AP Human Geography - Brookwood High School Ms. Blankenship

Below is a copy of the APHG syllabus.  However, please use the LINK provided below for a Microsoft Word version for easier printing. 

 -APHug 2014 Fall FinalVersionSyllabus (6).doc - the revised version - accurate as of August 12, 2014

 AP Human Geography       

Mrs. Blankenship

Fall Semester 2014


Welcome to BHS!  This is an advanced placement class and I will treat you as a student planning to excel in college.  Study skills and writing assignments included in this class will prepare you for future high school and college courses. Please be sure to read the entire syllabus, as this will affect the rest of this semester.  Go Broncos!


Course Description

The purpose of the Advanced Placement course in Human Geography 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 will employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to analyze human social organization and its environmental consequences.  Students will also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice.


Goals and Topics

On successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:


·         use and think about maps and spatial data sets.  Geography is fundamentally concerned with the ways in which patterns on Earth’s surface reflect and influence physical and human processes.  As such, maps and spatial data are fundamental to the discipline and learning to use and think about them is critical to geographic literacy. 


·         understand and interpret the implications of associations among phenomena in places.  Geography looks at the world from a spatial perspective—seeking to understand the changing spatial organization and material character of Earth’s surface. 


·         recognize and interpret at different scales the relationships among patterns and processes.  Geographical analysis requires a sensitivity to scale—not just as a spatial category but as a framework for understanding how events and processes at different scales influence one another.  


·         define regions and evaluate the regionalization process.  Geography is concerned not simply with describing patterns but with analyzing how they came about and what they mean.  Students will see regions as objects of analysis and exploration and move beyond simply locating and describing regions to considering how and why they come into being—and what they reveal about the changing character of the world in which we live.


·        characterize and analyze changing interconnections among places.  At the heart of a geographical perspective is a concern with the ways in which events and processes operating in one place can influence those operating at other places.  Students will better understand that relationships among places are constantly changing, and they will understand how and why change occurs.





We will cover a lot of interesting information in this course.  The aim of this AP course is to provide students with a learning experience equivalent to that obtained in most college introductory Human Geography classes.  Content in this course is focused on input and problem solving activities and fieldwork.  Content will be geared for development of critical thinking skills.  Human Geography has many allied fields to which it is related.  Allied fields to be included in this course are: political science, demography, anthropology, sociology, history, psychology, economics, regional economics, language, religious studies, urban social science, and urban planning.  Reading strategies, study skills, map skills, analytical strategies, time management, note taking, test-taking strategies, and current events will all be covered in this course.  We will also complete writing assignments to prepare you to take the 10th grade Gateway Test.  You will be required to pass the Gateway before you graduate from high school.


Gwinnett County Public School Gateway Exam:

All students must demonstrate knowledge of the Gwinnett County Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum.  Students were provided a booklet listing each of these AKS by course at the beginning of the school year. Ninth graders enrolling in 1998-99 and beyond will need to pass the Gwinnett County Gateway Exam over the AKS before graduation.  The Gateway Exam will measure students' ability to write effectively about the science and social studies AKS covered in 9th and 10th grades.  The exam will be administered in the spring of the 10th grade year.  Students will have several opportunities to retake the exam if they are not successful the first time.


This course will be divided into seven units.  Three units will be covered first semester.  They include:


Unit One

I.   Geography: Its Nature and Perspectives

A.   Geography as a field of inquiry

B.    Evolution of key geographical concepts and models associated with notable


C.    Key concepts underlying the geographical perspective: space, place, and   


D.    Key geographical skills

1.    How to use and think about maps and spatial data sets

2.        How to understand and interpret the implications of associations

       among phenomena in places

3.    How to recognize and interpret at different scales the relationships

       among patterns and processes

4.    How to define regions and evaluate the regionalization process

5.    How to characterize and analyze changing interconnections among


E.     Sources of geographical ideas and data: the field, census data, etc.


Unit Two

II.    Population

A.    Geographical analysis of population

1.    Density, distribution, and scale

2.    Consequences of various densities and distributions

3.    Patterns of composition: age, sex, race, and ethnicity

4.    Population and natural hazards: past, present, and future

B.     Population growth and decline over time and space

1.    Historical trends and projections for the future

2.    Patterns of fertility, mortality, and health

3.    Regional variations of demographic transitions

4.    Effects of pro- and anti-natalist policies

C.    Population movement

1.    Major voluntary and involuntary migrations at different scales

2.    Short-term, local movements, and activity space


Unit Three

III.    Cultural Patterns and Processes

A.    Concepts of culture

1.    Traits and complexes

2.    Diffusion

3.    Acculturation

4.    Cultural regions and realms

B.    Cultural differences

1.    Language

2.    Religion

3.    Ethnicity

4.    Gender

5.    Popular and folk culture

C.    Environmental impact of cultural attitudes and practices

D.    Cultural landscapes and cultural identity

1.    Values and preferences

2.    Symbolic landscapes and sense of place





de Blij, Murphy, Fouberg: Human Geography: People, Place, and Culture, 2007 8th Edition

Rubenstein, James.  An Introduction to Human Geography.  New Jersey, 1999.


*We will also use a large number of additional textbooks that will be available in the classroom.



Required Supplies:

·        3 Ring Loose-leaf Binder and paper

·        Dividers labeled:  Geography, Population, Culture, Political Organization, Agriculture, Industry/Economics, Urban Land Use, Maps

·         Colored Pencils, highlighter, and a jump drive 

·        For classroom use – a box of Kleenex and a ream of paper  

Due to the increased course requirements and greater degree of difficulty, AP courses have an additional 10 points added to the student’s final report card average.  Progress reports WILL NOT reflect the 10 point curve.


I will only figure grades by appointment after school.  Class time is for instruction.  If you think a mistake has been made in averaging your grade, let me know immediately.



Assignments this semester will include a variety of reading, handouts, projects, journals, presentations, scrapbooks, papers, portfolios, map skills, and study skills.  All assignments are expected to be turned in on time and complete.  To receive full credit for an assignment, it must be complete, written in blue or black ink, legible, neat, organized, and turned in on time.  IF YOU ARE PRESENT DURING ANY PART OF THE SCHOOL DAY, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR TURNING IN ANY ASSIGNMENTS THAT ARE DUE BEFORE YOU LEAVE SCHOOL.  (This includes projects and papers.  All assignments means ALL assignments!)


Late Work

Late work will be accepted one day late for 75% credit.  Assignments more than one day late will not be accepted.  This includes projects and papers!


Make-Up Work

When you are absent, it is YOUR responsibility to find out the material you missed and make-up any assignments.  Only excused absentees will be able to make-up work, but unexcused absentees should still get missed assignments to prepare for tests.  There is a make-up notebook that will have the information and any handouts you missed.  At the front of the notebook there are contracts that you and I must sign stating the assignments you missed and the date when you will turn them in to me.  You have 5 days, starting the day you return, to sign the contract.  Specific details will be decided on the contract. 



I enforce Brookwood High School discipline policies.  Some important guidelines for classroom behavior are listed below.

·        Be on time to class.

·        Bring all books and materials to class.

·        Turn in assignments on time.

·        No sleeping or eating (don’t even think about bringing food into the classroom!)


***Cheating will not be tolerated.  Copying any type of work is considered cheating, even if it is only homework.  Cheating will result in a grade of zero and an administrative referral.  Bottom-line – don’t cheat!

***Plagiarism is a form of cheating.  Plagiarism is defined as using or passing off the ideas or writings of another as one’s own.  Plagiarism will also result in a grade of zero and an administrative referral.



If behavior problems occur, after-school detention will be assigned.  Skipped detentions will be referred to the administration.




Parents:  If you need to speak with me, please call the school at 770-972-7642 or contact me through e-mail.  My current e-mail address is:   





The cheating policy of the school will be followed.  In addition, there will be no sharing or collaboration on any assignment in this class unless otherwise directed.  All work must be done individually.  If work of any type is shared, both parties will be called and an administrator will be informed.  All homework must be written by hand.  No typing will be accepted unless otherwise directed.  Any questions should be directed to Mrs. Blankenship.




Please read, sign, and detach the signature portion of this syllabus.  Bring it to class within the first week.





Signature Portion


I have read and understand the syllabus for AP Human Geography 2014-15.



_________________________________                  __________________

Student signature                                                          date



_________________________________                  __________________

Parent signature                                                            date