Sense of Place

Is our sense of place important?

Science, Social studies, Geography, Arts, English

People living in the North have a strong sense of community and connection to their homeland. People develop a sense of place through experience and knowledge of a particular area. Throughout the world and over the ages personal identity has been rooted in this sense of place. Coming from a certain region influences language, values, lifestyle, and ultimately culture. Geology and climate are the base that determines all aspects of life, even though in time many of the geological and geographic boundaries that make each one of us different have become less distinct. Developing a sense of place helps us identify the region and those that surround us. A strong sense of place can lead to a more sensitive stewardship of our cultural history and natural environment. Is our sense of place important?

Scroll down for activity! Or click to download Sense of Place Activity (PDF)



1) Create a quick concept map as a group: ask students for words and phrases coming to the mind when they hear the word “land.” Using the list generated briefly brainstorm on how and why different people might define land and the value of land differently!?

2) Read “The American Geographies” by Barry Lopez, individually or as a group. Reflecting on the article, discuss the concept of “sense of place” in relation to land value.

3) Have students select a place and have them develop a presentation that capture what makes this place unique to them. It can be anything, from a town to a coffee shop, park, shopping mall, grandmother’s house, basketball field, favorite bench, tree, school.. The description of their place should be short (and possibly in art form) addressing the following questions:

– Why did you choose this location for your “sense of place” research

– How did you highlight and emphasize what your sense of place is about your location?

– What do you ultimately want to communicate to others about your sense of place?

The American Geographies (PDF)

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