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5 Themes of Social Studies 5 Themes of Geography Landforms and geographical features 7 Elements of a Map Continents and Oceans Latitude and Longitude


The theme of social studies that focuses on the importance of studying and learning from past events.


The theme of social studies that focuses on physical locations and features of the globe and its impact on society.


The theme of social studies that studies peoples' various backgrounds, beliefs, traditions, and religions practiced around the world and how we interact with one-another.


The theme of social studies that focuses on resources, money, trade, and the financial system around the world.


The theme of social studies that focuses on citizenship. The study of various political groups, governing systems, and leadership locally, nationally, and around the world.


The study of the Earth's surface and the way people use it.


The theme of geography that helps identify where you are in the world. It can be absolute (specific) as in coordinates of a map using latitude or longitude or it can be relative


The theme of geography that can be identified by its unique features that make it different from all other locations. Such as landforms, bodies of water, climate, soil, plant and animal life, other natural resources, buildings, bridges, farms, cultures, and/or ways of life.

Human-Environment Interactions

The theme of geography that looks at the relationships between people and their environement; how people adapt to the environment and how they change it.


This theme of geography refers to the way people, products, information and ideas move from one place to another.


This theme of geography focuses on the areas of the Earth with features that make them different from other areas. It is defined by features that give them personality and distinguish them from other places.

Map Title

Tells the subject of the map

Map Key or Map Legend

Explains what the symbols on the map stand for

Compass Rose

direction marker

Cardinal Directions

north, south, east and west

Intermediate Directions

northwest, southwest, northeast, and southeast

Locator Map

A smaller map or picture of the globe that shows the specific area shown on the main map in relation to the entire globe. Where in the world are you looking?

Map Scale

A comparison of the distance on a map to the distance in the real world. It helps you find the real distance.

Inset Map

A small map within a larger map.

Lines of Latitude

The grid-lines that run from east-west on a map. "Fatitude lines"

Lines of Longitude

The grid-lines that run from north-south on a map.


The line of latitude at 0 degrees that separates the northern and southern hemispheres on the globe.

Prime Meridian

The line of longitude at 0 degrees that separates the eastern and western hemispheres.

The 7 Continents

North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, Antarctica

The 4 Oceans

Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean


An extremely dry area with little water and few plants


low-lying wet land with grassy vegetation


the average level of the surface of the ocean measured along a shoreline


body of land jutting into a lake or ocean, surrounded on three sides by water


mountain created as liquid rock and ash erupt from inside the earth


a relatively narrow strip of land (with water on both sides) connecting two larger land areas


land with steep sides that rises sharply (1,000 feet or more) from surrounding land; generally larger and more rugged than a hill


one of the four major bodies of salt water that surround the continents


part of a large body of water that extends into a shoreline, generally larger and more deeply indented than a bay


an indentation of a shoreline larger than a cove but smaller than a gulf


an area of low land between hills or mountains


a deep valley with steep sides often carved from the earth by a river


a narrow passage of water connecting two large bodies of water


flat, low-lying land built up from soil carried downstream by a river and deposited at its mouth


a large waterfall


an area along a river that forms from sediments deposited when the river overflows its banks


large natural stream of water that runs through the land


a land mass (smaller than a continent) that is surrounded by water


a fertile place in a desert where there is water and vegetation

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