What is Geography?

Geography is defined as the study of the physical environment in relation to the lives and history of humans. In Greek, the word geo means "earth", and graphein means "to write", indicating that recording the Earth's formations is valuable. People who study geography take into account physical environment, climate, landforms, and soil in relation to humans, politics, religions, economics, and cultures. Looking at the world through eyes that are studying the complexities of geography is looking to understand a natural location, why and how that location is there, and the connection to what has occurred in that location.

Understanding geography extends beyond understanding only the landforms of the Earth. There are general types of geography that encompass the smaller sub-categories. The first type includes physical geography, which focuses on the study of Earth's physical surface, plants and animals, and the impact of nature on humans in various climates and locations. The second type of geography is human geography, which centers around human activity and how humans operate in their specific locations. Human geography addresses population, economics, politics, and more. Environmental geography, the third type of geography, combines physical and human geography to examine spatial relationships between humans and the natural environment.

The study of geography, both current and historical, give insights into how nature and humans impact one another. In many cases, the historical topics of study are relevant to today and therefore encourage learners to draw connections between the past and the present.

Create an account to begin studying Geography: Human, Physical, World, Technical, Integrated, Applied today
Used by over 30 million students worldwide

Geography Resources

Study.com offers various learning resources to explore different aspects of geography and what a geographer does. The content contains appropriate resources for all learners and breaks the information into digestible chunks of information. Peruse the available lesson plans for the classroom, supplements to direct instruction, and tools to help students one-on-one.

Geography Courses

The collection of materials offers a range of courses in the different branches of geography. Learners will be presented with an introduction explaining the study of geography entails. The courses detail the types of geography and offer learners a well-rounded curriculum to build their understanding of the content. The courses offered through Study.com are useful and reliable resources for instructors, parents, and tutors.

Geography 101: Human & Cultural Geography

Learners understand human and cultural geography through being introduced to subjects like the origins of the dispersal of humans and culture, political geography, and the impact of humans on the environment. Three credits are transferable to over two thousand colleges.

Social Science 108: Ethics in the Social Sciences

Students taking this self-paced course will gain a foundational understanding of concepts such as moral reasoning, ethical decision-making, and intellectual property. Students will explore the importance of morals and integrity in all facets of life.

Geography: Middle School

This course is a fun and engaging course where learners will spend time learning about landforms, weather, climate, and how humans impact the Earth. Students can search topics of interest, ask instructors questions, and review content for mastery.

Geography: High School

Whether taking the course as a primary class for geography, supplementing another class, or reviewing key principles, this high school course provides in-depth lessons, activities, and videos. Explore and master the principles of geography in a fun and tangible way.

Geography for Kids

This course allows students to discover the continents and well-known geographical features using short and engaging videos, activities, and interactive quizzes. These lessons help students learn new concepts or easily review terms and materials.

For teachers and parents

Geography Lesson Plans for Teachers

Study.com provides geography and social science teachers with a myriad of thoughtful and engaging lessons, videos, and activities. The resources are categorized into groupings such as Middle School Social Studies, Geography Lesson Plans and Resources, Teaching Geography of the Americas, and Social Sciences Lesson Plans and Resources. Instructors can browse the high-quality lessons that interest students, meet standards, and make lesson planning more fun.

Lesson plans
  • Middle School Social Studies Teacher Resources

    Utilize these easy-to-understand resources and supplemental lessons to increase understanding and challenge students to master topics like ancient civilizations, the Renaissance, the settlement of America, WWI, and WWII.

  • Geography Lesson Plans and Resources

    Reinforce lesson plans about the continents with mobile-friendly materials, lesson plan templates, games, videos, and interactive timelines to engage and support students in their understanding of geography.

  • Teaching Geography of the Americas

    Use these resources of the geography of Texas, Latin America, and the Western U.S. to help learners establish an understanding of the geography of the Americas. Resources include mapping projects, games, and flag activities.

  • Social Sciences Lesson Plans & Resources

    This collection of relevant resources offers short videos, lessons, lesson notes, chapter quizzes, and essay topics to help students engage with several social science topics such as criminal justice and sociology.

Father and son doing homework

Geography Homeschool Curriculum

The homeschool curriculum is a detailed course that guides learners through a high school geography course with engaging texts and videos. Beginning with the themes and principles, learners will establish a firm foundation to build upon while exploring concepts of climatology, meteorology, and the geography of the continents. This course also provides case studies for learners to analyze and additional supplemental resources to help support home educators.

Homeschool solutions
Father and son doing homework

Study.com is an excellent program that can help my children learn anything. The incredible library of videos is more than I could have ever hoped for.

Gloria H.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is geography?

    Geography is the study of land, environments, and natural formations as well as how humans impacted the locations. Additionally, geography includes the study of culture, economics, politics, and culture as they relate to the location and environment.

  • What are the three types of geography?

    Three types of geography include physical geography, human geography, and environmental geography. Physical geography studies nature and the effect of nature on humans and the surrounding area. Human geography focuses on humans: culture, government, politics, economics, and population. Environmental geography studies the relationship between humans in their environments.