Text Options for the Visually Impaired Font Size: a- A+ Color: A A A Revert 
Close vision bar
Open vision bar
APHG Syllabus

AP Human Geography

2013-2014 Syllabus

Franklin Simpson High School



Mr. Adam Dobbs

Room 216


586-3273, ext 155 (work)

598-9698 (home)




First of all, welcome to AP Human Geography.  For many of you, this will be the first course in which you have ever had to actually study in order to earn the grade you want.  This is meant to be a college-level class & you have the opportunity to earn college credit by scoring a 3, 4 or 5 on the AP test next May.  Consequently, you will read a college-level text, excerpts from other college-level texts, papers written by professional geographers, US Census Bureau reports & so on.  In addition, you will spend a great deal of time studying & comparing a wide variety of maps.  


You are expected to come to class each day armed with the basics; we will use class time to dig deeper into specific issues & concepts related to the study of human geography.  As such, it is essential for you to keep up with all reading assignments & to complete any & all homework, projects, etc on time.  Naturally, you are being held to a higher standard than my other students; poorly done work is simply unacceptable.  In addition, you should anticipate having assignments over fall, Christmas & spring breaks.   


Over the course of the year, you will complete seven separate units (details below).  At the end of each unit, you will have a major test consisting of both a multiple choice and a free response question (essay). Each test, as well as in class free response activities & multiple choice quizzes will have a strict time limit in order to get you used to taking difficult exams under a “time crunch.”  On both quizzes & tests, you will be allowed 48 seconds for each multiple choice item.  For free response questions, you will have 25 minutes to complete your essay.  Both of these time limits are consistent with the time limits used during the actual AP testing in May. 


Course Materials

Basic Text

De Blij, H.J., and Alexander B. Murphy. Human Geography: Culture, Society & Space. 9th ed. New York: John Wiley, 2009.


Supplemental Resources (Copies of Extra Readings will Be Supplied by the Teacher)

Fouberg, Erin, Murphy, Alexander & de Blij, H.J. Human Geography, AP Study Guide: People, Place, and Culture, 9th ed. New York: John Wiley, 2009.


Kuby, Michael, Harner, John & Gober, Patricia.  Human Geography in Action, 5th ed.  New York: John Wiley, 2010.


Rubenstein, James M.  The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography, 10th ed.  Boston: Prentice Hall, 2011.


The Power of Place video series


Google Earth: earth.google.com


US Census Bureau: www.census.gov


Selections from National Geographic




Recommended Resources

Alagona, Peter & Marsh, Meridith.  Barron’s AP Human Geography: How to Prepare for the AP Human Geography Advanced Placement Exam, 2nd ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 2008.


The Exam

The 2012 AP Human Geography exam will be held on in mid May.  The test consists of 75 multiple choice questions & three free response questions.  Students will have 75 minutes to complete the free response section & 60 minutes to complete the multiple choice items on the exam.  Each section counts for one-half of the total test score.  The test is scored on a 5-point scale.  Scores of 3, 4 or 5 will generally earn college credit.  Class time will be devoted to review & practice exams will be given, but success on this test demands significant after-school independent review & studying by students. 


Units of Study


Unit 1: Geography: It’s Nature & Perspectives



Content/Unit Description

Percent of AP Exam

Text & Supplemental Readings


A. Geography as a field of inquiry

B. Evolution of key geographical concepts and models associated

with notable geographers

C. Key concepts underlying the geographical perspective: location,

space, place, scale, pattern, regionalization, and globalization

D. Key geographical skills

1. How to use and think about maps and spatial data

2. How to understand and interpret the implications of associations

among phenomena in places

3. How to recognize and interpret at different scales the

relationships among patterns and processes

4. How to define regions and evaluate the regionalization process

5. How to characterize and analyze changing interconnections

among places

E. New geographic technologies, such as GIS and GPS

F. Sources of geographical ideas and data: the field, census data




de Blij, Ch 1


Kuby, Ch 1 “True Maps, False Impressions: Making, Manipulating & Interpreting Maps” Activity 1

3.5 weeks



Unit 2: Population


Content/Unit Description

Percent of AP Exam

Text & Supplemental Readings


A. Geographical analysis of population

1. Density, distribution, and scale

2. Consequences of various densities and distributions

3. Patterns of composition: age, sex, race, and ethnicity

4. Population and natural hazards: past, present, and future

B. Population growth and decline over time and space

1. Historical trends and projections for the future

2. Theories of population growth, including the Demographic Model

3. Patterns of fertility, mortality, and health

4. Regional variations of demographic transitions

5. Effects of population policies

C. Population movement

1. Push and pull factors

2. Major voluntary and involuntary migrations at different scales

3. Migration selectivity

4. Short-term, local movements, and activity space



de Blij Ch 2-3


Kuby, Ch 5 “One Billion & Counting: The Hidden Momentum of Population Growth”

Activities 1&2

4 weeks



Unit 3: Cultural Patterns & Processes



Content/Unit Description

Percent of AP Exam

Text & Supplemental Readings


A. Concepts of culture

1. Traits

2. Diffusion

3. Acculturation

4. Cultural regions

B. Cultural differences

1. Language

2. Religion

3. Ethnicity

4. Gender

5. Popular and folk culture

C. Environmental impact of cultural attitudes and practices

D. Cultural landscapes and cultural identity

1. Values and preferences

2. Symbolic landscapes and sense of place



de Blij Ch 4-7


Kuby, Ch 2 “Layers of Tradition: Culture Regions at Different Scales”

Activities 1&2.


Kuby, Ch 3 “Tracking the AIDS Epidemic in the United States: Diffusion Through Space & Time”

Activities 1 & 2

5 Weeks


Unit 4: Political Organization of Space



Content/Unit Description

Percent of AP Exam

Text & Supplemental Readings


A. Territorial dimensions of politics

1. The concept of territoriality

2. The nature and meaning of boundaries

3. Influences of boundaries on identity, interaction, and exchange

B. Evolution of the contemporary political pattern

1. The nation-state concept

2. Colonialism and imperialism

3. Federal and unitary states

C. Challenges to inherited political-territorial arrangements

1. Changing nature of sovereignty

2. Fragmentation, unification, alliance

3. Spatial relationships between political patterns and patterns of

ethnicity, economy, and environment

4. Electoral geography, including gerrymandering



de Blij Ch 8


Kuby, Ch 13, “Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Nations, States & Nation-States, Activities 1&2

3.5 weeks












Unit V: Agriculture & Rural Land Use



Content/Unit Description

Percent of AP Exam

Text & Supplemental Readings


A. Development and diffusion of agriculture

1. Neolithic Agricultural Revolution

2. Second Agricultural Revolution

B. Major agricultural production regions

1. Agricultural systems associated with major bio-climatic zones

2. Variations within major zones and effects of markets

3. Linkages and flows among regions of food production and


C. Rural land use and settlement patterns

1. Models of land use, including von Thünen's model

2. Settlement patterns associated with major agriculture types

D. Modern commercial agriculture

1. The Third Agricultural Revolution

2. Green Revolution

3. Biotechnology

4. Spatial organization and diffusion of industrial agriculture

5. Future food supplies and environmental impacts of agriculture



de Blij Ch 11


Kuby, Ch 8 “Food for Thought” Activities 1-3

3 weeks


Unit VI: Industrialization & Economic Development



Content/Unit Description

Percent of AP Exam

Text & Supplemental Readings


A. Key concepts in industrialization and development

B. Growth and diffusion of industrialization

1. The changing roles of energy and technology

2. Industrial Revolution

3. Evolution of economic cores and peripheries

4. Geographic critiques of models of economic localization (i.e., land

rent, comparative costs of transportation), industrial location,

economic development, and world systems

C. Contemporary patterns and impacts of industrialization and


1. Spatial organization of the world economy

2. Variations in levels of development

3. Deindustrialization and economic restructuring

4. Pollution, health, and quality of life

5. Industrialization, environmental change, and sustainability

6. Local development initiatives: government policies



de Blij Ch 10, 12-14


Kuby Ch 6 “Help Wanted: The Changing Geography of Jobs” Activities 1 & 2

4.5 weeks














Unit VII: Cities & Urban Land Use



Content/Unit Description

Percent of AP Exam

Text & Supplemental Readings


A. Definitions of urbanism

B. Origin and evolution of cities

1. Historical patterns of urbanization

2. Rural-urban migration and urban growth

3. Global cities and megacities

4. Models of urban systems

C. Functional character of contemporary cities

1. Changing employment mix

2. Changing demographic and social structures

D. Built environment and social space

1. Comparative models of internal city structure

2. Transportation and infrastructure

3. Political organization of urban areas

4. Urban planning and design

5. Patterns of race, ethnicity, gender, and class

6. Uneven development, ghettoization, and gentrification

7. Impacts of suburbanization and edge cities



de Blij Ch 9


Kuby Ch 9 “Take Me Out to the Ball Game: Market Areas & the Urban Hierarchy” Activity 2

3 weeks





Your grade will be based upon the total number of points you earn divided by the total number of possible points.  This will vary in each grading period, but there are some standard assignments. 


  • Each test will consist of 45 multiple choice questions worth two points each.  The free response section of each unit test will be worth 45 points for a total of 135. 


  • “Stand alone” free response assignments will be worth 40 points. 


  • Major assignments, such as research projects, for each unit will count the same as a test grade. 


  • In addition, there will be unannounced pop quizzes, chapter quizzes, supply & homework checks, homework assignments and the like.  The point total of these assignments will vary & be contingent upon their length and/or difficulty.


  • Following each reading assignment, there will be a “DYRT” (Did You Read This?) quiz.  These will be of varying formats, including, but not limited to fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice & open response.  These will be worth 15 points.


  • Finally, students are expected to keep a notebook divided with tabs into the units of study.  Keeping this notebook organized, up to date & accessible is crucial to success on in-class exams & the AP test itself. 


Late/Makeup Work


While absences do occur, regular attendance at school is essential for success in this class as well as your others.  Makeup exams will be left for students to take for a maximum of ONE week, provided the absence was excused.  Missed assignments will be available for students to pick up upon their return from an excused absence.  They should be returned in THREE days unless unusual circumstances are present.





Required Materials

  1. LARGE three-ring binder.
  2. Tabbed dividers for binder.  You will need seven of these.
  3. 3x5 notecards.
  4. Single-ring binder.
  5. Recipe box, shoebox, etc for storing vocabulary cards from previous unit.


Class Rules


  1. Follow the “Golden Rule.” (See Below)
  2. Follow all school rules as detailed in your student handbook.

Note: This includes the cell phone/I-Pod policies.  If I see or hear a phone or music during class it will be taken up and given to the higher authorities! 

  1. Come to class prepared (paper, pencil, assignment & other materials) each day.
  2. Be in your seat and ready to work when the tardy bell rings.


  • "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." — Jesus (c. 5 B.C. - A.D. 32 ) in the Gospels, Matthew 7:12, Matthew 22:39, Luke 6:31, Luke 10:27 Christianity
  • "This is the sum of duty; do naught unto others what you would not have them do unto you." — Mahabharata (5:15:17) (c. 500 B.C.) Hinduism
  • "What you do not wish upon yourself, extend not to others." — Confucius (ca. 551 - 479 B.C.) Confucianism
  • "What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man." — Hillel (ca. 50 B.C. - A.D. 10) Judaism
  • "None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself." — Muhammad (c. A.D. 571 - 632), Hadith 13 of al-Nawawi's Forty Hadith. Islam
  • "As you see yourself, see others as well; only then will you become a partner in heaven." Bhagat Kabir Guru Granth Sahib(GGS) 480 Sikhism
  • "Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." (Udana-Varga 5:18) Buddhism
  • “Wish not for others what you wish not for yourselves” Baha’u’llah Aqdas 148.73 Bahá'í