Physical Geography 10

New Germany Rural High School

Mrs. Melanie Johnston


Welcome to Physical Geography.  This course will take a hands-on approach to studying the forces that have shaped and continue to shape the world in which we live.



General Curriculum Outcomes


Data Collection, Processing, Representation, Interpretation and Utilization

Students will

*  demonstrate a variety of scientific methods used in geographic studies.

*  demonstrate field study methods and other means of collecting geographic data.

*  analyze maps, graphs, photos, images, and other forms of geographic data representation.

*  portray, by some illustrative method, the information collected about a geographic phenomenon or environment.


Physical Environment

Students will

*  demonstrate knowledge of the planet's major physical components: atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere.

*  recognize and identify basic landforms.

*  demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the dynamic forces that shape the earth.


Spaceship Earth

Students will:

*  develop and demonstrate a perspective of the planet as fragile where policy and development decisions have a global impact.

*  evaluate earth’s unique position in the solar system.


Topics for Study


*      Themes of Geography - the fundamental concepts geographers use to look at the earth.


*      Spaceship Earth – how is it that we are the only planet with life and what do we have to do to make sure this uniqueness continues? 


*      Location – where does earth fit in the solar system and us on the earth?


*      Mapping – what are the benefits of knowing how to use a map, compass and GPS?


*      Earth’s Dynamics – Why does earth experience earthquakes, volcanoes and other



*      Weathering – What processes are involved in wearing down the earth and living on the   

       coastline, should we be concerned?

Guidelines for Success


*  Attendance: Please be present and on time for class. Unexcused absences and chronic tardiness will result in disciplinary action for the attendance violation. You are responsible for catching up on missed work on your time, not during class time. Parents/Guardians: it is your responsibility to call in absences to 644-5000 on the day of or prior to the absence.


*  Labs/AssignmentsYou can expect to complete a number of products in this area. If class time is used effectively, you will have minimal homework most evenings. Assignments/labs are to be handed in at the beginning of class on that due date. If you are absent, they are due your first day back. If you do not complete an assignment you will be requested to attend the designated assignment completion area (ACA) for 20 minutes at the beginning of lunch.


*  ConductOur classroom is meant to be a fun learning environment. In order to minimize distractions, no cell phones, video games or cameras are permitted in class. There is also to be no eating during class time. Please refer to the NGRHS Five-Point Plan for discipline procedures.  


*  Extra help:  I am available almost anytime for extra help.


Semester Assessment


Labs/Assignments…50%:  Students will be expected to complete a number of tasks in this area including computer labs, geolabs, written reports, presentations, reflections, etc.  Most of the work for this type of evaluation will be completed in class time, if used effectively.

Tests/Quizzes………30%:  Students will be expected to complete tests or quizzes on at least each unit of study.

Term Projects………20%:  These projects require significant amount of time and effort both in and out of class.  Options are available.


Course Evaluation Breakdown: 70% semester work and 30% final exam. 





Information regarding course objectives, materials, assignments, due dates and tests can be found on my website Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. My email address is or messages can be left for me at 644-5000.




Please sign and date below stating that you have reviewed the course syllabus.  If you have any questions, please contact at the number and email address provided above.


Name: _________________________________  Signature: _______________________________