Social Studies

Sixth grade will not be switching teachers due to the Covid restrictions.  We are studying geography and mapping first.  They students will be creating an interactive notebook.


1. Absolute Location – The exact spot where something is located, usually its latitude and longitude
2. Cardinal Directions – Located on the compass rose, they are North, South, West, and East
3. Climate – Weather patterns in an area usually experienced over a long period of time
4. Compass Rose – A navigational instrument; may include cardinal and intermediate
5. Continent – One of the seven principle landmasses of the earth
6. Distortion – A change in the accuracy of shapes, direction, or distances shown on
7. Environment – Our surroundings
8. Equator – An imaginary latitude line located between the north & south poles at 0
9. Geography – The study of Earth and the people who live on it and how they use it
10. Hemispheres – Half of the Earth (there are four)
11. Intermediate Directions – Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, and Southwest
12. Key/Legend – The section of a map that explains the symbols for the map features
13. Latitude/Parallel – Imaginary east-west circles around the earth that run parallel to
the equator,

14. Longitude/Meridian – Imaginary lines that run from the North to South Pole (top-
bottom) around the world

15. Prime Meridian – Imaginary line of longitude that runs from North to South Pole at 0
16. Region – Areas with similar characteristics
17. Relative Location – The approximate spot where something is located, usually
compared to other places
18. Scale – The size of an area on a map as compared with the area’s actual size.
19. Tropic of Cancer – Imaginary line of latitude located at 23.5 degrees North of the
20. Tropic of Capricorn – Imaginary line of latitude located at 23.5 degrees South of of the equator

5 Themes of Geography

Key Question: What makes this place different from other places?
1. Physical Differences – Nature, landscape, climate, wildlife, rivers, soil, etc.
2. Human Differences – Things that have changed due to people such as homes, buildings, roads,
culture, lifestyle, traditions

Key Question: How can the earth be divided into regions for study?
Definition: Region – areas that can be grouped based on similarities
3 Ways:
1 – By governments – countries and states
2 – By service or function – school districts, delivery routes
3 – By physical characteristics – the South, Southern California Beaches, the Middle East,

Human-Environment Interaction:
Key Question: What are the relationships between people and their places?
3 Key Areas:
1. People change their environment
Definition: Adaptation: Change to fit the situation
(“think” wear shorts on a hot day in the desert)
2. People change their environment
Definition: Modification: Changing the situation to fit your needs
(think: clearing forests to grow crops)
3. People depend on their environment for survival
Definition: Dependence: Need to live or survive
(think: cutting down trees for firewood or to build shelters or using the river for transporting
**special note** It is not always clear which is which, sometimes how humans interact with their environment may be a combination of these categories.

Key Question: Where are thing located?
1. Absolute Location – street address, coordinates on a map (latitude and longitude used by GPS)
2. Relative Location – About where something can be found. The general area such as next to
McDonald’s, a 10-minute walk, on the beach.

Key Question: What are the patterns of movement of the people, products, and information?
– Movement refers to the way people, objects, goods./products, information, wealth,
communication, and ideas, etc. move from one place to another.
– This can be local such as how did you get to school today, or it can be global such as
how did humans get to North America?

Coming up next: Continents, Rivers, Oceans and Map Skills