Social Studies - 2019-20
WG.4 a - Distribution of Natural Resources
The student will apply social science skills to evaluate the significance of natural, human, and capital resources by
a) comparing the distribution of major natural resources throughout world regions;
(moved from WG.7a)
Theme: Interdependence + Human Environment Interaction
How does the availability of resources affect human behavior?
What factors influence how land is used?
How has the value of resources changed over time?
UNDERSTANDING THE STANDARD
Economic activity can be classified as primary, secondary, tertiary, or quaternary.
Natural, human, and capital resources influence human activity in regions.
Resources are not distributed equally.
The availability of natural resources is directly connected to the economic activity and culture of a region.
- Renewable: Soil, water, forests
- Nonrenewable: Fossil fuels (oil, coal, natural gas) and metals (gold, iron, copper, bauxite)
- Level of education
- Skilled and unskilled laborers
- Entrepreneurial and managerial abilities
- Level of infrastructure
- Availability and use of tools, machines, and technologies
Levels of economic activity
- Primary: Dealing directly with resources (e.g., fishing, farming, forestry, mining)
- Secondary: Manufacturing and processing (e.g., steel mills, automobile assembly, sawmills)
- Tertiary: Services (e.g., transportation, retail trade, information technology services)
- Quaternary: Service sector concerned with collection, processing, and manipulation of information and capital (e.g., finance, administration, insurance, legal services)
Effects of unequal distribution of resources
- Interdependence of nations, trading in goods, services, and capital resources
- Uneven economic development; dependence on outside assistance
- Energy producers and consumers
- Conflict over control of resources
Influence of natural resources on economic activity
- Fertile soil and availability of water lead to agriculture.
- Natural resources and availability of human resources lead to industry.
- High levels of human resources and capital investment can overcome a lack of natural resources (e.g., as in Japan).
Primary Economic Activity
Secondary Economic Activity
Tertiary Economic Activity
Gross Domestic Product