Unit Outlines Standards

Social Studies: Grade 7 Version: GPS 08-09

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Unit Name: 01 - Geography of Southwest Asia (the Middle East)

Essential Question

Enduring Understanding

The focus of this unit is how the physical and cultural geography shapes the environment, nations and people of Southwest Asia (the Middle East).


Every place has unique geographic features that influence how cultures develop.

  • Why are people attracted to certain regions in which to live? (G5a, b; 7a)
  • How does the physical geography of Soutwest Asia contribut to its culture? (G5a, b;7a, b)

    Different ethnic groups represent diverse cultural traditions.

  • How are the various cultural groups in Southwest Asia (the Middle East) similar and different? (G8a, b)

    Diverse religions influence the character of a region.

  • How do the presence of Judaism, Christianity and Islam within the same region influence the development of the region? (G8a, b, c, d)

    Limited resources are often the basis for power and conflict.

  • How does the water supply influence the development of North Africa and Southwest Asia? (G6a)
  • How has the discovery of oil affected the people in Southwest Asia (the Middle East)?
  • Topic 1

    Place: Geography and Its Impact on Population

    Topic 1 Standards and Elements


    Topic 2

    Cutlure: Religions

    Topic 2 Standards and Elements


    Topic 3

    Culture: Ethnic Groups

    Topic 3 Standards and Elements


    Unit Vocabulary

      canal, strait, desert, oasis, oases, irrigation, monotheism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Synagogue, Mosque, Trinity, Imam, Messiah, Qu'ran (Koran), Allah, sect, Shia, Shi'ite, Sunni, ethnic group, ethnicity, Kurds, Persians, Arabs

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