1. Have students brainstorm descriptions of your school.
As a class, brainstorm a list of descriptions about your school. Write students’ ideas on the board. Make sure the descriptions include the following information:

  • the location of the school, such as what it is near and how far most kids travel to get to it
  • information about the school itself, such as what its name is and what it looks like


2. Categorize the descriptions by location and place.
Ask students if their responses are about the location of the school or the place. Place an “L” next to descriptions of the location. Place a “P” next to those that describe place.

3. Have students complete the worksheet to apply a geographic perspective to your school.
Divide students into pairs and provide each pair with the worksheet Your School: A Geographic Perspective. Have pairs work together to complete the worksheet.

Informal Assessment

Use the provided rubric for Your School: A Geographic Perspective to assess pairs' completed worksheets.

Subjects & Disciplines

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • identify the difference between location and place as it applies to their school

Teaching Approach

  • Learning-for-use

Teaching Methods

  • Hands-on learning

Skills Summary

This activity targets the following skills:

Connections to National Standards, Principles, and Practices

National Geography Standards

  • Standard 4:  The physical and human characteristics of places

What You’ll Need

Materials You Provide

  • Pencils
  • Pens

Physical Space

  • Classroom


  • Large-group instruction

Background Information

A geographic perspective is a way of looking at the world. Location helps you answer where. Place helps you answer what or who. You can use a geographic perspective to learn more about your school.

Prior Knowledge

  • understanding location versus place


geographic perspective

a way to understand a topic or area using spatial features and relationships.


position of a particular point on the surface of the Earth.


area having unique physical and human characteristics.