The Five Themes of Geography and East Asia

Before we launch into today's activity, let's take a look at East Asian geography from a different perspective. Check out East Asia at night What patterns do you see? What does this tell you about the region? Share with your partner and be ready to discuss with the class in the next five minutes.

Using ABC-CLIO ( and your textbooks, examine the country you have been assigned in terms of the five themes below. Use the questions to help guide your thinking and research. If you find either of these sources to be dry or deficient, the following sources may prove helpful:






Absolute: Latitude and Longitude

Relative: Landmarks and direction and distance from other places

Where is your country located relatively to other countries in East Asia and the world? How does this location help or hurt it in the following ways: trade, climate, agriculture, geologically, politically, strategically, and tourism?


Physical characteristics: Mountains, rivers, soil, beaches, wildlife, and soil.

Human characteristics: Ideas and actions of the people through architecture, attitudes, values and perceptions.

What specific physical and human characteristics make your country distinct from other countries in East Asia and the world? Are people similar or diverse ethnically, culturally, and traditionally? How big is the population? What type of development is taking place there?

Human/Environmental Interaction

1. How do humans adapt to the environment?
2. How do humans modify the environment?
3. How do humans depend on the environment?


How do people travel and interact within your country?


Formal Regions: Defined by the government, such as provinces, states, or territories, or by geographers, such as mountain chains.

Vernacular Regions: Terms like “China Proper,” “the Korean Peninsula,” “ASEAN,” or “East Asia.”

Once you finish exploring these questions, add these themes in generic placemarks to your GoogleEarth map.

China Google Earth Map

Japan Google Earth Map

North Korea Google Earth Map

South Korea Google Earth Map

After exploring these themes, what do you think defines East Asia from a geographical perspective?


I will grade your Google Earth Maps as follows:

Did you placemark all required sites on your Google Earth map? 10 points

Did you thoughtfully examine all Five Themes of Geography in terms of East Asia and insert placemarks appropriately on your Google Earth map? 10 points

Did you present your Google Earth map clearly to your classmates? 10 points