Physical geography

A learning sequence where students investigate the physical geography of this world.

This unit is comprised of five learning sequences.

Learning sequence 1: Plate tectonics


  • investigate the processes involved in volcanic and earthquake activity, folding and faulting, for example:
    • location of major tectonic plates and their boundaries
    • discussion of evidence of tectonic plate movement
  • explanation of the relationships between plate boundaries and major physical

Learning sequence 2: Physical processes


  • investigate the processes of weathering, erosion, deposition and mass movement, for example:
    • explanation of physical and chemical weathering processes and the role of weathering in shaping the landscape
    • description of types of mass movement
    • discussion of the role played by humans in mass movement
    • examination of erosion and deposition including the role of water, wind and ice in transforming the land

Learning sequence 3: Climate


  • investigate patterns and processes associated with climate, for example:
    • explanation of global atmospheric circulations: insolation, pressure, wind, temperature, precipitation
    • description of global climatic patterns
    • examination of factors affecting climate: latitude, altitude, maritime and
  • continental influences
    • explanation of issues resulting from climate change

Learning sequence 4: Weather


  • investigate patterns and processes associated with weather and weather events, for example:
    • discussion of factors affecting temperature and humidity
    • description of meteorological processes that produce different types of rainfall and extreme weather events: droughts, floods, storms
    • assessment of the impact of an extreme weather event on a community
    • examination of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and/or international Indigenous perspectives on patterns and processes associated with weather and climate

Learning sequence 5: Biogeography


  • investigate the biogeography of one vegetation community, for example:
    • identification of ways vegetation is classified
    • explanation of soil-forming processes and the relationship between soil and vegetation
    • examination of the spatial distribution and physical characteristics of one vegetation community
    • analysis of human impact on the selected vegetation community, including that of Aboriginal Peoples
  • investigate at least one environment produced by biophysical processes and human interactions in a particular location, for example:
    • identification of the main biophysical processes in the selected study
    • explanation of the processes that create the features of the environment
    • description of human interactions with the environment


Please note:

Syllabus outcomes and content descriptors from Geography K-10 (2012) Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2012

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