Geography Education
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Geography Education
Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography students and teachers.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Why do competitors open their stores next to one another?

"Why are all the gas stations, cafes and restaurants in one crowded spot? As two competitive cousins vie for ice-cream-selling domination on one small beach, discover how game theory and the Nash Equilibrium inform these retail hotspots."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This TED-ED lesson shows the economic and spatial factors that lead to businesses to cluster together.  This video is a very simple introduction to the concept of agglomeration that is based on competition.


Tags: APHGTED, models, spatialK12, location.

Kelsea Messina's curator insight, July 23, 6:45 AM

Hotelling method

Cory Erlandson's curator insight, July 24, 6:46 AM

Nice intersection of geo and economics (for the social studies teachers out there) on a very high-interest topic.

Nancy Watson's curator insight, July 25, 7:02 AM

Hoteling model

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African borders

African borders | Geography Education |

"About the history of the creation of Africa borders and debates about African borders."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Disregard the rough English grammar; this is a nice article to show some of the historical, ethnic, linguistic and political complexities behind African borders.  This would be a great supplemental article to help AP Human Geography students to prepare for Question 2 of the 2014 AP Human Geography Exam that focused on superimposed boundaries within an African context.  

TagsAPHG, language, Africa, colonialism, borders, political.

Tom Cockburn's curator insight, June 24, 2:46 AM

Borders here are Continuing to evolve

Darleana McHenry's curator insight, June 26, 4:33 AM

I thought that this was interesting and decided to share it.


Beatrice Sarni's curator insight, July 7, 12:36 AM

always an interesting discussion...

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APHG Reading Newsletters

APHG Reading Newsletters | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

This week I am in Cincinnati, OH, scoring the AP Human Geography exams.  Here you can find the digital newsletters that are intended for the AP readers to know about the upcoming events.  I will post future newsletters here as well. 

I also am teaching in Elmhurst College’s Graduate Certificate Program in Human Geography for AP.  They have recently announced some changes that will make it much more accessible and applicable for teachers.  They have added a Master’s Program in Applied Geospatial Sciences with Concentration in Human Geography as well as a non-credit (read, cheaper) option for the courses in the program as well.  Look into it!

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Primate Cities: Mexico City

Seth Dixon's insight:

In 2011, one of the AP Human Geography Free Response Questions focused on identifying if the rank-size rule applied the urban hierarchy of a country (Mexico), or if a primate city dominated the network of metropolitan regions.  To prepare people to understand the rubric, I put together this presentation, based primarily on my time researching in Mexico City (download the PPT file to access my notes for each slide).  The problems with primate cities are hardly unique to Mexico City; this additional BBC article bemoans Britain’s lack of a true second city, arguing that London’s shadow looms too large for sustained national development outside of the primate city. 

Tags: APHG, urbanunit 7 cities, megacities.

dilaycock's curator insight, May 5, 2:52 PM

Seth Dixon, creator of this excellent resource, notes, "I put together this presentation, based primarily on my time researching in Mexico City (download the PPT file to access my notes for each slide).  The problems with primate cities are hardly unique to Mexico City; this additional BBC article bemoans Britain’s lack of a true second city, arguing that London’s shadow looms too large for sustained national development outside of the primate city."

Jason Wilhelm's curator insight, May 22, 9:24 AM

The concept of a primate city has both benefits and drawbacks for the country in which it is located. The large population of the primate city draws new technology and foreign investment into the country. Unfortunately, the large population of the primate city also leads to population and brain drain from the surrounding regions which can damage the overall economic and intellectual status of the country. 

Sid McIntyre-DeLaMelena's curator insight, May 29, 9:45 AM

Primate Cities are furthered studied using Mexico as an example.

Primate cities affect movement by having a greater pull on migrants.

Suggested by Allison Anthony!

The Human Imprint

The Human Imprint | Geography Education |
A Human Geography Resource; Especially for Teachers

The Human Imprint is home to everything Human Geography related for the student, educator, and the every day Joe/Jane. This site includes geographic related stories, lesson plans, and other links that bring us closer to understanding the “why of where.”

Seth Dixon's insight:

Have you already seen this resource produced by a Chicago AP Human Geography teacher?  If not, there's no time like the present!

Melanie Kirchhof's curator insight, March 9, 8:25 AM

Resource for geography teachers

SFDSLibrary's curator insight, May 13, 4:58 AM

Words leading to new Geography treads.

good for up to date articles.

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Cultural Syncretism

Cultural Syncretism | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

I found this image on social media from a great geography teacher (link to his site--looking for APHG group activities?  Try this).  This picture taken at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Memphis, TN shows an intrguing linguistic combination that I had never imagined before.  This is referred to as cultural syncretism, where two or more cultures or cultural traits combine together to make something new.  Globalization and migration are making more cultural combinations than we've ever seen before in this human mosaic we call home.

Tags: language, culture, the South, APHG, religion, landscape.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, December 10, 2013 9:01 PM


Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 28, 8:02 PM

This was taken in Memphis, TN. I liked how it mixes the religion with the surrounding culture and dialect, really interesting and shows that people can have the same religion and different backgrounds. 

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Changes in the APHG course

Seth Dixon's insight:

The APHG course outline and description was changed over the summer and the 2014 test will reflect these changes.  So what are the changes?  I've created this slideshow  to show what the changes are and add links to my site that might be thematically useful.  The hyperlinks don't work in the first 4 slides so I duplicated the unit 1 slides at the end of the document (you can download this as a PDF file or the Powerpoint file as well). 

Tags: geo-inspiration, geography education, APHG.

Todd Parsons's curator insight, October 30, 2013 5:03 PM

New changes to the 2014 test!!!

Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, October 31, 2013 7:31 AM

HUGGERS...this will affect YOU! Take a look!

Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, February 9, 2:16 PM

Take a look HUGGERS!


Suggested by Thomas Schmeling!

Inequality and the Gini Coefficient

Inequality and the Gini Coefficient | Geography Education |
Think everyone should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps? Try this one on for size.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video shows the place matters; a Washington D.C. educator shows how food deserts and other spatial problems of poverty impact his students on a daily basis.  We usually look at life expectancy data at the national scale and that obscures some of the real issues of poverty in developed countries.  Above is a map that shows the Gini index which measures the degree of economic inequality (the Gini coefficient was recently added to the APHG course content for the Industrialization and Economic Development unit).  Here are some maps and data from the World Bank that utilizes the Gini Index as well as an interactive Gapminder graph.  

Tags: industry, location, place, migration, APHG, poverty, socioeconomic.

Heidi Hutchison's curator insight, October 12, 2013 10:46 AM

Just incredibly awesome, but so, so sadly true.

Ms. Harrington's curator insight, October 12, 2013 12:00 PM

Educating in poverty

Alison D. Gilbert's curator insight, October 16, 2013 4:47 AM

Do you find this information surprising?

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Start-of-the-Year Videos

Start-of-the-Year Videos | Geography Education |

"This is a compilation of videos that can be used to at the beginning of the school year to show the importance of geography, spatial thinking and geo-literacy."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I searched the tags below to find some of my favorite clips that show why taking geography courses is so important, useful and interesting.  Do you know of a great video that I should put on the list?  Send me a tweet.

Tags: geo-inspiration, geography education, APHG.

Jaiden VerSteeg's comment, August 29, 2013 8:41 PM
I watched video #1 and I thought it was very interesting. It was a great way to show what we are going to be learning about. I am really looking forward to learning about it.
Alexandria Goodyk's comment, August 29, 2013 8:59 PM
I watched video #3 and it's crazy how one video can give us so much information. I am so excited to learn new things this year and get educated with all of this stuff.
Richard Miles's curator insight, September 5, 2013 4:29 PM

Great little starters to get the students engaged with Geography!

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Graduate Program Scholarship

Graduate Program Scholarship | Geography Education |

This is a five-course part-time program that can be completed in less than one year. Offered through the Elmhurst College Online Center, the program is fully online in eight-week sessionsThis program correlates directly with the College Board AP® Human Geography."

Seth Dixon's insight:

NCGE has recently announced that they are willing to offer scholarships to reduce the cost of Elmhurst College's Graduate Certificate Program in Human Geography for AP.  Each course is $1950 per class, and every NCGE member that is a current teacher can receive a scholarship of $600 (reducing the per course cost down to $1350 per class).  Not currently a member of the NCGE?  Join today. 

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Transportation Networks Impacting Urban Patterns

Transportation Networks Impacting Urban Patterns | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

Essay #3 for the AP Human Geography 2013 exam focused on how railroads and highways impacted the size and form of U.S. cities.  Andy Baker, one of the great readers on that question has put together an interactive map filled with tangible examples of how Indianapolis' land use history has been heavily influenced by the railroads and highways.  This would be a great resource to prepare students to answer that FRQ. 

Tags: transportationurban, models, APHG.

Ally Greer's comment, June 11, 2013 10:58 AM
This brings back memories from when I took this in high school!
Andy Baker's comment, June 17, 2013 1:03 PM
Thanks for "scooping" this. When I click the link, it takes me to the Google home page. Here's the link:,-85.940552&spn=1.06603,2.364807
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Prepping for the AP Human Geography exam

Prepping for the AP Human Geography exam | Geography Education |

"Planning to take the Advanced Placement Human Geography exam from the College Board? Try these five suggestions for review."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is last minute, but every little bit can help.  Good luck tomorrow!

Tag: APHG.

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APHG Study App

APHG Study App | Geography Education |

"App4Success APHuG is an intuitive app for students to excel in AP Human Geography. Created by two students who scored 5 on all their AP Exams, the app is organized by the topics* indicated by the College Board."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I'm not an iPhone or iPad user, but this $1.99 app has received good reviews from within the APHG communities.  Please share in the comments section any feedback. 

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Observations from the 2014 APHG Reading

Observations from the 2014 APHG Reading | Geography Education |
Once again the AP Human Geography reading was a success. I still firmly believe that this group pf 500+ teachers and professors have GOT to be the most extraordinary and interesting people than any...
Seth Dixon's insight:

This article (with an outstanding infographic) from the Human Imprint is an excellent summary of the AP Human Geography reading and gives some valuable insights to prepare students to pass the exam.  This is well worth the read for any APHG teacher.    

TagsAPHG, infographic.

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Disruptive Demographics

Disruptive Demographics | Geography Education |

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a tremendously entertaining and incredibly informative professional development evening at the APHG reading (that isn’t an easy combination to pull of either, and he did marvelously). Dr. James Johnson is a trained geographer teaching in the School of Business at the University of North Carolina.  His talk, entitled “Disruptive Demographics: Implications for Global Competitiveness” (PDF file available here-- video of an earlier version is here) follows in a tradition of superb presentation at the reading; in 2012, Roger Downs gave a great professional development presentation on geographic expertise.

Dennis V Thomas's curator insight, June 3, 6:45 PM
great overview of America's changing demographics!
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Population pyramids: Powerful predictors of the future

"Population statistics are like crystal balls -- when examined closely, they can help predict a country's future (and give important clues about the past). Kim Preshoff explains how using a visual tool called a population pyramid helps policymakers and social scientists make sense of the statistics, using three different countries' pyramids as examples."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an incredibly powerful and remarkably well-done TED-ED lesson on the importance and value of population pyramids.  This lesson goes nicely with this article fro the World Bank entitled "The End of the Population Pyramid" which highlights the demographic changes that will be reshaping global demographics in the next 50-100 years.  

Tag: population, demographic transition model, TED.

Kyle Kampe's curator insight, May 27, 7:31 PM

In AP Human Geo., this relates to the theme of population pyramids because it gives a compelling explanation of how to interpret population pyramids and why they are significant for extrapolating into the future.

Lona Pradeep Parad's curator insight, May 28, 3:54 PM

This video proves how population pyramids can predict the current and future state of a country such as Rwanda.

Sid McIntyre-DeLaMelena's curator insight, May 29, 9:41 AM

Population statistics help show past, present, and future issues and concerns of certain areas ranging from health to women's' issues.

The movement of people in and out of areas affect population statistics and the landscape of areas either positively of negatively.

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Economic Decline and Sense of Place

"McDowell County, situated in the coalfields of West Virginia, has experienced a great boom-and-bust since 1950. But despite the economic decline and population loss, many still call it home and feel a great sense of purpose among the mountains. Residents speak about their connection to this place and the meaning of 'home.' Hear more stories at "

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video perfectly exemplifies some key geographic ideas; sense of place, regional economic decline, migration and resource extraction.  This video would be great to shows students and then get them to analyze the geographic context that creates a place like McDowell County, West Virginia.  This will be a great addition to my Place-Based Geography Videos StoryMap.  

Tagseconomicplace, industry, location, migration, APHG, poverty, socioeconomic.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, April 24, 8:27 AM

units 1 & 7

dilaycock's curator insight, April 29, 3:51 PM

Excellent example of urban decline. Would pair nicely with a reading from 'Rocket Boys' by Homer Hickam Jnr, or with the movie version 'October Sky.' The book and movie are the true story of a boy in Coalwood, West Virginia in the 1950s who is determined to  "escape" working in the coal mines to become a rocket scientist.

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Online Quizzes for Regional Geography

Online Quizzes for Regional Geography | Geography Education |

"For Regional Geography, I ask that all my students take an online quizzes before coming to class because it is very difficult to intelligently discuss European issues if you don’t know the countries of Europe, where they are and what other countries are on their borders.  Quizzes and knowing places doesn’t define geography, but if geography were English literature, knowing about places could be described as the alphabet–before you write a sonnet or critique an essay, you better know your ABC’s and basic grammar.  Given that, I like the Lizard Point Geography quizzes, Sheppard Software quizzes and those from Click that ‘Hood; they are simple, straightforward and comprehensive."

Seth Dixon's insight:

During the course of the semester in World Regional Geography, I have my students complete all of the following quizzes (and 9 more for a total of 20 quizzes):

Tags: regions, trivia, games.

AckerbauHalle's curator insight, January 23, 9:44 PM

Kleiner Beitrag zur Geographie: Ein online Spiel um regionale Kenntnisse zu erweitern 

Mirta Liliana Filgueira's curator insight, February 2, 3:52 PM

Exámenes en línea para Geografía.

SFDSLibrary's curator insight, May 13, 5:16 AM

Quizzes to test a students knowledge of places and countries.

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Geographically Yours

Geographically Yours | Geography Education |

"If an urban population demands the freshest vegetables, they should be produced within a 24-hour field-to-table delivery zone.  What, therefore, should be the highest and best use of agricultural land between Taiwan's two largest cities, Taipei and Kaoshiung, only 200 miles apart?  The Lord of the Rings, a.k.a., Johan Heinrich Von Thünen, has the answer."  [2011]

Seth Dixon's insight:

This image and analysis comes from the blog "Geographically Yours" by Don Zeigler.  He's a well-traveled cultural geographer and has been collecting great teaching images over his career and is now sharing them on this site.  These pictures are great discussion starters and bell ringers to start the day.

Tags: geo-inspiration, geography education, APHG, images.

Tony Aguilar's curator insight, November 5, 2013 11:13 PM

This image communicates the importance of agriculture and marketplace relativity. in an area where transportation is minimal and people happen to be more more poorer then need to supply needed resources in a timely manner is very important. Farmers and resource providers need to be close enough geographically. This image shows an outside clothing and food market were people get to shop around and choose in a convientent ways there most needed items. The umbrella suggests rain as the child and other shoppers are being covered. This outdoor market doesnt necessarily suggest poverty but a wide range of population given a convenient location to buy goods quikcly and efficiently. The market may be located in a urban downtown area or also a village central area. Regardless the location, and goods provided shows the valuable commodities need to be provided in a manner, freshest possible for delivery.

Alison D. Gilbert's curator insight, November 13, 2013 5:40 AM

It is said that locally grown food can have more nutritional value than organic if the latter comes from thousands of miles away. If you had to choose, which would you rather have, locally grown or organic? 

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The End of the Nation-State?

The End of the Nation-State? | Geography Education |
With rapid urbanization under way, cities want to call their own shots. Increasingly, they can.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This article could just as easily been titled, "The rise of the modern city-state."  Parag Khanna (known for his TED talk, Mapping the Future of Countries) argues in this article that governance is happening increasingly at the city scale.  "In the face of rapid urbanization, every city, state or province wants to call its own shots. And they can, as nations depend on their largest cities more than the reverse."

Questions to Ponder: Is this devolution?  How so?  How does this make us rethink political power and 'the state?'  How might this shift reshape the world?  How might this concept relate to the term primate cities? 


Tags: political, urban politics, urban.

Tony Aguilar's curator insight, October 17, 2013 7:01 AM

The end of Soverign nation states has alot to do with how interact with other states into a more integrated regional economy. The global community is realizing its importance of woking together to mazimize on trade and technology building as an economic world effort. This would blur the lines of independent soverign countires and bring regions together for economic puprposes even redrawing regional lines. Cities want more autonomy on responding to urbanization and move more away from being identified as a nation state. It is the desire to listen less to what washington has to say and act more as an independent state which makes more decisons with the regions around it to mazimize on rapid city growth and the money making opportunities that a re created from a rapidly changing global community.

Keileem's comment, October 17, 2013 12:41 PM
Just end reading a book: the end of the nation state, but than in mind a non-democratic eu government.
Emma Boyle's curator insight, November 20, 2013 5:31 AM

Good examples: NYC, Washington DC, Brasilia, Hong Kong, London, and many more.

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Political Ecology: Mapping the Shale Gas Boom

Political Ecology: Mapping the Shale Gas Boom | Geography Education |
Where in the United States is fracking unlocking natural gas from shale rock?

Seth Dixon's insight:

New to the APHG course content is term political ecology.  Briefly, the Political Ecology Society defines it as the study of the political and economic principles controlling the relations of human beings to one another and to the environment.  Anytime people are managing the environment in a way that is politically contentious (such as fracking in the USA), that topic can be analyzed using political ecology.


Tags: political ecology, fracking, energy, resources, environment, environment modify.

Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 29, 2013 6:53 PM

In class we studied "fracking," or the fracturing of shale deep in the Earth with blasts of fluid, which produces a harvestable oil yield and much pollution to aquifers in the area.  I live at a house sometimes, where the water is rusty- and it really prevents me from doing much of anything with the water.  I can't cook with it, I can't shower in it, I can't drink it, I have to use bottled water to even brush my teeth because the simple rust content is so vile.  I cannot even imagine what the industrial acid- hydrochloric acid, as well as other contaminants in the water- would do to the water someone relies on...  I think of situations where neighbors trees are dangling over someone else's property, and how branches may be required to be cut down because of their interference with neighboring property, and I would hope that something can be done about protection of aquifers, along the same times... If there is something negative or unwanted affecting someone's water, something really should be done about it.  Knowing that there are negative consequences that come along with fracking, I really can't fathom why people do it!  I live in a protected watershed area in Scituate that does not allow development of any kind on one side of the road because of the Scituate Reservoir.  People are not allowed in the Reservoir Property at all, let alone not allowed to dump waste or cause any sort of harm to the environment, because a huge portion of the state of RI gets their water from that reservoir.  I am not an absolute tree-hugger, but I also don't think that such problematic activites should be 'stirred up' in areas that affect something that humans rely on and need to survive.  While I see that I am not affected by these shale fracking ops as are indicated on the map, I also DO care about the peope in those areas! Why should they be subjected to such putrification of their water resources?  I am once again perplexed by the darkness of humanity.

Liam Michelsohn's curator insight, December 10, 2013 12:48 PM

This was a very interesting topic to read about,  its clear the issue of fracking has so many cracks to it(haha). While whats occuring is completly unnatural, the economic forces behind it are clear, this is a big way to help give amercans cheeper gas. However the effects it has locally are increadibly destuctive and will likely have futher consiquences as fracking continues. I noticed by looking at this map that policialy it seem like fracking is occuring in the red states, seems they want to use there land for the resouces even though it might destroy. While politicaly librals want to protect there enviorments of there blue states. This really adds anouther levle to it and how the placment of these new gas companys is panning out arcosss america.

Kyle Kampe's curator insight, May 28, 8:06 PM

In AP Human Geo., this relates to the concept of the ecological perspective of geography because it describes the relationship between political geography and the ecological makeup of a region.

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Political and Economic Geography Presentations

Political and Economic Geography Presentations | Geography Education |

6 conference presentations on various economic and political geography topics given at NCGE 2013 as a part of the APHG strand.

Seth Dixon's insight:

The last two mornings in Denver, CO there was a series of presentations of economic and political geography given in front of a capacity crowd.  6 of the educators have agreed to share the slides of their presentations with the broader geography education community and you can access them all here.  See also this livebinder with resources for teaching APHG to 9th graders (which can be adapted to older students as well).  This was a fantastic professional development event and we are all thankful that they were willing to share these resources.  

Tags: APHG, NCGE, political, economic.

Anhony DeSimone's curator insight, December 19, 2013 6:42 AM

These conference presentations show the importance that geography plays in the roles of both politics and economics. The impact that geography has on economics is a huge one. You could argue that geography is used as a scale in some instances in economics because of the land structure and locating were certain areas are.If you are able to locate certain things or find out where you want to put certain things in a place geography allows you to do so using economics.

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World Policy Analysis Center

World Policy Analysis Center | Geography Education |

The World Policy Analysis Center aims to improve the quantity and quality of comparative data available to policymakers, citizens, civil society, and researchers around the world on policies affecting human health, development, well-being, and equity.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Following seven years of data collection, the World Policy Analysis Center recently launched a series of over 100 easy-to-understand maps of current laws, policies, and constitutional rights in 193 countries. They are eager to share this information and the maps that we have created and believe it will help engage geography students. The maps address questions such as:

  • In which countries can you finish high school without paying tuition?
  • In which countries can you attend college without paying tuition?
  • In which countries are you legally protected from marriage at an average high school student’s age?
  • In which countries are you legally protected from working full-time at an average high school student’s age?
  • In which countries are men and women guaranteed equity in their country’s constitution?
  • In which countries are people of different ethnicities guaranteed equity in their country’s constitution?
  • In which countries does the constitution guarantee a right to medical services?

This data could provide exciting teaching tools to help students think about the implications of laws and policies around the world, particularly as they affect teenagers.

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AP Human Geography: 2013 Free Response Questions

Via Mr. David Burton
Seth Dixon's insight:

You can dowload the 2013 FRQs or any previously released FRQs on the AP Human Geography College Board website. 

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APHG Review Guides

APHG Review Guides | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

It's that time of year to really buckle down; several teachers have created PDFs versions of review guides for the May 17th AP Human Geography test.  James Nelsen, a veteran APHG teacher has produced a “grand review.”  This resource intentionally does not come with a key to force the students to delve deeper and search for the answers themselves.  Allison Hunt had her students create their own study guide for the APHG test focusing on the ‘big ideas.’  Best of luck and these and other resources are archived on my "thematic" tab on

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