Advanced Placement Human Geography
School Year 2009-2010
AP Human Geography is an introductory college course. An AP Human Geography course need not
follow any specific college course curriculum. To a certain extent, the plan of an AP course is to provide
the students with a learning experience equivalent to that obtained in most college introductory Human
Geography courses. The intent is not to teach a true college course with its entire rigor to high school
students, but to challenge young students with a college level course. The course will be taught in a
lecture based format with time each session devoted to class discussion, debate, and higher level
Purpose of the Course
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that
have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial
concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental
consequences. They also gain knowledge of the methods and tools geographers use in their science and
Upon completion of the course, students will:
Use and think about maps and spatial data
Understand and interpret the implications of associations among phenomena in places
Recognize and interpret at different scales the relationships among patterns and processes
Define regions and evaluate the regionalization process
Characterize and analyze changing interconnections among places
AP Human Geography is generally one semester in length; however, this Human Geography course will
be one year in length with classes meeting on an every other day basis. Each class period is scheduled
for 95 minutes. Tutoring is also offered on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons; however, additional tutoring
sessions can be scheduled with the teacher. The course will have two classes with typically 20-30
students in each class. The school year begins in early August and will end shortly before the end of May.
Each daily lesson will begin with a short assignment to introduce the daily lesson or review a lesson from
the previous class meeting. The assignment will be a reading assignment with a question, a short-writing
assignment, or thinking critically question which will require the student to offer their opinion on a given
subject. The introduction to the lesson will generally last 15-20 minutes. After the introduction to the
lesson, the teacher will deliver the daily lesson by lecture and PowerPoint slideshow combination. This
portion of class will last for 45-60 minutes. During the lesson, the students will contribute to class
discussions in reference to the daily topic. Students will have the opportunity to analyze primary source
materials. Each student will be required to use higher level thinking skills to connect the material in the
lesson with real life situations occurring around the world daily.
After the class discussion and delivery of the lesson, the students will be a given a daily assignment or an
assignment which each student must begin in class and complete at home. The last 5 minutes of class
will be designated as the class wrap-up, review time. Review time at the end of class is imperative to
insure the students have comprehended the material for the day.
The assignments for this class will require students to complete much of them outside of class time. Class
assignments could include but not limited to the following: student readings and analysis, short essays,
Document Based Questions, and map assignments. Students will, at times, be required to complete
major projects which will be turned in and/or presented to the class for a test grade. The students will be
required to use at least one form of technology in the delivery of their project.
The student’s final grade for the AP Human Geography class will be determined as follows:
Daily assignments: 20%
In accordance with school district guidelines the following is an explanation of grades:
A ...................................................................................................................................................... 90 - 100
B ........................................................................................................................................................ 80 - 89
C ........................................................................................................................................................ 70 - 79
D ........................................................................................................................................................ 60 - 69
F ..................................................................................................................................................... Below 60
The students will be required to complete a chapter test at the end of each chapter which will always
include higher level thinking multiple choice questions and short answer questions. Occasionally, the
chapter test will require the student to write an essay on a given topic. Any major project will be
considered as a test grade. On a weekly basis, students will complete a short quiz usually 10-15
questions to determine if the students comprehend the material. Daily assignments or minor take home
assignments will be considered as a daily assignment grade such as: nightly reading with comprehension
questions, short map assignments, defining important terms, or research questions on a given topic.
At the end of the course in May, each student will be required to complete a comprehensive exam of the
material. A student could be exempt under the following guidelines:
For a student to be qualified for an exemption in a particular course, he/she must meet one of the criteria
1. Have an average of 90-100 for the course and no more than 4 absences per semester course or
no more than 2 absences per 9 week course.
2. Have an average of 80-89 for the course and no more than 2 absences per semester course or
no more than 1 absence per 9 week course.
3. Students in grades 9-11 with perfect attendance for the year (Terms 1-4); who have a passing
average can be exempt from the Term 4 exam in May.
**Perfect attendance is defined as being present all day every day.
The AP Human Geography Exam tests a student’s knowledge of the patterns and processes that have
shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth's surface. Students will have an opportunity to
earn college credit in geography before he/she ever begin his/her college experience. The AP Exam will
take place in May of each year. Exams are scored by college professors and experienced AP educators
using scoring standards.
About the Exam
The exam is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes and includes a 60-minute, 75-question multiple-
choice section and a 75-minute three-question free-response section. The multiple-choice section
accounts for half of the examination grade and the free-response section for the other half.
Section I: Multiple-Choice
The multiple-choice section is designed to measure the student’s knowledge of human geography
through a broad range of topics and types of questions. Student’s should expect questions that test
his/her ability to use and think about maps and spatial data, understanding of how the world looks from a
spatial perspective, ability to interpret patterns and processes at different scales, understanding of
regions, and finally, ability to characterize and analyze changing interconnections among places.
The following is a break down of the AP Human Geography exam detailing what percentage of each unit
will be covered on the exam.
1. Geography: Its Nature and Perspectives (5-10%)
2. Population (13-17%)
3. Cultural Patterns and Processes (13-17%)
4. Political Organization of Space (13-17%)
5. Agricultural and Rural Land Use (13-17%)
6. Industrialization and Economic Development (13-17%)
7. Cities and Urban Land Use (13-17%)
Students are not expected to know the answer to every question. Although random guessing is unlikely to
improve the test score The best solution in answering a multiple choice question is attempt to eliminate
one or more answer choices.
Section II: Free-Response
In the free-response section, students will be asked to write complete higher level thinking answers to
three constructed response questions. The questions may require students to interrelate different areas
and to analyze and evaluate geographical concepts. Questions may be based on stimulus material such
as verbal description, maps, graphs, photographs, and diagrams. Students are expected to use analytical
and organizational skills to formulate answers in writing essays.
The free-response section usually includes one question that tests a specific concept in geography and
its application to real-world situations, one question that tests students ability to pull together and
synthesize material from across the course, and one question that tests depth of knowledge of a topic
and gives students an opportunity to demonstrate his/her ability to apply and analyze geographic
concepts across geographic contexts.
Remember to answer each question in the way it is structured. Points are allocated for sub-parts of the
question and not for the overall answer. The answer should be in essay form. Outlines and unlabeled
diagrams and maps are not acceptable final answers. Students must learn to think outside of the box, and
students will have the opportunity to demonstrate his/her understanding of key concepts in geography.
Scoring the Exam
The multiple-choice and free-response sections each account for one-half of your final exam grade. The
three questions in the free-response section are weighted equally.
AP Grade Qualification
5 Extremely well qualified
4 Well qualified
2 Possible qualified
1 No recommendation
An AP score of 5 is equivalent to the average score for college students earning scores of A. Similarly,
the lowest composite scores for AP scores of 4, 3, and 2 are equivalent to the average scores for
students with college scores of B, C, and D, respectively.
Students who earn AP Exam scores of 3 or above are generally considered to be qualified to receive
college credit and/or placement into advanced courses due to the fact that their AP Exam scores are
equivalent to a college course score of "middle C” or above. However, the awarding of credit and
placement is determined by each college or university and students should check with the institution to
verify its AP credit and placement policies.
Students may visit apcentral.collegeboard.com at any time to review sample AP Human Geography exam
questions. Students can also retrieve other helpful information from the website given for the AP Exam.
Unit One: Geography: It’s Nature and Perspectives (2 weeks)
Fouberg-text- Chapter One. Students will have to answer comprehension questions which follow along
with the text.
Chapter One: Introduction to Human Geography
A. What is Human Geography?
1. Define human geography
2. Explain globalization
B. What are geographic questions?
1. Define physical geography
2. Explain spatial distribution
3. Examine patterns and mapping—pandemics and epidemics
4. Identify five Themes of Geography
5. Clarify Cultural Landscape
C. Why do geographers use maps?
1. Compare and Contrast Reference Maps, Thematic Maps, and Mental Maps
2. Differentiate absolute location, relative location, and activity spaces.
3. Relate global positioning systems and geographic information systems
D. Why are Geographers concerned with scale connectedness?
1. Determine if areas around the world would be considered functional, formal, or perceptual
2. Describe the differences between expansion diffusion, contagious diffusion, hierarchical
diffusion, stimulus diffusion, and relocation diffusion
Unit Two: Population (3 weeks)
Eberstadt, Nicholas. “Rising Ambitions, Sinking Population.” Students will have to write a one page
summary of the article.
Fouberg-text- Chapter Two. Students will have to answer comprehension questions which follow along
with the text.
Kristoff, Nicholas D. “The Evil Behind the Smiles.” Students will have to write a one page summary of the
Chapter 2: Population
A. Where in the world do people live and why?
1. Clarify physiological population density
2. Examine population distribution and dot maps
3. Interpret how the world’s population is dispersed
4. Recognize world’s megalopolises
5. Evaluate population data
B. Why do populations rise or fall in particular places?
1. Inspect population growth at world, regional, national, and local scales
2. Relate natural increase, crude birth rate, and crude death rate around the world
3. Hypothesize future population growth
C. Why does population composition matter?
1. Evaluate population pyramids
D. How does the geography of health influence population dynamics?
1. Correlate health issues with population of spaces around the world
2. Discuss infant mortality rate, child mortality rate, life expectancy, infectious diseases, and
E. How do governments affect population change?
1. Explain expansive population policies: China and former Soviet Union
Unit Three: Cultural Patterns and Processes (14 weeks)
Brown, Robbie. “Language Barriers: English has never been America's "official" language. What's behind
the recent efforts to change that?” Students will complete discussion questions which follow along with
Davey, Monica. “Vanishing Barns Signal a Changing Iowa.” Students will have be required to read the
article and write an essay explaining how the culture of Iowa could be changing.
Ellick, Adam B. ”Skateboarding in Afghanistan Provides a Diversion from Isolation.” Students will be
required to write a one page summary in reference to the changing culture in Afghanistan.
Friedman, Thomas L. “The Open-Door Bailout.” Students will read article and write a one page summary
in reference to the article.
Fouberg-text- Chapter Three, Four, Five, Six, and Seven. Students will have to answer comprehension
questions which follow along with the text.
Kristoff, Nicholas D. --“Giving Thanks to Heroes.”
--“A Killer Without Borders.”
--“How to Prevent a Pandemic.” Students will read all three articles and write an essay discussing how all
three articles relate to migration.
Chapter Three: Migration
A. What is migration?
1. Categorize different types of movement: cyclic and periodic
2. Compare international and internal migration
B. Why do people migrate?
1. Contrast forced and voluntary migration
2. Determine push and pull factors
C. Where do people migrate?
1. Evaluate Global and Regional Migration Flows
2. Classify guest workers and refugees
3. Define refugee
D. How do governments affect migration?
1. Critique Immigration Laws around the world
2. Analyze immigration patterns
3. Discuss post-September 11 and compare changes to immigration policies before and after
Chapter Four: Local Culture, Popular Culture, and Cultural Landscapes
A. What are local and popular cultures?
1. Differentiate folk culture, popular culture, and local culture
2. Explain hierarchical diffusion and a hearth
B. How are local cultures sustained?
1. Compare and contrast rural local cultures such as: Amish, Hutterites, and Makah American
2. Distinguish different types of ethnic neighborhoods and explain how each are different and/or
3. Review what makes places authentic
C. How is popular culture diffused?
1. Analyze hearths of popular culture
2. Demonstrate contagious diffusion
Chapter Five: Identify: Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality
A. What is identity and how are identities constructed?
1. Identify race and racism
2. Explain residential segregation
B. How do places affect identity and how can we see identities in places?
1. Examine ethnicity and place
2. Debate identity and space
C. How does geography reflect and shape power relationships among groups of people?
1. Determine what makes vulnerable populations
2. Judge women’s role in sub-Saharan Africa
3. Examine dowry deaths in India
Chapter Six: Language
A. What are languages and what role do languages play in culture?
1. Define and give examples of language
2. Evaluate different dialects
B. Why are languages distributed the way they are?
1. Classify languages: language families and sub-families
2. Explain language formations
3. Trace routes of diffusion of certain languages
4. Identify the languages of Europe and sub-Saharan Africa
C. How do languages diffuse?
1. Review official languages and global languages
D. What role does language play in making places?
1. Define toponyms
2. Inquire about changing toponyms, memorial toponyms, and commodification of toponyms
Chapter Seven: Religion
A. What is religion and what role does it play in culture?
1. Define religion
2. Describe religion’s role in society
B. Where did the major religions of the world originate and how do religions diffuse?
1. Distinguish among monotheistic, polytheistic, and animistic religions
2. Interpret world map of religions today
3. Identify some hearths of religions such as: Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism,
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
C. How is religion seen in the cultural landscape?
1. Explain pilgrimage
2. Identify sacred sites
D. What role does religion play in political conflicts?
1. Discuss conflicts along religious borders
2. Summarize the conflict between Israel and Palestine
3. Compare religious fundamentalism and extremism
Unit Four: Political Organization of Space (6 weeks)
Cohen, Roger. “Arabs, Persians, Jews.” Students will use the article and internet resources to write an
essay describing the ever changing political situation between Israeli’s and Palestinians.
Hansen, Jonathan M. “Making the Law in Cuba.” Students will be required to write a summary about the
Kristoff, Nicholas D. “A stoning in Somalia.” Students will be required to write a one page summary about
Lineback, Neal, G. “Rwanda’s Genocide: Lessons Learned.” Students will be required to write a summary
about the article.
Qaddafi, Muammar. ”The One-State Solution.” Students will use this article, Roger Cohen’s article, and
internet resources to write an essay describing the ever changing political situation between Israeli’s and
Chapter Eight: Political Geography
A. How is space politically organized into states and nations?
1. Define political geography, state, and nation
2. Clarify the modern state idea
3. Examine nations and nation-state
4. Evaluate democracy
5. Analyze the capitalist world economy
6. Classify world systems and political power
B. How do states spatially organize their governments?
1. Compare unitary and federal systems
2. Explain devolution
3. Clarify electoral geography
4. Define reapportionment, territorial representation, and gerrymandering
C. How are boundaries established?
1. Identify a boundary and types of boundaries
2. Evaluate boundary disputes
D. How does geopolitics help us understand the world?
1. Define geopolitics
2. Explain critical geopolitics
3. Analyze geopolitical world order
E. What are supranational organizations and what is the future of the state?
1. Define supranational organizations
2. Identify supranational organizations such as: NATO, NAFTA, UN, and WTO and research
Chapter Nine: Urban Geography
A. When and why did people start living in cities?
1. Define urban
2. Explain urban revolution
3. Identify hearths of urbanization
B. Where are cities located and why?
1. Identify trade area
2. Examine the central place theory
3. Identify central places today
C. How are cities organized and how they function?
1. Evaluate models of cities
2. Compare and contrast the Concentric Zone Model, Sector Model, and Multiple Nuclei Model
D. How do people make cities?
1. Compare and contrast the urban cultural landscapes of two cities such as: Luanda, Angola
and Tokyo, Japan
2. Differentiate among shantytowns and gated communities
E. What role do cities play in globalization?
1. Classify world cities
2. Identify spaces of consumption
Unit Five: Agriculture and Rural Land Use (2 weeks)
Activity: Students will be required to conduct research on Johann Heinrich von Thunen. Each student will
also have to create a von Thunen Model and describe each of layer of the model in detail. The student
will have to explain how and why von Thunen created the model. The student will also have to look in
their immediate region to find examples of the von Thunen Model.The student will use the library, internet,
and textbook for resources.
Lineback, Neal, G. and Mandy Lineback Gritzner “Too Many Apples in Washington?” Students will be
required to write a one page summary about the article.
--“Brazil’s Soybean Boom.” Students will be required to write a summary about the article.
Chapter Eleven: Agriculture
A. What is agriculture and where did agriculture begin?
1. Distinguish primary economic activities, secondary economic activities, tertiary economic
activities, quaternary economic activities, and quinary economic activities.
2. Discuss Agricultural Revolutions including the affects of Johann Heinrich von Thunen.
3. Interpret the Von Thunen Model and analyze its spatial character of economic activity.
4. Analyze subsistence farming and slash-and-burn agriculture
B. How did agriculture change with industrialization?
1. Interpret the spatial layout of agriculture
2. Analyze the Green Revolution
3. Identify genetically engineered crops and/or genetically modified organisms
C. What imprint does agriculture make on cultural landscape?
1. Compare township-and-range systems and long-lot survey systems
2. Evaluate villages and diffusion among villages
D. What is the global pattern of agriculture and agribusiness?
1. Define commercial agriculture
2. Interpret world map of climates and climatic regions
3. Discuss cash crops and luxury crops
4. Explain agribusiness
Unit Six: Industrialization and Economic Development (5 weeks)
Bennett, Drake. “Beyond the Bread Lines.” Students will have to use this article, textbook, and internet
resources to write an essay comparing current economic times to the American past.
Kristoff, Nicholas D. “A Boy Living in a Car.” Students will have to write a summary about the article.
LaFraniere, Sharon. “Graft in China Covers up Toll of Coal Mines.” Students will be required to write a
summary about the article.
Chapter Ten: Development
A. How do you define and measure development?
1. Define and compare Gross National Product (GNP) and Gross National Income (GNP)
2. Compare and contrast formal and informal economies
3. Analyze development models
B. How does geographical situation affect development?
1. Explain dependency theory and world-systems theory
C. What are the barriers to and the costs of economic development?
1. Evaluate United Nations Millennium Development Goals
2. Identify barriers to economic development such as: social conditions, foreign debt, disease,
and political instability
3. Describe costs of economic development such as: industrialization, agriculture, and tourism
D. How do political and economic institutions influence uneven development within states?
1. Analyze the role of governments
2. Investigate islands of development
Chapter Twelve: Industry and Services
A. Where did the Industrial Revolution begin?
1. Define Industrial Revolution
2. Locate the origin of the Industrial Revolution
3. Study the diffusion of the Industrial Revolution
B. How do location theories explain industrial location?
1. Compare and contrast Weber’s Model, Hotelling’s Model, and Losch’s Model
2. Clarify major industrial regions of the world
C. How has industrial production changed?
1. Explain Fordist and post-Fordist system
2. Discuss importance of regional and global trade agreements
D. Where are the major industrial belts in the world today and why?
1. Identify major industrial belts
2. Discuss importance of location
E. What is the service economy and where are services concentrated?
1. Examine geographical dimensions of the service economy
Unit Seven: Cities and Urban Land Use (4 weeks)
“Lump Together and Like It.” Students will be required to read the article and answer comprehension
questions which follow along with the article.
Rosenthal, Elisabeth. “In German Suburb, Life Goes on Without Cars.” Student will write a summary
about the article.
“The Vanishing Shopping Mall.” Students will write an essay using the article; the student will locate a
current article from a local news source and compare the two article in their essay.
Chapter Thirteen: Human Environment
A. How has the Earth’s environment changed over time?
1. Define Pangaea
2. Identify Pacific Ring of Fire
3. Describe the Little Ice Age in the Modern Era
B. How have humans impacted Earth’s environment?
1. Explain the alteration of ecosystems and environmental stress
2. Determine the importance of water on Earth
3. Evaluate the use of land
C. What are the major factors contributing to environmental change today?
1. Compare and contrast political ecology, technology, transportation, population, and patterns
D. How are humans responding to environmental change?
1. Debate global climate change
2. Summarize how humans are trying to protect the Ozone Layer
Chapter Fourteen: Globalization and the Geography of Networks
A. What is globalization and what role do networks play in globalization?
1. Define networks
2. Explain time-space compression
B. At what scales do networks operate in the globalized world?
1. Identify Nongovernmental Organizations
2. Analyze participatory development
3. Compare networks in media and networks of retail corporations—vertical integration and
C. How have identities changed in a globalized world?
1. Identify personal connectedness such as: the death of Princess Diana and the shootings at
Brown, Robbie. “Language Barriers: English has never been America's "official" language. What's behind
the recent efforts to change that?” www.thefreelibary.com, March 16, 2009.
Bennett, Drake. “Beyond the Bread Lines.” The Week, a member of New York Times, December 5, 2008.
Cohen, Roger. “Arabs, Persians, Jews.” New York Times, May 18, 2009.
Davey, Monica. “Vanishing Barns Signal a Changing Iowa.” New York Times, September 7, 2008.
Eberstadt, Nicholas. “Rising Ambitions, Sinking Population.” New York Times, October 25, 2008.
Ellick, Adam B. ”Skateboarding in Afghanistan Provides a Diversion from Isolation.” New York Times,
January 26, 2009.
Fouberg, Erin H., Alexander B. Murphy, and H.J. de Blij. Human Geography: People, Place, and Culture.
9 Edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2009.
Friedman, Thomas L. “The Open-Door Bailout.” New York Times, February 11, 2009.
Hansen, Jonathan M. “Making the Law in Cuba.” New York Times, April 20, 2004.
Kristoff, Nicholas D. “The Evil Behind the Smiles.” New York Times, January 1, 2009.
--“Giving Thanks to Heroes.” New York Times, November 27, 2008.
--“A Killer Without Borders.” New York Times, December 7, 2008.
--“How to Prevent a Pandemic.” New York Times, April 30, 2009.
--“A stoning in Somalia.” New York Times, October 28, 2008.
--“A Boy Living in a Car.” New York Times, March 29, 2009.
LaFraniere, Sharon. “Graft in China Covers up Toll of Coal Mines.” New York Times, April 11, 2009.
Lineback, Neal, G. “Rwanda’s Genocide: Lessons Learned.” Geography in the News, May 7, 2004
-- and Mandy Lineback Gritzner “Too Many Apples in Washington?” Geography in the News, January 9,
--and Mandy Lineback Gritzner “Brazil’s Soybean Boom.” Geography in the News, December 12, 2008.
“Lump Together and Like It.” www.economist.com from the print edition, November 6, 2008.
Qaddafi, Muammar. ”The One-State Solution.” New York Times, January 22, 2009.
Rosenthal, Elisabeth. “In German Suburb, Life Goes on Without Cars.” New York Times, May 12, 2009.
“The Vanishing Shopping Mall.” The Week, a member of New York Times, April 3, 2009.
Wood, Ethel. AP Human Geography: A Study Guide. Pennsylvania: WoodYard Publications, 2007.
Teacher’s Book Resources
Bowman, Ann O’M. and Richard C. Kearney. State and Local Government, 6 Edition. New York:
Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005.
Fellman, Jerome D., Arthur Getis, and Judith Getis. Human Geography: Landscapes of Human Activities.
10 Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2008.
Fouberg, Erin H., Alexander B. Murphy, and H.J. de Blij. Human Geography: People, Place, and Culture.
9 Edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2009.
Hitchcock, Susan Tyler and John L. Esposito. Geography of Religion: Where God Lives, Where Pilgrims
Walk. Washington D.C.: National Geographic, 2006.
Jansen, Marius B. The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of
Harvard University Press, 2002.
Kagan, Neil, ed. Concise History of the World: An Illustrated Timeline. Washington, D.C., National
Lewis, Bernard. The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years. New York: Scribner, 1995.
Lockyer, Roger. Tudor and Stuart Britain, 3 Edition. Boston: Pearson Education Limited, 2005.
Mansfield, Peter. A History of the Middle East, 2 Edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1991.
Rozman, Gilbert, ed. The East Asian Region: Confucian Heritage and Its Modern Adaptation. Princeton,
New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1993.
Sager, Robert J. and David M. Helgren. World Geography Today. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston: A
Harcourt Education Company, 2005.
Thompson, John M. Russia and the Soviet Union: An Historical Introduction from the Kievan State to the
Present, 5 Edition. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 2004.
Wood, Ethel. AP Human Geography: A Study Guide, Teacher’s Manual. Pennsylvania: WoodYard
Student Internet Resources
Student Companion Site-Wiley & Sons, Inc-accompanies textbook
Teacher Internet Resources
Instructor Companion Site-Wiley & Sons, Inc-accompanies textbook
United States Geological Survey
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
The World Fact Book
Library of Congress
American Museum of Natural History
San Jose State University-von Thunen Model