Middle School World Geography Unit

Stories from the Borders: The Impact of Location on Life in Modern Turkey


Unit Description

Students will explore news stories taking place along Turkey’s borders and analyze Turkey’s interactions with its neighbors.  For the purpose of this unit, Turkey’s neighbors are defined as the countries with which it shares land borders.  In order to understand Turkey’s strategic location bridging Europe and Asia, students will begin the unit of study by creating a map of Turkey and its neighbors.  Next, students will read current articles, historical accounts, and other documents about specific events happening along Turkey’s eight borders.  Then, students will analyze and categorize those interactions and think about how location influences relations.  Finally, students will write a 5-paragraph essay describing the complex web of international conflict and cooperation happening in and around modern Turkey.


Unit Essential Questions

How does where you live affect how you live?

How does the location of a country influence its interactions?


Unit Vocabulary

primate city, refugee, influx, deportation, genocide, rapprochement, rebel, drought, Soviet Union, conflict, cooperation, multilateral, bilateral


Unit Final Assessment

Student will describe Turkey’s relationship with its bordering countries in a 5-paragraph essay.  Students will choose three categories of interactions -- such as cooperation, conflict, and multilateral interactions – to create the body paragraphs of their essays.  Students will use details from specific border stories as descriptive evidence.  Proficient student work will be organized, accurate, and complete (with sufficient examples).  Advanced student work will move beyond proficiency by conveying a sense of the complexities of the international relations of the region.



Colorado Academic Standards for Social Studies (grade 7):

GEO 1: Use geographic tools to gather data and make geographic inferences and predictions

GEO 2: Regions have different issues and perspectives

HIST2: The historical eras, individuals, groups, ideas and themes within regions of the Eastern Hemisphere and their relationships with one another

Common Core English Language Arts Standards: History/Social Studies (grades 6-8):

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences