Location [Stds. 1, 3]
Place [Stds. 4, 7, 9, 10]
Human-Environment Interaction [Stds. 8, 12, 14-18]
Movement [Stds. 11, 13]
Regions [Stds. 2, 5, 6]


Introduction

An understanding of the geography of East Asia — its land, water, people, agriculture, and why we call it "East Asia" — is crucial to understanding the history, civilization, and contemporary events in East Asia and the world. In this unit we will explore East Asia's geography using the guidelines of the National Council for Geographic Education.

KEY READINGS
6 ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS, 18 STANDARDS, 5 THEMES

We call the elements "essential" in that the world must be looked at in this way; we use the term "elements" to show that these are building blocks. Each Essential Element encompasses a number of Standards that incorporate "geographic ideas" and "geographic approaches." In the sections that follow (accessible through the menu at left), each of the 18 Geographic Standards is explored more thoroughly in the context of East Asia's geography.

The Five Themes are a popular way of organizing the elements and standards for classroom presentation. Throughout the unit the following five icons representing the Five ThemesLocation, Place, Human-Environment Interaction, Movement, Regions — appear next to the Standards to which they are related:

Location
Place
Human-Environment Interaction
Movement
Region
// OUTLINE OF THE 6 ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS & 18 GEOGRAPHIC STANDARDS
 
ESSENTIAL ELEMENT A: THE WORLD IN SPATIAL TERMS
Standard 1. Using maps to structure geographic information
» What maps can show us » Map-making problems
Standard 2. Using mental maps to organize information
» Case Studies: Eurasia, Asia, East Asia
Standard 3. Analyzing the spatial organization of people, places, and environments
» Boundaries of China and Japan » Satellite images
   
 
ESSENTIAL ELEMENT B: PLACES AND REGIONS
Standard 4. Physical and human characteristics of places
» Case Studies: China, Japan, Korean Peninsula, Vietnam » Places are not static » Visiting Asia through webcams
Standard 5. Regions as conceptual and organizational units
» What is a region? » Formal regions: East Asia, Southeast Asia, China, Japan » Functional regions: The Silk Road, China's traditional market towns
Standard 6. Perception of places and regions is influenced by culture and experience
» Case Study: China
   
 
ESSENTIAL ELEMENT C: PHYSICAL SYSTEMS
Standard 7. Physical processes that shape the patterns of earth's surface
» Weather, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, typhoons » Case Studies: Japan, China, Vietnam
Standard 8. Characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems
» Case Studies: China (Chang Jiang [Yangzi or Yangtze River] Delta and Shanghai) and Vietnam (Mekong River Delta)
   
 
ESSENTIAL ELEMENT D: HUMAN SYSTEMS
Standard 9. Characteristics and dynamics of human populations
» Population density in Asia » Case Studies: China, Japan, Korean Peninsula, Vietnam » Migration
Standard 10. Characteristics and complexity of earth's cultural mosaics
» Clothing; Architecture; Language: Food; Religion; Ethnic Minorities
Standard 11. Patterns and networks of economic interdependence
» Case Studies: China's regions; The silver trade in East Asia, 1400s-1800s
Standard 12. Process, patterns, and functions of human settlement
» China and Japan: urban life, 1000-1900 » China and Japan today, urban and rural » Korea, Vietnam
Standard 13. Cooperation and conflict influence division and control of earth's surface
» Case Studies: China, Japan, Korean Peninsula
   
 
ESSENTIAL ELEMENT E: ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY
Standard 14. Human actions modify the physical environment
» Agriculture: Rice in Japan; Controlling water resources in China » Deforestation: China, Vietnam
Standard 15. Physical systems affect human systems
» Case Study: Vietnam's Red River Delta
Standard 16. Resources: Meaning, use, distribution, and importance
» What is a resource? » Case Study: The Qinghai-Tibet Railway
   
 
ESSENTIAL ELEMENT F: THE USES OF GEOGRAPHY
Standard 17. Applying geography to interpret the past
» China's Grand Canal » Chang'an (Xi'an) and the Silk Road
Standard 18. Applying geography to interpret the present and plan for the future