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Where is it?

geography lessonThe first theme geographers use is location. This tells us exactly where in the world something is. Just as your home has a street address, every place has a "global address" identified by latitude and longitude. If you know these numbers and how to use them, you can find any place in the world and give its absolute location.

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Geography activities: Direction and Maps

Geographers also ask why things are located in particular places. How do these places influence our lives? For example, Baltimore, Maryland, was founded at 39.3o (degrees) North latitude and 76.6o (degrees) West longitude on an inland harbor. It is a major shipping port for the eastern seaboard with direct land routes by train and highway to cities throughout the United States. Many people who live in Baltimore are involved in waterfront activities such as shipping, loading, and fishing.

Very young children will not be able to understand concepts like latitude and longitude, or even left and right. However, young children learn body awareness--the shape of the body and how much space it takes up, where the different body parts are, how the body moves and rests, how the voice is a part of the body. This is the beginning of an understanding of location.

Young children learn that they relate to other people and physical things. To help young children learn location, make sure they know the color and style of the building in which they live, the name of their town, and their street address. Then, when you talk about other places, they have something of their own with which to compare.

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