In an effort to link the National Geography Standards with the Indiana Social Studies Proficiency Guidelines, the following unit was developed for educators and students alike. Both documents represent numerous hours of commitment on behalf of educators across the state and nation, and both documents are recommendations or guidelines for educators to follow when incorporating geography into their classroom. But a link was necessary to directly indicate the relationships between the two documents for Indiana educators. It is my hope that the consolidation of both documents is useful and appropriate.

The Social Studies Proficiency Guide: An Aid to Curriculum Development, 1996 Edition may be obtained from the Indiana Department of Education, #229 State House, Indianapolis IN 46204 or by calling (317)232-9156.  Geography For Life: National Geography Standards 1994 may be obtained from the National Council for Geographic Education, 16A Leonard Hall, Indiana University in Pennsylvania, Indiana PA 15705 or by calling (412)357-6290.

This unit consists of three lesson plans all incorporating the Indiana Department of Education's Social Studies Proficiency Guide: An Aid to Curriculum Development 1996 Edition and the National Geography Standards (Community Cartography, Vacation Creation and Assignment America).

Community Cartography
(lesson #1)

By: Carolyn Clark-Bennett, I.U.P.U.I., 1996

Purpose: To effectively administer age appropriate Geography and Social Studies standards into classroom curriculum.

Sources:  The Social Studies Proficiency Guide : An Aid to Curriculum Development 1996 Edition and the National Geography Standards 1994

Teaching Levels:  K-4 (Example 4th grade)

Geography Standards: All (list of the National Geography Standards)

Objectives:  Upon completion of the portfolio the student will be able to:
-Know and understand location relationships in their community.
-Apply and understand geographic representation and terms to their community’s local   dichotomy.
-Able to create mental maps from prior knowledge and illustrate it through artistic   impressions and illustrations

Materials Required
-globe / atlases / local maps
-butcher paper / cardboard
-rulers / scissors
-crayons / markers / colored pencils
-construction paper
-glue sticks / tape
-overhead projector
-inflatable globes
-plastic food wrap

1. Students will prepare a portfolio of their community using the following exercises.

a. Projection -- Divide the classroom into small groups giving each an inflatable globe, plastic wrap, permanent marker and a piece of transparent tape. Instruct the students to wrap the plastic around the globe and secure it with the tape. Then have them outline the continents, label major oceans and trace the equator. Once they have done this, have each group bring their globe up one at a time and use their “projection” of the world. You’ll notice that each group will make different concessions to accomplish this task. This makes a great segue into location and proximity.

b. Portfolio -- Discuss some of the physical features that you may see in your community (example -church, park, city hall) and list them on the board. Ask the students to think about how they remember what these locations look like. Discuss some of the important attributes of a good map (legend / key, labeling, colors). The students will draw their interpretation of their school’s community by drawing a map of the building and grounds. The next assignment would be a map of their neighborhood including friends’ houses, physical landmarks, and roads. The last assignment is to make a community map by using local maps and prior knowledge. This makes a great open house project to display for parents.

Adaptations & Extensions: Upon completion of the portfolio assign each student a specific area of your local community. When the maps are completed piece their works together (like a quilt) to create your own “community”. This makes a great hallway display !

Immediate environment of the school and family; emphasis on social learning experiences.

1.The child in home, school and neighborhood environments; the way people live and work together around the world.
2. School neighborhoods and neighborhoods in other countries; how local communities help meet people's needs.
3. Development and change in local communities and in communities in other states and regions of the world; how people in communities adapt to the environment, develop and use technology, human and natural resources.
4. Indiana and its relationships to regional, national and world communities; the influence of physical and cultural environments on the state's growth and development.

By the end of the fourth grade the student should know and understand:

1. Characteristics and purposes of geographic representation (maps, globes, graphs) How to display spatial information on maps and other geographical representations The characteristics and purposes of tools and technologies (computer-based information) How to use appropriate geographical tools and technologies [pg. 106].
2. Locations of places within the local community and in nearby communities Location of major physical and human features in the United States and on Earth Location of Earth's continents and oceans in relationship to each other and principle parallels and meridians [pg. 108].
3. Places and features distribution spatially across Earth’s surface and causes / consequences of spatial interaction on Earth’s surface Spatial elements of point, line, area, volume, concepts of location, distance, direction, scale, movement and region [pg.110].
4. Physical characteristics of places (land forms, bodies of water, vegetation) Human characteristics of places (population distribution, settlement patterns, language) How physical and human processes together shape place [pg. 113].
5. Similarities and differences among regions, ways regions change and the concept of region as an area of Earth’s surface with unifying geographical characteristics [pg. 115].
6. How to describe the student's own community and region from different perspectives Ways in which different people perceive places and regions [pg. 117].
7. How Earth-Sun relations affect conditions on Earth and how patterns (location, distribution and association) of features, on Earth's surface, are shaped by physical processes. Components: the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere [pg. 118].
8. The components of ecosystems: distribution, patterns, and how humans interact [pg. 120].
9. The spatial distribution of population and its characteristics at different scales (local to global) with their effects on human migration [pg. 122].
10. How cultures change in patterns that vary across the Earth's surface and the cultural affect from the way that people live [pg. 124].
11. Location and spatial distribution of economic activities, factors that influence economic activities. Transportation and communication networks used in daily life [pg. 126].
12. Types of spatial patterns of settlement, factors affecting the settlement of people and how spatial patterns of human settlement change with spatial characteristics of cities [pg.128].
13. Types of territorial units and the extent of characteristics: political, social, and economic at different scales (local to global). How people divide Earth's surface in correlation to their cooperation and conflict that affects places in the local community [pg.130]
14. How people depend and modify the physical environment and that the same environment can accommodate and be endangered by human activities [pg. 132]
15. The ways in which the physical environment constrains human activity and provides opportunities to people, how variations within the physical environment produce spatial patterns that affect human adaptation. [pg. 134]
16. Characteristics of renewable, nonrenewable, and flow resources with their role of resources in daily life and their distribution. [pg. 136]
17. How places and geographic contexts change over time with places and people's perceptions. That geographic context influences people and events over time. [pg. 138]
18. Dynamic character of geographic contexts; how people's perceptions affect their interpretation (world) and spatial dimensions of social and environmental problems. [pg.140]

Vacation Creation
(lesson #2)

By: Carolyn Clark-Bennett ,I.U.P.U.I., 1996

Purpose:  To effectively administer age appropriate Geography and Social Studies standards into classroom curriculum.

Sources: The Social Studies Proficiency Guide : An Aid to Curriculum Development 1996 Edition and the National Geography Standards 1994

Teaching Levels: 5-8 (Example 8th grade)

Geography Standards: All (list of the National Geography Standards)

Objectives:  Upon completion of the project the student will be able to:
-Know and understand global and local perspectives.
-Apply and understand geographic representation and terms to project guidelines. -Demonstrate how their region can affect and is effected by other locations.

Materials Required
-globe / atlases / local maps
-crayons / markers / colored pencils
-construction paper
-glue sticks / tape
-old travel brochures
-world almanacs
-library access

Students will prepare a brochure of their area to encourage tourism:  each student will be assigned a specific state. They will then become an expert on this area by researching physical and human characteristics. Depending on the amount of time that you would like to use for this particular project you may have the students contact the chamber of commerce in that state. Using old travel brochures as an example the students will construct their own brochure to encourage tourism / industry to their state.

Adaptations & Extensions:  To make this lesson even more challenging assign locations outside of the continental U.S. This forces the students to be a little more creative by making them work outside of their comfort zone. It also allows you to tie it in to world cultural studies at other levels.


5. The United States - focus on the influences of physical and cultural environments on national growth and development; the U. S. as a part of the North American region.
6. World Cultures - comparative study of the regions and nations of the Western World, including geographical, historical, economic, political, and cultural relationships.
7. World Cultures - comparative study of the regions and nations of the Eastern world including geographical, historical, economic and cultural relationships.
8. United States History - principles of the Constitutions of Indiana and the United States; emphasis on the development of the United States up to the late 19th century.

By the end of the eighth grade the student should know and understand:

1. The characteristics, functions and applications of maps, globes, aerial and other photographs, and models. How to make and use maps analyzing spatial distributions with their advantages and disadvantages of solving geographic problems [pg.144].
2. Distribution of major physical and human features (local to global), translating mental maps into graphic display and how perception influences people’s mental maps and attitudes about places [pg. 146].
3. Using the elements of space to describe spatial patterns, spatial concepts to explain spatial structure and processes shape patterns of spatial organization and its model [pg. 148].
4. How different physical processes shape places, human groups alter places in distinctive way and the role of technology in shaping the characteristics of places [pg. 150].
5. Elements and types of regions, why they change, connections to other regions and the influences and effects of regional labels and images [pg. 152].
6. How personal characteristics affect our perception of places and regions, culture and technology affect perceptions of places and regions and how they serve as cultural symbols [pg. 154].
7. How physical processes shape patterns in the physical environment, Earth-Sun relationships affecting physical processes and patterns and their influence on the formation and distribution of resources [pg. 156].
8. Local and global patterns of ecosystems, how physical processes and human activities produce changes in ecosystems [pg. 158].
9. Demographic structure of a population, reasons for spatial variations in distribution, types of historical patterns of human migration and the effects of migration on the characteristics of places [pg. 160].
10. Spatial distribution of culture at different scales, reading elements of the landscape as a mirror of culture and the processes of cultural diffusion [pg. 162].
11. Ways to classify economic activity, basis or global interdependence, reasons for the spatial patterns of economic activities and how changes in technology, transportation and communication affect the location of economic activities [pg. 164].
12. Spatial patterns of settlement in different regions of the world, human events led to the development of cities, causes / consequences of urbanization and the internal spatial structure of urban settlements [pg.167].
13. The multiple territorial divisions of the student’s own world, cooperation and conflict among people contribute to political, economic and social divisions of the Earth’s surface [pg. 169].
14. Consequences of human modification of the physical environment and changes in one place may lead to changes elsewhere with the role of technology in the human modification of the physical environment [pg. 171].
15. Human responses to variations in physical systems, characteristics of different environments that provide opportunities for or place constraints on human activities, and how natural hazards affect human activities [pg.173].
16. Worldwide distribution and use of resources, viewpoints regarding their use and the fundamental role of energy sources in society [pg. 176].
17. How spatial organization of a society change over time with people’s perceptions and geographic contexts of places, peoples, and resources have affected events and conditions of the past [pg. 179].
18. The interaction of physical and human systems may shape the present and future conditions on Earth, varying points of view influence plans for change and how to apply it to solve social and environmental problems by making geographically informed decisions [pg. 181].

Assignment America
(lesson #3)

By: Carolyn Clark-Bennett, I.U.P.U.I., 1996

Purpose:  To effectively administer age appropriate Geography and Social Studies standards into classroom curriculum.

Sources:  The Social Studies Proficiency Guide : An Aid to Curriculum Development 1996 Edition and the National Geography Standards 1994

Teaching Levels:  9-12 (Example 12th grade)

Geography Standards: All (list of National Geography Standards)

Objectives:  Upon completion of the project the student will be able to:
-Understand and apply correlation between U.S. History and World Geography.
-Develop a completed portfolio that represents the five themes of Geography.

Materials Required
- atlases
-local maps
-reference books
-state specific books

Students will be familiar with the five themes of Geography, if not then begin with a discussion so they are familiar with the five themes. Students will select a state/region and become an expert on that area. Requirements for each section of the portfolio should include: location (absolute and relative), place (physical and human characteristics), human-environment interaction (relationships within places), movement (mobility of people, goods, and ideas) and regions (how they form and change).

Adaptations & Extensions:  Group students into 2 or 3 per group and have them make a audio/visual presentation about their state or region.


WORLD GEOGRAPHY:  Provides an opportunity to study the interaction of humans and their environment in space and time. Students should understand global patterns of physical and cultural characteristics. World Geography should provide and opportunity to study the five basic geographic themes -- location, place, relationships within places, movement and regions.

ECONOMICS:  Includes a study of allocation of scarce resources and their alternative uses for satisfying human wants. It should examine basic models of decision-making at various levels and in different areas including: decisions mad as a consumer, producer, saver, investor, and voter; business decisions to maximize profits; and public policy decisions in specific markets dealing with output, and prices in the national economy.

PSYCHOLOGY:  An opportunity to study individual and social psychology and how the knowledge and methods of psychologists are applied to the solution of human problems. Including some insights into behavior patterns and adjustments to social environments. Developing critical attitudes toward superficial generalizations about human beings, respect for the difficulty of establishing truth of a proposition, and a heightened sensitivity to the feelings and needs of others.

SOCIOLOGY:  Studying group behavior and basic human institutions. Society studies, such as in the family; religion, community organizations; political and social groups; and leisure time organizations. Moral values, traditions, folkways, the mobility of people, and other factors in society which influence group behavior.

U.S. GOVERNMENT:  A framework for understanding the nature and importance of responsible civic participation, learning the rights and responsibilities of individuals in a constitutional democracy. Exploring historical origins and the evolution of political philosophies into contemporary political and legal systems. The Constitution and three branches of government: legislative, executive and judicial.

U.S. HISTORY:  A two-semester course, emphasizing national development in the late 19th and 20th century, which should build upon concepts developed from previous studies in American history. Identifying and reviewing significant events and movements in the early development of the nation. After which major emphasis should be on the interaction of historical events and geographic, social, and economic influences on development in these two centuries.

By the end of the twelfth grade the student should know and understand:

1. How to use maps and other geographic representations to depict geographic problems, use technologies to interpret Earth’s physical and human systems and use tools and geographic representations to solve geographic problems [pg. 184].
2. How to use mental maps of physical and human features of the world to answer complex geographic questions, human perception of places and influence spatial and environmental decision-making [pg. 186].
3. Generalizations that describe and explain spatial interaction, models describing patterns of spatial organization, spatial behavior of people, and applying concepts of spatial organization to make decisions [pg. 188].
4. The meaning and significance of place, changing physical and human characteristics, and how the relationships between physical and human characteristics lead to the formation of places and community identity [pg. 190].
5. How multiple criteria can be used to define a region, the structure if regional systems, ways physical and human regional systems are interconnected, and how to use regions to analyze geographic issues [pg. 192].
6. Why places and regions serve as symbols for individuals and society, why groups of people within a society view places and regions differently and how changing perceptions of places and regions reflect cultural change [pg. 195].
7. Dynamics of four components of physical systems: atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere and hydrosphere, interaction of physical systems, and spatial variation in the consequences of physical processes across Earth’s surface [pg.197].
8. Distribution and characteristics of ecosystems, biodiversity and productivity and the importance of ecosystems in people’s understanding of environmental issues [pg. 199].
9. Trends in world population numbers and patterns and the impact of human migration on physical and human systems [pg. 201].
10. The impact of culture on ways of life in different regions, how cultures shape the character of a region, and spatial characteristics of the processes of cultural convergence and divergence [pg. 203].
11. Classification, characteristics, and spatial distribution of economic systems, how places of various size function as centers of economic activity and the increasing economic interdependence of the world’s countries [pg.206].
12. Functions, sizes and spatial arrangements of urban areas, differing characteristics of settlement in developing and developed countries, processes that change the internal structure of urban areas and the evolving forms of present-day urban areas [pg. 208].
13. Why and how cooperation and conflict are involved in shaping the distribution of social, political, and economic spaces on Earth at different scales, the impact of multiple spatial divisions on people’s daily lives, and how differing points of view and self-interests play a role in conflict over territory and resources [pg. 210].
14. The role of technology in the capacity of the physical environment to accommodate human modification, significance of the global impacts of human modification of the physical environment and how to apply appropriate models and information to understand environmental problems [pg. 212].
15. How changes in the physical environment can diminish its capacity to support human activity, strategies to respond to constraints placed on human activity by the physical environment and how humans perceive and react to natural hazards [pg. 214].
16. How spatial distribution of resources affects patterns of human settlement, development and use change over time and geographic results of policies and programs for resource use and management [pg. 216].
17. How processes of spatial change affect events and conditions, changing perceptions of places and environments affect the spatial behavior of people, and the fundamental role that geographical context has played in affecting events in history [pg. 219].
18. How different points of view influence the development of policies designed to use and manage Earth’s resources, contemporary issues in the context of spatial and environmental perspectives and using geographic knowledge, skills, and perspectives to analyze problems and make decisions [pg.221].