9th Grade Geography
Instructor: Shawn Strand
West House - Room 1035
The ninth grade social science curriculum is a year-long course in physical and human geography. The first semester is organized with the following question in mind: “How has geography and the environment shaped human societies and civilizations?” The year starts with an introduction to physical geography as a branch of the physical sciences, with emphasis on the scientific process, an overview of geographic terms an mapping skills, and an investigation of the Earth’s physical systems; the seasons, weather, climate of the Earth, as well as its climate regions and vegetation. An introduction to human (cultural) geography follows, with lessons on the elements of culture, population, migration, political geography, urbanization, human genetic diversity, and an overview of world religions.
The second semester turns the first semester’s essential question around by asking, “How have human societies impacted the Earth’s environment?” To answer that question, students are taken on a regional study of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Along the way, a variety of cultures, religions, and current issues are explored, including economic development, regional conflict, health care, global pandemics, environmental degradation, resource depletion, and the effects of imperialism and globalization.
In addition to these academic disciplines, ninth grade social science class will help develop abilities vital to the IPoly program: presentation skills, cooperation, organization, and critical thinking.