Title of Course
Sophomore Geography

Dave Stutz
email: dstutz@kusd.kusd.edu or click here
web page: http://www.stutzfamily.com/mrstutz


Course Objectives and Description

Sophomore geography is a one-semester class designed to introduce the five themes of geography and their implications/effects on humans and the environment as well as familiarizing the students with applications of geographic tools. Areas of emphasis include continents and countries as they relate to environmental issues, population, resource distribution, elements of physical geography such as landforms, climate, and water, cultural geography, and land utilization.

The course will stress the five themes of geography as presented by the National Council for Geographic Education while focusing on world regions and the environment. Students will gain an understanding, through cross-curricular activities with their science classes, of the impact and effects of human beings on the physical and cultural geography of the world. Students will also be introduced to a variety of geographic tools including fundamentals of map projections, urban and land planning, and geographic information systems (GIS).

Course Standards/Outline/Calendar

A. Introduction to Geography

  • KUSD SS Standards #20.3, 20.4
  • Weeks 1-3
  • Map: continents, lines, and oceans
  1. Uses/careers
  2. Geographic Terms
  3. Charts and graphs
B. Location
  • KUSD SS Standards #20.3, 20.4
  • Weeks 4-5
  • Map: North & South America
  1. Absolute vs. Relative
  2. Latitude/longitude
  1. Location quizzes
  2. "Where in the World is Mr. Stutz?"
  1. Basic mapping
  1. Guidelines
  2. Room Map project
C. Place
  • KUSD SS Standards #20.2, 20.4, 21.1, 23.2, 23.4
  • Weeks 6-8
  • Map: Europe
  1. Natural/Cultural Features
  2. Resource distribution
  3. Using geographic information to plan actions
  1. Hasta city planning activity
  2. Drugs Project
D. Human/Environmental Interaction
  • KUSD SS Standards #20.2, 22.1, 22.3, 23.2, 23.3
  • Weeks 8-11
  • Map: Africa
  1. Population
  1. Population Pyramids
  2. Age-sex ratio
  3. Growth rates
  1. Food and energy use
  1. Comparison of regional use
  2. Natural resource implications
  3. Ancient cultures’ examples
  1. Disease
  1. Geographic solutions (cholera)
  2. Geographic tracking (AIDS)
E. Movement and regions
  • KUSD SS Standards #21.3, 22.1, 22.3, 23.5
  • Weeks 12-15
  • Map: Asia
  1. People: migrations, slave trade to the south
  2. Goods: transportation routes to hubs
  3. Things: disease patterns of infection in LDCs
  4. Ideas: independence movements after WWII
  5. Natural: weather patterns in the Pacific
  6. Global: plate tectonics
F. Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • KUSD SS Standards #20.3, 22.1
  • Weeks 16-18
  • Map: Oceania
  1. Introduction
  2. Uses
  3. Population growth project
  • Class text: Fraser, C. (1993). Unlocking the Five Themes of Geography.
  • Class atlas: (1997) Students Quick Reference Atlas from Cram
  • Assignment Notebook
  • A three ring binder, loose-leaf paper, and pen/pencil daily
  • 5 floppy discs (PC formatted) and a plastic disc protector
  • 1 manila folder
  • Additional resources and readings as supplied in class
General Information about homework and other assignments

Grades in the class are not weighted. That means that points are worth exactly the same, whether on a test, quiz, homework, or in-class assignment. 

As a general rule:

  • In-class assignment = 5-10 points
  • Reading/Question set = 10-20 points
  • Test/Quiz = 25-50 points
  • Presentation/PowerPoint = 25-50 points
It is very important that all assignments are completed, as those points do add up. No student that has turned in all assignments has ever failed. This is not because of a mercy policy; it is because just doing all the work puts you into the best possible situation to do well. 

Extra credit is generally not given out, although some (unannounced) assignments may be graded as extra credit. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all work is turned in- it is of great benefit to your grade to do so!

Make up procedures and extra help opportunities

*Mr. Stutz is always in the school until at least 4PM. This is the single best time to meet with him and get extra help. Make arrangements and stick around for a bit - during the school day it is virtually impossible to meet for extra help*

Make up work can be completed in accordance with the House of Biotechnology/Environmental Studies policy:

  • Students who miss class will have 1 day per absence to turn work in ‘on time.’ Thereafter, the assignment will be considered to be ‘late.’
  • Late assignments will only be accepted within three days of the ‘on time’ due date upon receipt of a parent/guardian phone call granting permission to accept said assignment. Such assignments will receive a maximum grade of 82%.
  • If the work is graded on the basis of being completed during a class period, no late work will be accepted.
  • It is the student's responsibility to approach Mr. Stutz to determine what work is missing and make arrangements to redo such assignments
Grading scale

Per Kenosha Unified School District policy, the grading scale is as follows:
  • 99% and above- A+
  • 95 - 98% - A
  • 93 -94% - A-
  • 91 - 92% - B+
  • 87 - 90% - B
  • 85 - 86% - B-
  • 83 - 84% - C+
  • 79 - 82%- C
  • 77 - 78% - C-
  • 75 - 76% - D+
  • 72 - 74% - D
  • 70 - 71% - D-
  • Below 70% - F
  • Classroom Procedures and Rules

    Students at the start of the year set class-specific rules. There are 4 general rules Mr. Stutz expects to be followed:

    1. Arrive in class on time with paper, binder, writing utensil, and any previously designated materials
    2. Students are to remain in their seats until Mr. Stutz has dismissed the class
    3. Swearing and derogatory remarks have no place in the classroom and will not be tolerated

    4. Accord those who are speaking (including teachers and students) the respect, courtesy, and quiet they deserve