Social Studies - 2019-20

WG.3 b - Regional Landscapes

The student will apply the concept of a region by 

b) describing how regional landscapes reflect the physical environment and the cultural characteristics of their inhabitants;

Adopted: 2015


Theme- Region, Continuity vs. Change, Perspective

How do humans divide the world?

How do regions help people understand the world?

How do physical landforms affect the formation of regions?

How are world regions shaped by human culture and ideas?

Special-interest groups make competing demands on the resources of the rain forest. 

As the rain forests are destroyed, the quality of life on Earth is threatened. 


Regional landscapes are influenced by climate and underlying geology. 

Regional landscapes are influenced by the cultural and political characteristics of their inhabitants. 

Regional landscapes are influenced by human-environment interactions. 

Elements of the physical environment, such as major bodies of water and mountains, influence the economic and cultural characteristics of regions. 


Physical characteristics 

  • Landforms affect transportation, population distribution, and the locations of cities. 
  • Water features and mountains act as natural political boundaries (e.g., Rio Grande, Pyrenees).

Cultural characteristics 

  • Architectural structures 
    • Religious buildings (e.g., mosques, churches, synagogues, temples, pagodas) 
    • Dwellings/housing 

Human interactions with environment 

  • Deforestation: Amazon Basin, Nepal, Malaysia 
  • Acid rain: Black Forest 
  • Decreased soil fertility: Aswan High Dam 
  • Desertification: Africa, Asia 

Impact of physical elements 

  • Example: Major bodies of water 
    • Rio Grande: Forms boundary 
    • Ob River: Flows northward into the Arctic Ocean 
    • Zambezi River: Provides water power 
    • Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers: Are flood hazards 
  • Example: Mountains 
    • Rocky Mountains: Create rain shadows on leeward slopes 
    • Himalayas: Block moisture, creating steppes and deserts in Central Asia


Updated: Jun 13, 2018