Unit 1 - Beginning Fundamentals

  • Physical Earth – Terms

    • Latitude: lines that measure how far something is north or south of the Equator
    • Longitude: lines that measure how far something is east or west of the Prime Meridian
    • Equator: 0 degrees Latitude—it divides the Earth between North and South
    • Prime Meridian: 0 degrees Longitude—it (along with the International Dateline) divides the Earth between East and West
    • International Dateline: 180 degrees Longitude—divides one day from another
    • Hemispheres: half of the Earth (Example: Northern Hemisphere or Eastern Hemisphere)

    Physical Features

    • Islands: isolate cultures from other cultures—such as Japan
    • Mountains: a barrier to travel – separate cultures—such as the Himalayas between China and India
    • Deserts: a barrier to travel – separate cultures—such as the Sahara in Africa
    • Rainforests: a barrier to travel—separate cultures—such as the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil
    • Rivers: transportation routes—sometimes through barriers—such as the Nile through the Sahara
    • River Valley: great place to begin a civilization in ancient times—such as the Tigris-Euphrates valley
    • Plains: flat fertile lands – good for farming—often attract invaders—such as the Steppes of Russia
    • Ice: prevents sea trade for much of the year—such as in Russia in earlier times

    Elements of Culture

    • Culture: the way of life of a group of people
    • Society: the type of people in a culture  (ex: race, nationality, religious identity)
    • Art: the expression of a culture’s ideas (ex: dance, music, architecture)
    • Geography: the land, location, and resources of a culture (ex: physical features, climate, raw materials)
    • Language: the communication system of a culture (ex: alphabet-writing, speech, symbols)
    • Religion: the organized beliefs and rituals of a culture (ex: ceremonies, holidays, forms of worship)
    • Economy: the way a culture gets the things it needs (ex: agriculture, hunting, manufacturing, trade)
    • Politics: the government and laws of a culture (ex: leadership, rules, protection, services)
    • Customs: the traditions of a culture (ex: holidays, clothing, celebrations)
    • Cultural Diffusion: the mixing of two or more cultures together—sometimes forming a new culture
    • Cultural Diversity: to coexistence of elements of a variety of cultures within a single culture

    Time Management

    • Decade: a period of 10 years
    • Century: a period of 100 years
    • B.C.—the time Before Christ on a timeline
    • A.D.—Anos Domini—“In the Year of our Lord"
    • C.E.—Common Era—Term now used to replace “A.D.” (B.C.E. replaces “B.C.” [before common era])