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91013: Describe aspects of a geographic topic at a global scale

Updated December 2016. This document has been updated to include guidance with the aspect relating to the significance of the topic to people’s lives.

Teachers should refer to the Conditions of Assessment available on TKI for guidance relating to topic selection and provision of resource material. Resource material should include map(s) that illustrate the global extent of the topic and show a clear spatial pattern.

The spatial pattern

An understanding of the concept of one spatial pattern is crucial to achieving this standard. A description of a spatial pattern can include annotations on a world map which illustrates the pattern on a global scale. Drawing a map to illustrate the pattern is not a requirement of this standard.

Students need to be familiar with the appropriate geographic terminology used to identify spatial patterns, such as concentration, random, dispersed, linear etc. 

Spatial patterns are frequently confused with location, for example:

  • Earthquakes form linear patterns which follow plate boundaries…’. This statement uses an appropriate recognised term to describe the pattern.
  • Coffee is produced between the latitudes 25° north and 25° south of the Equator…’. This statement provides location, but does not identify a pattern.

Factors/process that cause or contribute to the pattern

This aspect of the standard continues the focus on the spatial pattern. An issue arises when a spatial pattern has not been clearly or accurately identified and described by the student.

A causal relationship between the factors and/or processes and the identified spatial pattern must be explicit in the description. A description of factors and/or processes relating to the topic is insufficient to meet the requirements of 91013.

A list of appropriate factors/processes can be provided for students.

Significance of the topic to people’s lives

This aspect involves describing the impact of the topic on the lives of people. For example, the 2010 earthquake in Port au Prince destroyed 188383 homes, forcing many people to live in camps where poor sanitation and lack of clean water was common. Losing their home meant that many people’s lives were affected - they became vulnerable to outbreaks of cholera and other health issues.

It is important that the resource material illustrates impacts on people’s lives rather than emphasising the wider social, economic, or environmental issues associated with the topic.


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