Stage 2 (Years 3 & 4): Topic 1: Places are similar and different

>> Topic 1 Units of work

Content focus:

Students examine natural and human features of Australia and the diverse characteristics of Australia’s neighbouring countries. They explore the different climates, settlement patterns and demographic characteristics of places and use this information to imagine what it would be like to live in different places. Students consider how people’s perceptions of places are the basis for actions to protect places and environments.

Geographical concepts:

  • Place: the significance of places and what they are like. For example: places students live in and belong to and why they are important.
  • Space: the significance of location and spatial distribution, and ways people organise and manage the spaces that we live in. For example: location of a place in relation to other familiar places.
  • Environment: the significance of the environment in human life, and the important interrelationships between humans and the environment. For example, how and why places should be looked after.
  • Interconnection: no object of geographical study can be viewed in isolation. For example: local and global links people have with places and the special connection Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples maintain with Country/Place.
  • Scale: the way that geographical phenomena and problems can be examined at different spatial levels. For example: various scales by which places can be defined such as local suburbs, towns and large cities.
  • Sustainability: the capacity of the environment to continue to support our lives and the lives of other living creatures into the future eg ways in which people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, use and protect natural resources; differing views about environmental sustainability; sustainable management of waste.

The Australian continent
Students investigate Australia’s major natural and human features

Australia’s neighbours
Students investigate Australia’s neighbouring countries and their diverse characteristics

Climate of places
Students investigate the climates of different places

Similarities and differences between places
Students investigate the settlement patterns and demographic characteristics of places and the lives of the people who live there

Perception and protection of places
Students investigate how the protection of placesis influenced by people’s perception of places

Key inquiry questions:

  • How and why are places similar and different?
  • What would it be like to live in a neighbouring country?
  • How do people’s perceptions about places influence their views about the protection of places?

A student:

  • examines features and characteristics of places and environments
  • describes the ways people, places and environments interact
  • examines differing perceptions about the management of places and environments
  • acquires and communicates geographical information using geographical tools for inquiry

Inquiry skills:
Acquiring geographical information

  • pose geographical questions
  • collect and record geographical data and information, for example, by observing, by interviewing, or using visual representations

Processing geographical information

  • represent data by constructing tables, graphs or maps
  • draw conclusions based on interpretation of geographical information sorted into categories

Communicating geographically

  • present findings in a range of communication forms
  • reflect on their learning and suggest responses to their findings

Geographical tools:

  • large-scale maps, world map, globe, sketch maps


  • observing, measuring, collecting and recording data, conducting surveys or interviews

Graphs and statistics

  • tally charts, pictographs, data tables, column graphs, simple statistics

Spatial technologies

  • virtual maps, satellite images, GPS

Visual representations

  • photographs, illustrations, story books, multimedia, web tools


>> Download Places are similar and different cover sheet

Topic 1 Units of work:

Unit 1: Are We There Yet? Australian Diverse Places and Environments
Unit 2: My Place: Picture Book Study
Unit 3: Places Are Similar and Different: Climate
Unit 4: Australia's Neighbours