Grade 8 Geography Curriculum (2013): Text Version

Here’s a link to the 2013 Grade 8 Geography Curriculum, but I’ve pulled out just the grade 8 section, in text format, for those of you who prefer a digital copy or like to copy and paste.

Here is a version in Mircrosoft Word, if you prefer to format it your own way: 2013Grade8GeographyCurriculum.docx

In Grade 8 geography, students will build on what they have learned in earlier grades about Earth’s physical features and processes in order to explore the relationship between these features/processes and human settlement patterns around the world.

  • They will focus on where people live and why they live there, and on the impact of human settlement and land use on the environment.
  • They will enhance their ability to apply a geographic perspective to their investigation of issues, including issues related to human settlement and sustainability and to global development and quality of life.
  • In addition, students will study factors that affect economic development and quality of life on a global scale and will examine responses to global inequalities.
  • Students will be introduced to new types of maps and graphs, including choropleth maps, scatter graphs, and population pyramids, and, at the same time, will continue to develop their ability to use a variety of sources, tools, and spatial technologies to study various geographic issues.
  • The Grade 8 geography expectations provide opportunities for students to explore a number of concepts connected to the citizenship education framework (see page 10), including democracy, equity, freedom, perspective, power and authority, relationships, rights and responsibilities, and stewardship.

 

A. GLOBAL SETTLEMENT: PATTERNS AND SUSTAINABILITY

OVERALL EXPECTATIONS

By the end of Grade 8, students will:

  1. A1. Application: analyse some significant interrelationships between Earth’s physical features and processes and human settlement patterns, and some ways in which the physical environment and issues of sustainability may affect settlement in the future (FOCUS ON: Interrelationships)
  2. A2. Inquiry: use the geographic inquiry process to investigate issues related to the interrelationship between human settlement and sustainability from a geographic perspective (FOCUS ON: Geographic Perspective; Interrelationships)
  3. A3. Understanding Geographic Context: demonstrate an understanding of significant patterns and trends related to human settlement and of ways in which human settlement affects the environment (FOCUS ON: Patterns and Trends; Spatial Significance)\

A1. Application: Interrelationships between Settlement and the Environment FOCUS ON: Interrelationships

By the end of Grade 8, students will:

A1.1 analyse some of the ways in which the physical environment (e.g., climate, landforms, soil type, vegetation, natural resources) has influenced settlement patterns in different countries and/or regions around the world

  • (e.g., how climate, vegetation, and natural resources have influenced settlement patterns in Brazil;
  • how landforms have influenced settlement patterns in Japan;
  • how landforms, climate, and soil types have affected settlement patterns in Egypt)

Sample questions:

  1. “Why are there so many high-rise buildings in Hong Kong?”
  2. “Which countries or regions in the world are the most sparsely populated?
  3. What physical factors account for their low populations?”
  4. “What does this land-use map of the United States tell you about which physical environments are most conducive to settlement?”
  5. “If you could establish a settlement anywhere in the world, where would it be? What criteria would you use to select the location?”

A1.2 analyse how processes related to the physical environment may affect human settlements in the future

  • (e.g., the impact of rising sea levels on coastal cities as polar ice caps melt,
  • of desertification, of earthquakes in increasingly populous regions, of increasingly violent tropical storms as a result of climate change)

Sample questions:

  1. “What impact might a serious natural disaster, such as an earthquake, tsunami, or flood, have on an urban centre?”
  2. “What impact would rising sea levels have on coastal cities? Which cities would be most severely affected? How many people would this affect?”
  3. “What lessons about land reclamation can be learned from the flooding in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina? Where else in the world is reclaimed land vulnerable to physical processes?”

A1.3 describe possible features of a sustainable community in the future

  • (e.g., energy-efficient buildings,
  • use of renewable sources of energy,
  • a comprehensive public transportation system,
  • community gardens, roof gardens, green canopy,
  • naturalized parks with native species,
  • programs for waste and water recycling),

and analyse some challenges associated with creating such a community

  • (e.g., cost, population growth,
  • increasing urbanization,
  • continued dependence on fossil fuels)

Sample questions:

  1. “What types of actions can be taken to make buildings more sustainable?”
  2. “In what ways might the global movement of people to cities be a barrier to making both rural and urban settlements more sustainable?”
  3. “What factors need to be considered when trying to find a balance between accommodating growing population and practising sustainable land use?”

A2. Inquiry: Human Settlements and Sustainability

By the end of Grade 8, students will:

A2.1 formulate questions to guide investigations into issues related to the interrelationship between human settlement and sustainability from a geographic perspective

  • (e.g., social, economic, and environmental perspectives on land-reclamation projects in the Netherlands or Japan;
  • social, economic, political, and environmental perspectives on land-use conflicts in Brazil, Mexico, or Kenya, or
  • on the global trend towards increased urbanization)

Sample questions:

  1. “What impact will continued urbanization have in this area?
  2. How will it affect people’s access to employment, housing, and resources?
  3. What are the costs of the encroachment of human settlement on agricultural or wilderness areas?
  4. What are the social, environmental, and economic effects of loss of agricultural land? Of the loss of forests?
  5. What impact does loss of habitat have on wildlife? Why should we care about endangered species?”

A2.2 gather and organize data and information from a variety of sources and using various technologies to investigate issues related to the interrelationship between human settlement and sustainability from a geographic perspective

  • (e.g., aerial photographs of Japanese sea walls prior to the earthquake and tsunami of 2011,
  • photographs of or documentaries on the flooding and resulting damage caused by the tsunami,
  • government and international data on the costs of flood-control in Japan before the tsunami and emergency measures following it,
  • articles by or information on the website of environmental advocacy groups on the long-term effects of the tsunami)

Sample questions:

  1. “Why might you look at data showing a decrease in rural population and local farm production as part of your investigation into the global trend towards urbanization?
  2. Where would you find information on the social and economic consequences of loss of rural settlement?”
  3. “Why do you need to gather several sources for information and data rather than relying on only one source?”
  4. “What questions do you need to ask yourself when looking at a website for information?”

A2.3 analyse and construct various print and digital maps as part of their investigations into issues related to the interrelationship between human settlement and sustainability, with a focus on investigating the spatial boundaries of the issue

  • (e.g., use GIS to construct maps that include major cities in the developed and developing world to show how population density has changed over the past twenty years;
  • analyse population density maps to determine where most people live on a global scale;
  • construct a land-use map to illustrate the extent to which San Francisco has reclaimed or adapted land; analyse maps to explore possible land-use conflicts in a community;
  • analyse thematic maps to determine the loss of green space in and around an urban centre over the past fifteen years)

Sample questions:

  1. “What information would you need to include on a map showing how a city has grown over the past twenty years?”
  2. “Why might a flow map be an appropriate way to illustrate the movement of people into large urban centres?
  3. What elements would you need to include on such a map?”
  4. “What layers of information would you need to include on a GIS map to show the connection between settlement patterns and transportation?”

A2.4 interpret and analyse data and information relevant to their investigations, using various tools and spatial technologies

  • (e.g., interpret photographs to determine possible land-use conflicts that could arise in relation to a proposed housing or industrial development project;
  • use a graphic organizer to help them explore various perspectives on the construction of a new airport;
  • use online and computer-based geographic software applications to determine population shifts from rural to urban areas)

Sample questions:

  1. “What does this graph tell you about changes in urbanization in this country? Are these data consistent with the information you have obtained from your other sources?”
  2. “What do these maps, photographs, and websites tell you about the amount of land this country has reclaimed over the past twenty-five years and how it is used? What can you determine about the social or environmental impact of the land reclamation from these sources?”

A2.5 evaluate evidence and draw conclusions about issues related to the interrelationship between human settlement and sustainability

  1. Sample questions: “Why is there increasing land-use conflict in this region? Which of the proposed uses do you think is the most sustainable? Why? Who is advocating that use? Do you think their position will win out? Why or why not?”
  2. “What did you find out about the impact of global settlement trends on the sustainability of cities?  What strategies do you think need to be implemented to respond to these trends?”

A2.6 communicate the results of their inquiries using appropriate vocabulary

  • (e.g., settlement patterns, population distribution, population density, land use, sustainable development, land reclamation, migration)

and formats appropriate for specific audiences

  • (e.g., a play about the impact of urbanization on rural communities;
  • a website that focuses on issues associated with creating more sustainable communities;
  • a photo essay on a land-use conflict in a specific region; a report, song, or poem that addresses the impact of different kinds of human settlement on the environment;
  • a story about sustainable communities of the future)

Sample questions:

  1. “Who is your intended audience? Which format would best suit them? Why? Is this format compatible with your topic and your individual learning style?”
  2. “How might you use technology as a tool in your presentation?”

A3. Understanding Geographic Context: Settlement Patterns and Trends

FOCUS ON: Patterns and Trends; Spatial Significance

By the end of Grade 8, students will:

A3.1 identify significant spatial patterns in human settlement on a global scale

  • (e.g., linear, scattered, and clustered patterns in populations in different regions;
  • global patterns in population density and/or distribution)

Sample questions:

  1. “What is the difference between population distribution and population density? How do you calculate population density?”
  2. “When you look at these aerial photographs, what settlement patterns can you identify? Is the pattern in this region clustered or linear?”
  3. “Where on this map do you see the greatest concentration of settlements? Where is the population the sparsest?”

A3.2 identify and describe some ways in which the physical environment can influence the general location and patterns of human settlements

  • (e.g., the impact of factors such as climate, soil, and topography on the location of agricultural settlements;
  • the impact of physical features on urban development;
  • the importance of water for transportation, irrigation, industry, personal use;
  • the existence of natural resources and the development of resource towns;
  • the type of buildings erected in an area prone to earthquakes)

Sample questions:

  1. “What type of physical environment is most conducive to agriculture?”
  2. “What can happen to a resource town once the resource on which its economy depends has been depleted?”

A3.3 identify significant land-use issues

  • (e.g., competition for land for agriculture, industry, housing, transportation, recreation, wilderness areas;
  • land claims by indigenous groups;
  • development in ecologically sensitive areas),

and describe responses of various groups to these issues

  • (e.g., municipal, state/provincial/regional, and/or national governments;
  • local residents; environmental, indigenous, or grassroots groups;
  • non-governmental organizations)

Sample questions:

  1. “When there is competition for land, what can stakeholders do to try to ensure their voices are heard? Are some stakeholders more likely than others to be heard? Why might that be the case?”
  2. “What criteria should be used to make a decision when the same space might be used for agriculture, recreation, conservation, or a new housing development?”

A3.4 identify and describe significant current trends in human settlement

  • (e.g., the global trend of increased migration from rural to urban areas; trends in some countries of people moving from major cities to smaller towns; loss of natural habitat as human settlement expands; urban sprawl; land reclamation)

Sample questions:

  1. “Why did Kobe, Japan, create new islands for settlement? Have other countries and/or cities used this form of land reclamation?”
  2. “Why is there a global phenomenon of people moving to urban centres?”

A3.5 describe various ways in which human settlement has affected the environment

  • (e.g., water pollution from industry, agriculture, human waste;
  • air pollution from vehicle and industrial emissions;
  • soil contamination from pesticides, industrial byproducts, garbage dumps;
  • deforestation and loss of habitat from expanding settlement;
  • loss of agricultural land to urban sprawl;
  • light pollution from large cities;
  • disruption of migratory routes of different species;
  • desertification from unsustainable agricultural practices)

Sample questions:

  1. “What environmental challenges does a large city pose?”
  2. “What impact does urban sprawl have on the environment?”
  3. “How has the need to feed growing populations affected the environment?”

A3.6 describe some practices that individuals and communities have adopted to help make human settlements more sustainable

  • (e.g., reducing water use, increasing recycling and composting, limiting the construction of housing on land that could be used for agriculture, using public transit, planting and maintaining trees)

Sample questions:

  1. “What lessons can we learn about sustainable living from the Swedish city of Växjö, which is generally considered to be Europe’s greenest city? What are some sustainable practices used in other countries?”
  2. “What is ‘greywater’? How do some communities use it to help reduce water consumption?”

A3.7 demonstrate the ability to analyse and construct choropleth maps on topics related to human settlement

  • (e.g., population density, availability or use of agricultural land, spending on transportation)

Sample questions:

  1. “What is a choropleth map? What conventions do such maps use?”
  2. “What type of information is conveyed in a legend of a choropleth map? Why is it important to read the legend carefully before trying to interpret the map?”
  3. “Why might it sometimes be more appropriate to depict a pattern on a choropleth map rather than to describe it in writing?”
A choropleth map is a thematic map in which areas are shaded or patterned in proportion to the measurement of the statistical variable being displayed on the map, such as population density or per-capita income.

 

B.GLOBAL INEQUALITIES: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND QUALITY OF LIFE

Overall Expectations:

  1. B1. Application: analyse some interrelationships among factors that contribute to global inequalities, with a focus on inequalities in quality of life, and assess various responses to these inequalities (FOCUS ON: Interrelationships)
  2. B2. Inquiry: use the geographic inquiry process to investigate issues related to global development and quality of life from a geographic perspective (FOCUS ON: Geographic Perspective)
  3. B3. Understanding Geographic Context: demonstrate an understanding of significant patterns in and factors affecting economic development and quality of life in different regions of the world (FOCUS ON: Spatial Significance; Patterns and Trends)

B1. Application: Global Inequalities in Quality of Life

FOCUS ON: Interrelationships

By the end of Grade 8, students will:

B1.1 analyse some interrelationships among factors that can contribute to quality of life

  • (e.g., lack of access to clean water leads to an increase in water-borne diseases and to high death rates overall as well as high infant mortality rates;
  • a country that has equal access to education for all will have higher literacy rates and will most likely have higher employment rates, a lower fertility rate and birth rate, and better maternal health)

Sample questions:

  1. “What role does access to natural resources play in quality of life? What factors can affect people’s access to resources?”
  2. “What is the relationship between land/resources and wealth/power? How has the forced removal of indigenous populations from land with many resources to land with few resources contributed to an inequitable distribution of wealth?”
  3. “What is the relationship between deforestation and the migration of independent subsistence farmers to urban centres? What impact has this migration had on farmers? In what ways can it affect quality of life more broadly within a country?”

B1.2 analyse how various factors have affected the economies of specific developed and developing countries around the world

  • (e.g., with reference to foreign ownership of natural resources in Nigeria or Indonesia;
  • colonial legacy in South Africa or Haiti;
  • the debt load in Honduras or the United States;
  • government expenditures in France or Mali),

and explain the interrelationship between these factors and quality of life in some of these countries

  • (e.g., war in Sudan has consumed economic resources and has led to a refugee crisis and extremely poor quality of life in refugee camps in Darfur;
  • expenditures on education, health care, and social services in Norway have contributed to that country’s ranking at the top of the Human Development Index [HDI])

Sample questions:

  1. “What are the levels of expenditures on health care and education in Chile? How have these expenditures contributed to Chileans’ quality of life?”
  2. “What political decisions have been made in Greece in response to its foreign debt? What impact have these decisions had on the quality of life in that country?”

B1.3 assess the effectiveness of various programs and policies aimed at improving the quality of life in various countries

  • (e.g., with reference to governmental and non-governmental programs to provide clean water, improve literacy rates, provide drugs for people with HIV/AIDS, reduce the spread of malaria, reduce violence against women, reduce child labour or the use of child soldiers, promote fair trade, or develop alternative income programs)

Sample questions:

  1. “How has the Water for Life initiative in Tanzania and Thailand helped improve the quality of life for people in those countries?”
  2. “What are some programs that have proved effective in reducing the spread of malaria? Do these programs have any shortcomings?”
  3. “How effective have education programs in Ecuador and Kenya been in improving the quality of life for some people in those countries?”
  4. “Why do some groups advocate providing livestock rather than direct food aid to people in developing countries?”

B1.4 assess the effectiveness of media in improving the quality of life in some countries/regions around the world

  • (e.g., with reference to the success of various print or television advertisements for aid organizations; the use of celebrity spokespeople;
  • journalists raising awareness of natural disasters, refugees, famine in different parts of the world;
  • the broadcast of fundraisers such as Live Aid;
  • the production of songs or music videos by Northern Lights or Band Aid)

Sample questions:

  1. “Have large international fundraising events been successful in improving the quality of life for people in Ethiopia or Haiti?”
  2. “Why does the United Nations sometimes appoint celebrities as goodwill ambassadors?”
  3. “What types of commercials for aid agencies have been successful at getting public attention for specific causes?”

B2. Inquiry: Development and Quality of Life Issues

FOCUS ON: Geographic Perspective

By the end of Grade 8, students will:

B2.1 formulate questions to guide investigations into issues related to global development and quality of life from a geographic perspective

  • (e.g., the social, political, and economic impact of educating girls or of the AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa;
  • the social, political, economic, and/or environmental implications of fair trade;
  • social, political, economic, and/or environmental considerations relating to the increase in foreign ownership of natural resources;
  • the social, political, and economic impact of foreign debt or of forgiving a country’s foreign debt)

Sample questions:

  1. “What impact might an increase in education spending have on a population? What impact is it likely to have on employment opportunities?
  2. What do we know about how improved access to education for girls can affect a society?
  3. How might an increase in education spending affect the health of the people in a country?
  4. How might it affect the environment?
  5. Why might a government choose not to increase education spending?”

 

B2.2 gather and organize data and information from a variety of sources and using various technologies to investigate issues related to global development and quality of life from a geographic perspective

  • (e.g., demographic data from the United Nations on specific countries;
  • demographic maps and other information from the websites of intergovernmental organizations on population trends; information and data from a national government on poverty and education rates and on government expenditures in that country;
  • articles from development agencies on children’s quality of life in a specific country; images showing housing in different regions;
  • information from a website of a corporation doing business in a developing country)

Sample questions:

  1. “What are some sources of data on quality of life indicators?”
  2. “Where might you find demographic data for this country?”
  3. “Whose point of view does this source represent? How do you know that? Have you consulted sources representing other points of view?”
  4. “When you are gathering information from websites, why is it important to be aware of the purpose and perspective of the agencies or corporations whose sites you are accessing?”

B2.3 analyse and construct digital and print maps as part of their investigations into issues related to global development and quality of life

  • (e.g., analyse issue-based maps to help them investigate spatial patterns in HDI rankings;
  • construct an issue-based map using GIS to help them explore the correlation between life expectancy and literacy rates;
  • analyse flow maps to help them determine trade patterns between countries;
  • construct an annotated map to show foreign ownership and use of agricultural land in Africa or Asia)

Sample questions:

  1. “What information would you need to include on an issue-based map showing the impact of water-borne diseases?”
  2. “What patterns can you see when you compare a demographic map showing fertility rates around the world to one showing infant mortality rates?”
  3. “Why might a flow map be a useful way to illustrate the sources of fair trade products available at your local store?”
  4. “What can you determine about the quality of life in this country based on this collection of demographic maps?”

B2.4 interpret and analyse data and information relevant to their investigations, using various tools and spatial technologies

  • (e.g., interpret the data in multiple bar graphs to determine the per capita gross domestic product and literacy rate in countries where there is a high level of child labour;
  • interpret information from GIS as part of their investigation into shifts in population in developing countries;
  • analyse images to help them determine differences in quality of life for various groups in the same country;
  • use a graphic organizer to help them interpret different perspectives on their topic)

Sample questions:

  1. “What do these photographs tell you about the quality of life of the people in the picture? What are the social and economic implications of what you see? Are these implications supported by information or data you have obtained from other sources?”
  2. “What does this population pyramid showing a rapidly growing population suggest about quality of life issues for this country?” 

B2.5 evaluate evidence and draw conclusions about issues related to global development and quality of life

Sample question:

  1. “Based on your findings, why do you think it is important to fund the education of girls in the developing world? What social and economic benefits stem from the education of girls?”
  2. “What did you find out about the benefits of fair trade? Are there any disadvantages to fair trade? What are some barriers to increasing fair trade?”
  3. “What are the main factors accounting for patterns in the distribution of wealth in Africa? What strategies do you think are needed to improve quality of life in African countries?” 

B2.6 communicate the results of their inquiries using appropriate vocabulary

  • (e.g., demography, per capita, quality of life, developed/developing countries, gross national product [GNP], gross domestic product [GDP], literacy rate, correlation, exploitation, competition, fair trade)

and formats appropriate for specific audiences

  • (e.g., create an interactive presentation on foreign debt in Africa, using an electronic white board; use GIS in a presentation on the impact of desertification;
  • create a photo essay with accompanying text or oral comments on conditions in a city in the developing world;
  • write an article for the school newspaper on the impact of water privatization)

Sample questions:

  1. “What format will have the greatest impact on your intended audience? How might you use visual images to enhance the impact of your presentation?”
  2. “How might you use different media to inform your audience and promote action?”

B3. Understanding Geographic Context: Global Economic Development and Quality of Life

FOCUS ON: Spatial Significance; Patterns and Trends

By the end of Grade 8, students will:

B3.1 identify and describe the significance of several indicators that are commonly used to measure quality of life on a global scale

  • (e.g., infant mortality, fertility rate, life expectancy, birth rate, death rate, doubling time, access to medical care, access to clean water, literacy rate and access to education, poverty rate, per capita income, GDP, GDP per capita, unemployment rates, national debt)

Sample questions:

  1. “Why is the national literacy rate seen as an indicator of quality of life in a country?”
  2. “Why is it important to consider the fertility rate and the infant mortality rate when examining the quality of life of women in a country?”

B3.2 compare findings with respect to selected quality of life indicators in some developing and more developed countries

  • (e.g., infant and maternal mortality rates, literacy rates for men and women, and per capita GDP in Australia, Mali, and Bangladesh)

Sample questions:

  1. “What do you notice about quality of life indicators for the Netherlands, China, and Sierra Leone? What do these indicators tell you about life in those countries?”

B3.3 demonstrate the ability to analyse and construct scatter graphs, both on paper and using a graphing program, when studying global development and/or quality of life

  • (e.g., construct a scatter graph to illustrate the correlation between literacy rates and life expectancy for selected countries;
  • analyse a scatter graph to gather data on infant mortality and the availability of clean water in selected countries)

B3.4 demonstrate the ability to analyse and construct population pyramids, both on paper and using a graphing program, when studying demographic patterns and trends in developed and developing countries

  • (e.g., use data from population pyramids to compare the life expectancy of men and women within a developing country or of populations in developed and developing countries;
  • construct a population pyramid to predict future population trends for a country)
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