Geography and World Cultures is a robust, one-semester course that explores how geographic features, human relationships, political and social structures, economics, science and technology, and the arts have developed and influenced life in countries around the world. Along the way, students are given rigorous instruction on how to read maps, charts, and graphs, and how to create them.
At the intersection of culture and geography, students learn about art, science, individuals and communities, and history and current events. Students discover how a mountain in the distance can inspire a Sufi poet, how a river blocking a passage occupies a civil engineer and a ship builder alike, and how the sound of a busy Cairo street inspires a musician. Human history is all about cultures meeting — how they influence and inspire each other; what sets one apart from the next; and how they battle each other for land, natural resources, religious dominance, and more.
Geography and World Cultures is designed as the first course in the social studies sequence. It develops note-taking skills, teaches analytic writing, and introduces students to the close examination of primary documents.
The content is based on standards from the National Council for History Education (1997), the National Center for History in the Schools (1996), and the National Council for Social Studies (1994) and is aligned to state standards.