promote success, students will need to keep an organized binder as part of this course containing class notes and assignments. Binders will be checked periodically for items such as Unit Outlines, Cornell Notes, Maps, and Lecture Notes. 


Vocabulary: Vocabulary is a key part of this course.  Students will create a collection of vocabulary flash cards in order to prepare for the AP Exam. These will be completed at home and graded every week.



A 93-100 C-     70-72

A- 90-92 D+    67-69

B+ 87-91 D      63-66

B 83-86 D-     60-62

B- 80-82 F      0-59

C+ 77-79

C 73-76






MAKE- UP WORK: Students are responsible for obtaining work they have missed when absent.  Only students with excused absences will receive credit for make-up work.

  • Work assigned before the absence must be turned in the day the student returns to class. Students have 2 days (not including the date of return to class) to make up work. 
  • Reviews for tests/quizzes are conducted prior to tests/quizzes.  These are recommended and often helpful for students, but only benefit those who come to class. Students who miss tests or quizzes are still required to take exams whether or not they have participated in the review.


Missed exams must be made up on the date of return unless arranged otherwise. This is the student’s responsibility- if exams are not made up, the student will receive a ZERO.






  • Prepare to take the AP Exam in May 18, 2012 at 8am.
  • Actively participate in class and complete all assignments thoroughly and promptly
  • Attend class daily, arriving on time
  • Make up work when absent- contact Ms. Skiba and send assignments due electronically if possible; make prior arrangements for planned absences; two days allotted for each day absent to turn in work. 
  • Keep a well-organized and complete notebook for the entire year; bring to class daily. Use the charts and lecture and reading notes in your notebook to study for test.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to redo work for mastery of the content and skills of the course
  • Challenge yourself to work hard and maintain high standards!
















I expect all of my students to behave in a respectful, mature manner with their peers, teachers, parents and administrators.


  • Be on time for class. You must have a pass to enter class late- please do not disrupt the class to explain your tardiness. We will discuss it at a more convenient time.
  • Be prepared for class- bring materials to class and be prepared to participate.
  • All electronic devices (Ipods, cellphones, etc) should be turned off and put away.
  • Class time is used for learning- do not work on other assignments, run personal errands, or socialize with peers.
  • All students’ contributions are important- be respectful, do not talk while others are talking.
  • Raise your hand if you have a question or need to leave your seat. Getting out of your seat without permission and calling out is unacceptable behavior.
  • NO FOOD, or DRINKS are ALLOWED IN CLASS as per administration.
  • Keep your area clean- make sure to throw your trash away. 
  • Teacher- not the bell- dismisses the class.



You will be given 3 passes per academic quarter.  Unused passes will translate into 20 Extra Credit Points per pass.  Students may ask to use the restroom ONLY AFTER lecture/note taking.  As per administration, students may not leave the room 10 minutes before or after the bell.  













This is a tentative outline for the year and the timeframes may change due to circumstances such as snow days, in-schools activities, and state-mandated testing.  In addition to possible changes, the outline allows additional time for two to three weeks of review before the AP exam and additional classroom instruction following completion of the AP exam.  Students will also participate in at least 2 mock AP exams during the school year.  The following units are covered in this course:  Introduction to Geography, Population, Political Geography, Cultural Patterns and Processes, Agriculture, Economic Geography, and Urbanization.  



UNIT I: THINKING GEOGRAPHICALLY:  3 weeks (5-10% of exam)

This AP Human Geography stresses the importance of geography as a field of inquiry and briefly looks at the emergence of academic geography. The course introduces students to the importance of spatial organization.  Location, space, place, scale, pattern, regionalization and globalization are important topics throughout the course. Students interpret the implications of associations among phenomena in places.


Readings: Rubenstein Chapter 1


Power of Place: #1,2

Tentative Activities: Mental Maps Map of the USA

Latitude and Longitude Lab Map of Canada

5 Themes of Geography 

              Climate Graphs

Vocabulary Cards

World Maps



UNIT II: POPULATION: 5 weeks (13-17% of exam)

AP students consider the ways in which human population is organized geographically as a tool to make sense of cultural, political, economic, and urban systems.

  • Analyze distribution of human population using various scales
  • Why do populations grow in particular places while declining in others?
  • Examine theories of population growth
  • Movement of population

o Push/pull factors

o Migration

  • Voluntary, Involuntary, Migration selectivity, short term, local

o Activity space


Reading: Rubenstein Chapters 2 & 3



Map of Central America

Power of Place: #21 Map of South America

Tentative Activities: Doubling Time Map of the Caribbean

Population Pyramids

Video: The World In Balance

Demographic Model

Census 2010 and the World in 2010



UNIT III: CULTURAL PATTERNS AND PROCESSES: 6 weeks (13-17% of the exam)

This section examines components and regional variations of cultural patterns.

  • Concept of Culture
  • How geographers assess cultural groups
  • o Language, religion, race, ethnicity, gender
  • Culture patterns are represented in a variety of geographic scales from local to global.
  • Diffusion: how cultural traits spread through time and space.
  • Students will be able to examine the affect that various cultures had on the environment and how different cultures are expressed through art and architecture.


Reading: Rubenstein Chapters 4-7


Maps of Europe

Power of Place: #17,26

Tentative Activities: Nacierma

Culture Flip books

Language Family 

Dying Languages

Comparisons of Religions



UNIT IV: POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY: 5 weeks (13 – 17% of the exam)  

This section introduces students to political organizations of territory at different scales.

  • Examine how political patterns reflect ideas about how the Earth’s surfaced should be organized
  • Political geography of the modern “nation-state” or country
  • Focus on disputes that resulted in world wide as a result of political boundaries.
  • Students will realize the difficulty that lies in solving environmental problems that cross national borders.


Reading: Rubenstein Chapters 8 & 9  


Power of Place: #3

Tentative Activities: Geopolitical Theory Maps of Africa

Types of Government

Create your own world

Hotel Rwanda 


UNIT V: AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LAND USE: 5 weeks (13 – 17% of the exam)

Students examine the origin and spread of agriculture, where domestication originated the processes in which it spread. World agricultural regions and why these regions function in the way they do. Students also analyze the impact of agricultural change on the quality of life and environment.

  • Focus on fishing, forestry, nomadic herding, ranching, plantation agriculture, mixed crop/livestock systems, market gardening, horticulture, and factory farms.


Reading: Rubenstein Chapter 10

Power of Place: #8, 12

Tentative Activities: Environmental Limitations on Russian Agriculture Maps of Asia

Agricultural Maps

Food, Inc.

Crops around the world

Video “Is Walmart Good for America?”



Students will gain insight to the value of natural resources to different societies around the world.  Student will examine how economic activity has a spatial character influenced by the integration of multiple factors including natural resources, culture, politics and history in a place.

  • Address and compare the growth of various economies
  • Developed versus developing nations
  • Use and conservation of resources
  • Standards of living and quality of life
  • The question of conservation and the impact of pollution


Reading: Rubenstein Chapter 11


Map of Oceania

Power of Place: #5, 15, 18, 20

Tentative Activities:

World Systems Theory


UNIT VII: CITIES AND URBAN LAND USE: 5 weeks (13 – 17% of the exam)

Urban geography can be divided into two subfields; the study of systems of cities and their various forms, internal structure, and landscape of cities. Students are introduced to such topics as patterns of land use, racial and ethnic segregation, types of intra-city transportation, architectural traditions, and cycles of uneven construction and developments.

  • Focus on the location of cities (site and situation)
  • The political, economic, and cultural functions of cities and their affect on the growth of cities
  • Land use, demographics, and the cultural values of a variety of cities.


Reading: Rubenstein Chapters 12 & 13

Power of Place: #16, 24

Tentative Activities: Central Place Theory

Sports Corporation

Urban Models

City project


UNIT VIII: ENVIRONMENTAL GEOGRAPHY:  1 week- we will also cover this topic throughout the course

Environmental geography will be discussed in detail throughout the course. During this week, students will discuss the environmental impact of developed countries VS that of developing countries. 

Reading: Rubenstein Chapter 14


Tentative Activities: Human Footprint Project

Review of all Maps



**Activities/Assignments are subject to change during the school year**






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