6 th grade social studies geography terms part ii n.
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6 th Grade Social Studies, Geography Terms: Part II,. GLE’s G-1B-M2, M3, M4; G-1C-M1, M2, M3 & M4 Physical features affecting settlement and physical processes that affect regions. G-1B-M2. Key Terms:. Island Conditions : Conditions as if surrounded, specifically by water.

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6 th grade social studies geography terms part ii

6th Grade Social Studies, Geography Terms: Part II,

GLE’s G-1B-M2, M3, M4; G-1C-M1, M2, M3 & M4 Physical features affecting settlement and physical processes that affect regions.

key terms


Key Terms:
  • Island Conditions: Conditions as if surrounded, specifically by water.
  • Natural Barriers: Natural features like mountain ranges, and oceans that prevent movement from one region into another.
  • Remote: From a distance—far away, isolated, difficult to reach or access.
  • Accessible: Easy to reach, easily accessed.
  • Locations: An area marked off for a specific purpose.
  • Mountain Ranges: A series of many mountains.
  • Rivers: A natural stream of FRESH water larger than a creek, emptying into an ocean, lake or sea.

Oceans: Any of the five (four in some lists) principle divisions of huge salt water bodies encompassing MOST of earth’s surface, they include:

  • Apennine Mountains: Mountains in central Italy that created a natural barrier during the Punic Wars—between Carthage and Rome.
  • Cradles of Civilization: societies that developed along rivers, principally the Nile (Egypt) and the Tigris and Euphrates (Sumer/Mesopotamia), where the very first human civilizations began.
  • Winter in Russia: A “bitterly” cold period that created a natural ally to Russians, and a very difficult natural obstacle to anyone trying to invade or conquer Russia.
napoleon s retreat from moscow what defeated him
Napoleon’s retreat from moscow—what defeated him?

The Russian Winter! With temperatures well below zero for weeks at a time, and snow piled so high they covered houses, it was just too much for his freezing men to handle—and it was here that Napoleon’s dreams of world conquest for France came to an abrupt halt!

it was just as brutal on the germans in wwii
It was just as brutal on the germans in WWII

This scene is from the battle for Stalingrad—Winter 1943. Tens of thousands of German soldiers froze in the biting cold weather. Even Russians weren’t exempt from being casualties of their own bitter weather.

the apennine mountains run like a spinal column through central italy
The Apennine Mountains run like a spinal column through Central italy!

These made Western Italy (Rome) almost an “island”, it made them “remote” and hard to reach by any invading army (such as the Carthaginians in the Punic Wars.) These mountains created a natural barrier that served to protect Rome.


Migration of the Sahara: The Sahara is the world’s largest desert, and it is growing, spreading—mostly due to poor land use at its edges, lower precipitation in the region and dying off of vegetation—this spreading and growing is called its migration.


Here is a map of northern Africa, notice the gray central area, this was once a watershed for dried up ancient rivers. The Sahara has, since the last glacial ice age been growing and spreading across the whole of north Africa; only rivers that still cut through it, interrupt its vast expanse. It is also held by many that “human” migration came through the Sahara.

Coastal Storms: Are so named because they strike coastal areas, along a boundary between a land mass and a large body of water. They generally come in two kinds: Ice—storms that usually come across a coastline with a frigid or polar cold front bringing severe and dangerous ice storms; they are often called Nor’easters. Wind—the most commonly known is the tropical storms which include hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons which bring heavy rains and strong winds, and severe damage to the coastal areas they strike.


Coastal storms need no explanations to those who have experienced them. Left are conditions for a Nor’easter, shown on the right.

The monster storm below is a satellite image of Katrina filling up 1/3 of the Gulf of Mexico before landfall.

Katrina was a coastal storm—a Hurricane, but not hardly typical. It was a Category 5 monster storm, that to this date is the most devastating storm of any kind to hit the United States in terms of damage. More typical are tropical storms, depressions, and the smaller hurricanes—all of which can still do damage through combinations of wind, rain, and water (surge).

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  • Settlement Patterns of Religious Groups.
    • The manner, or pattern by which a religious group would spread their belief; such as the Buddhists from India through Tibet and into China, or Christianity beginning in the Middle East and then throughout the Roman Empire.
  • The Search for God, Glory and Gold
    • The prime movers behind further exploration, originally claimed to spread the faith, to the Glory of God, and ultimately—to get rich!
  • Preservation of natural habitat
    • The effort to keep an environment from changing for the sake of the organisms living in them.
  • Preservation of Rainforests.
    • The effort to slow down the rate of disappearing rainforests around the world.

Day to Day Survival:

    • The need to supply all ones needs to continue in existence, to stay alive from one day to the next.
  • Aesthetic Natural Conservation:
    • The attempt to keep a habitat or region in its natural look for the purposes of its natural beauty and appreciation of that. In America our National Parks are often Aesthetic Natural Conservation:

The world’s rainforests are disappearing because of development and industry. They are priceless sources of resources and must be preserved.

The coyote’s habitat was despoiled when spillways poured river water in, forcing them into urban areas where dozens were killed.

Yosemite National Park is one of our most beautiful regions, it is largely for its “Aesthetic” beauty, that it is being, conserved.

g 1c m1 physical processes that affect regions
G-1C-M1:Physical Processes that affect regions
  • Earth-Sun Relationships: The sun is the ultimate source of the earth’s climates and life forms. The rotation of the earth occurs once every 24 hours and is the cause of day and night. The revolution of the earth in its orbit around the sun occurs once every 365 days. The 23 degree tilt of the earth on its axis toward the North Star and its revolution combine to cause the seasons on earth. The summer and winter are called “solstices”, longest day, summer, and shortest day, winter; the fall and spring are called “equinoxes”, the day and night hours are equal.

Wind Patterns: The movement of winds worldwide redistributes the sun’s heat over the earth’s surface. In each of the latitude zones, temperature and pressure combine to create a pattern of prevailing winds. The doldrums are light unpredictable winds between the equator and 30 degrees north and south. The trade winds blow between the 30 N and 30 S but from different directions. They blow from the NE in the northern Hemisphere and SE in the southern hemisphere; they are also called “easterlies”. The Westerlies blow from the SW in the northern hemisphere and from the NW in the southern, between 30 and 60. The polar easterly winds blow from the NE in the arctic and from the SE from the antarctic.


Ocean Currents: Waters of the oceans help to distribute the sun’s heat. Warm ocean currents carry warm waters from the tropics to the poles. Cold ocean currents return cold water from the poles to the equator. The Gulf Stream is a famous warm ocean current.

  • Monsoons: seasonal shifts in prevailing winds that influence climate regions in South and East Asia. In winter, winds blowing from lands (NE) bring dry air from the continent to the coastal regions. In summer, the winds reverse and blow from the SW, picking up moisture from the Indian Ocean and dropping heavy rains on the southern coastal regions.

Hurricanes: destructive tropical storms that form over the Atlantic Ocean, usually in late summer and early fall, with winds of at least 74 mph.

  • Volcanic Activity: When magma, molten rock inside the earth, breaks through the earth’s crust, lava flows and ash and cinders erupt from the break forming mountains called volcanoes. This activity occurs along the boundaries where plates meet. The best known take a “cone” shape.
  • Plate Tectonics: A theory that the earths lithosphere, the crust and upper brittle layer of the mantle, is broken into a number of moving plates varying in size and thickness. The oceans and continents ride atop the plates as they move. This theory is widely accepted along including two others: continental drift, and sea-floor spreading.
  • Earthquakes: sudden movements along a fault, a break in the earth’s crust, sending out shock waves through the earth. This activity usually occurs along boundaries where plates meet.
g 1c m2
  • Population Characteristics: The population, or number of people living in a particular area can be studied by examining the birth rate, death rate, life expectancy, and population density of that area. The population of an area can be affected by several demographics: education, housing, infrastructure, crime rate, transportation, and cultural diversity.
  • Birth Rate: The amount of people born each year usually per 1000 population.
  • Infant Mortality Rate: The amount of deaths of infants (under one) per 1000 live births in a specific group, usually given per year.

Death Rate: How many people die each year, usually per 1000 population.

  • Life Expectancy: How long the average person will be expected to live, usually in a specified group.
  • Population Density: The average number of people living on a square unit of land, usually a square mile.


Early Migration and Settlement:As early man migrated out of Africa and began settling new lands, he settled in places that were suitable for food production. These areas were usually in a river valley (Tigris and Euphrates, Nile, Indus, or Huang-He. River valleys provided a fresh water source for both drinking and irrigation; suitable ground for hunting and later fertile soil for farming. Early man also sought to settle in areas that were well protected from enemy invasions, such as mountain ranges—all these factors played a role in man’s “early migration—and settlement.


The Impact of Settlement: As early man began to settle and produce his own food, he relied less on the nomadic lifestyle. He was able to concentrate less on finding food and focus more on other skills and ideas. This led to specialization, and division of labor.

  • Specialization: To become proficient (very good) at one particular task (job).
  • Division of Labor: A system in which members of a group perform different tasks, based on their abilities and the needs of the group. Each person could now have a specific job to do. All the different jobs created, division of labor.
g 1c m4
  • Natural Resources: Something, (mineral, water/power source, forest or kind of animal) that occurs in nature and is of value to humans.
  • Renewable Resource: Resources that can replace or rebuild themselves.
  • Non-Renewable Resource: Resources that can never be replaced or renewed (in a reasonable time frame).
  • Limited Resources: Resources of which there is a limited, supply, that would be difficult to renew.
  • Import: The process of bringing products into the country from foreign countries.
  • Export: The process of sending products/goods out of the country to foreign countries.
  • Acid Rain: Considered as “pollution” it is precipitation that has an acidic quality that can affect organisms.

Wood is used for lumber, paper and many other useful purposes. Since trees can be replanted and regrown, this is an excellent example of a renewable resource.

Petroleum, or oil products can not be replaced in anything like a reasonable span of time—as they’ve taken millions of years to form. These products are examples of non-renewable resources.

Cattle can be replaced; but are not readily available wherever humans live, and in some places they are “sacred”. As a result they are considered a “limited” resource.


Once man had been able to set down roots (settle in ONE place), and farming developed to where they had a SURPLUS of food, they could then have people who didn’t need to work on hunting and gathering tasks alone. NOW people could “specialize” in OTHER jobs. This is “Specialization”. Some could become pottery makers, others could weave cloth, others could make mud bricks, be construction workers, and others become priests of their developing religions. This was known as “Division of Labor”!


This diagram illustrates how the continents have slid, and moved along those plates in what we now know as “continental drift” The supercontinent when they were all joined at the top left is called Pangaea. From there the continents broke off into two other supercontinents: Gondwanaland, and Laurasia—which further broke up into the continents as we know them today.

The above map shows the boundaries of the major “plates” of Earth are found. The line cutting down the Atlantic Ocean is where the plates are actually moving AWAY from each other—this is because of “Sea-floor spreading”. The red dots are where the most active volcanoes on Earth are found—you will notice how they tend to be along the plate lines!