Year 11 Geography - Concepts


Lesson 1

The Concept of Geography (define)

Geography is the study of human interaction with the natural environment.
Expand this definition using the above link.

Brainstorm environments that you know.
Why is it important to study geography?
Current geographic issues.
Jobs that the study of geography can lead to.
SAC Feb 17th Natural Environment

Lesson 2

Geographic Environments

can be understood in terms of
4 Overlapping Spheres (copy definitions, copy diagram 1.1.2 p30).
  • Lithosphere
  • Atmosphere
  • Biosphere
  • Hydrosphere

Characteristics of Natural Environments
  • Attempt to define 'Natural System'.
  • Read ‘Characteristics of natural Environments’ p. 30
  • Now refine your definition of 'Natural System'.
  • Read ‘inputs and outputs’ p31-32
  • Copy diagram 1.1.4 'Inputs, components, processes and outputs' p31.
  • Construct a table with 4 columns (Inputs, Components, Processes and Outputs)
  • Identify and record the inputs, components, processes and outputs of the Murray Valley.
  • Answer Q1 - 2 p32.
  • HW define the floods in the Campaspe River Valley in terms of the 4 spheres


Lesson 3

Review HW (Campaspe Valley cf. Murray Valley)
Revise 4 spheres

Understanding Questions - Read definitions on p26-7
Complete Quiz: what is your high score

Choose 5 that you are unsure of and copy these into your notes
Answer Q1,2,3 p32 on spheres and characteristics of environments

Classifying Environments... (in terms of)
  • elements
  • human / natural features
  • location
  • scale
  • use
  • change

Classify the environments shown in the photos on p.4-5
Read p 6-8
HW Complete Q1-5 (submit via email) due Tuesday 15/2

Lesson 4

Review HW + four components of natural systems
Attempt the VERBS quiz above and see if you can improve your score on last time. Which verbs are you having trouble with. Write down the definitions of 3 verbs that you have trouble with.

Spatial Concepts in Geography

source: VELS

Spatial concepts are the organising concepts common to all branches of geography. From Level 1 through to Level 6, and beyond, spatial concepts can be used and applied according to the stages of learning – laying the foundations, building breadth and depth, and developing pathways. Although there are many organising concepts, there are nine commonly recognised concepts:
  • location: Where natural and built phenomena are found on the surface of the Earth. A place has an absolute location measured accurately by co-ordinates, and a relative location measured by distance and direction from one place to another.
  • scale:The term ‘scale’ includes two uses.
    • The map scale shows the relationship between measurements on a map and the actual measurements on the ground. Map scales are expressed in words, by a line scale, or as a representative fraction. A large scale map covers a small area with detail; a small scale map will cover a larger area with less detail.
    • The observational scale refers to the size of an area being studied. A range of scales includes the following:
      • local scale: Involves the smallest area and is immediate to wherever the study is taking place. Fieldwork is conducted at the local scale.
      • regional scale: Covers a larger area than the local scale. The study of the Murray–Darling Basin is at a regional scale.
      • national scale: Focuses study on a nation, for example, the Australian government's response to a global phenomenon.
      • international scale: Considers two or more nations. The combined efforts of several Asian nations would be an example.
      • global scale: Considers a significant proportion of the Earth, for example, the distribution of rainforests across the Earth.

  • distance: The space between different locations on Earth. The absolute or linear distance is measured in units such as metres and kilometres. The relative distance is the length of time it takes to travel from one location to another, cost involved and the convenience of the journey.
  • distribution: The arrangement of things at or near the Earth’s surface viewed at a variety of scales.
  • region: A definable area of the Earth’s surface which contains one or more common characteristics that distinguish it from other areas. Regions are different for different groups of people. For example, Oakleigh South (local), Gippsland (regional), Australia (national), Sub Saharan Africa (international).
  • spatial change over time: The degree to which an area has changed its geographic characteristics, features or patterns of use over a period of time. Change occurs at varying rates at different times and may be considered at different scales. For example, the redevelopment of the Melbourne Docklands since the 1990s would look at distribution, spatial association between things, movement and spatial interaction.
  • movement: The change in location of one or more things across the Earth’s surface. Movement includes direction, method, rate, nature and volume.
  • spatial association: The degree to which things are similarly arranged over space. Spatial association compares distribution patterns. A strong spatial association occurs where two distributions are similar. Weak association describes little similarity. No association occurs when two distributions are dissimilar.
  • spatial interaction: The strengths of the relationships between phenomena and places in the environment, and the degree to which they influence or interact with each other. Over time, the impact of people on the environment changes and the environment in turn changes people.

Use think, pair, share and break into small groups and assign pages to be read and presented to class.
  • Group 1: Pg 6-7 -Classifying environments, applying spatial concepts, location, distance and scale
  • Group 2: Pg 8-9-Distribution Region and movement
  • Group: Pg 10-11. Spatial Interaction and Spatial Association
  • Group 4: Pg 12- Spatial change over time and using the spatial concepts.
  • Each group must draw a diagram for each part chosen.
Once you are finished in groups each group will come up and present their findings while the rest of the class listens and takes notes.

Classifying environments

Geographers classify the elements of the global environment into groups of similar objects or ideas.

Applying spatial concepts
Location. where phenomena is found on the earths surface
Distance. the space between different locations on the earths surface
Scale. Is the size of something in relation to something else

Distribution, Region and Movement

Distribution: the arrangement of a row of objects or features on the earths surface is known as distribution. Example is radial distribution along a road.

Region; is an area of earths surface that contains one or more common characteristicsthat distinguish it from another area.

Movement: is the change in location of phenomena, such as people, resources and ideas, between places across the earths surface.

Spatial Interaction.
  • the relationship between phenomena (people, resources or ideas) degree to which they influence each other over the earths surface.
  • involves movement.
  • Both movement and spatical interaction require a shift in location.
  • it involves the movement or interaction of people, goods or information between different places.
  • thing that are located closer together have a stronger interaction then things that are further apart.

Spatial Association.
  • the association or connectionthat can be made between two geographic characteristics that are distributed across the earth.
  • Can occur between two natural geographic characteristics.
  • Can occur between the human activities that take place on the earth.
  • Can be viewed at a range of scales: local, regional, national and global.
Spatial Change Over Time - Using Spatial Concepts

Spatial change over time:
Is the degree to which an area has changed its geographic characteristic, over a period of time. This change occurs at varying, rates at different points in time. This can happen rapidly people leaving a building or gradual over millions of years like movement of tectonic plates.

Using spatial concepts:
The geography of natural environment and human environment and the processes that produce them are organised using spatial concepts. When using them - bespecific.

  • Draw a diagram showing spatial change over time in the yard at lunch time from the bell at the beginning of lunch for the first 20 minutes.

Lesson 5

Read 'Human Activity' p36 together. Answer Q 2,4 and 6.

Change in Geographical Environments

Local examples of change

due to human activity

Growth, increasing population density and changing management practices have led to...
  • the building of a housing estate near the new St. Mary's Primary School;
  • the expansion of Moama along Perricoota Rd;
  • the development of the old sale yards into a shopping complex (Bunnings and a new McDonalds?);
  • management of the rivers and forests leading to black water in the Murray River;
  • buy back of irrigation licences near Rochester; halting of forestry in the Barmah forest;
  • encroaching salinity in irrigation areas; sand bagging and building of levees to combat recent floods;
  • spraying for locusts;
  • visiting tourists on weekends and over holidays.
to natural processes

higher rainfall associated with la nina weather events has led to...
  • greener gardens and fields
  • high yield crops
  • flooding and damage to many of those crops
  • locust plagues



Poster activity - Spatial Characteristics of Own Home (Assessment Task)

  • Have students complete spatial concept sheet on their own home
  • Design a poster that demonstrates all four spheres which make up a natural system and explain how they are dynamic and interactive. Must include written report with each sphere. Include the ways they are dynamic and interactive.
  • List as many spatial concepts as possible


  • Introduce PowerPoint SAC
  • Hand out criteria sheet and go over criteria.