A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Helping Your Child Learn Geography - October 1996

Relationships Within Places: Humans and Environments

How do people adjust to their environment? What are the relationships among people and places? How do they change the environment to better suit their needs? Geographers examine where people live, why they settled there, and how they use natural resources. For example, Hudson Bay, the site of the first European settlement in Canada, is an area rich in wildlife and has sustained a trading and fur trapping industry for hundreds of years. Yet the climate there was described by early settlers as "nine months of ice followed by three months of mosquitoes." The Hudson Bay settlement is one of many examples of how people can and do adapt to their natural surroundings.


Notice How You Control Your Surroundings

Everyone controls his or her surroundings. Look at the way you arrange furniture in your home. You place tables and chairs in places that suit the shape of the room and the position of windows and doors. You also arrange the room according to how people use it.

Notice How You Adapt to Your Surroundings

People don't always change their environment. Frequently, the environment changes the course of people's lives. For instance, a straight line may be the shortest distance between two points; but people don't build highways straight over mountains--they must go around them or build tunnels that go through them. People construct storm walls to keep the ocean from sweeping over beaches. In some coastal areas, residents build their houses on stilts to protect them from storm tides or periodic floods.


[Place: Physical and Human Characteristics] [Table of Contents] [Movement: People Interacting on the Earth]