Each state has its own guidelines defining what students will study in ninth grade World Geography courses. Regardless of location, students learn basic geographical skills and gain an understanding of diversity and it's impact on global relationships. After completing a course in World Geography, ninth grade students will be able to identify, describe, analyze and explain the physical, cultural, political and economic differences in the world.

Physical Geography

Students study the many different physical characteristics of each continent, such as mountains, deserts, rivers and oceans. Virginia’s Standards of Learning state that students learn how climate, humans and technology impact the physical and ecological processes that shape the Earth's surface. Examples of this are erosion of beaches, pollution in cities, and the harvesting of tropical rain forests. Ninth grade students also identify different areas around the globe through activities like labeling physical characteristics or shading climate zones on a map.

Understanding Culture

Ninth grade World Geography students study traditions, religions, languages, food, clothing and how these characteristics can connect or divide regions. Cultural geography also takes a look at human settlement patterns and how cultures are influenced by each other. In Bozeman, Montana Public Schools, for example, ninth graders learn characteristics, distribution and complexity of Earth's cultural mosaics. This knowledge of world cultures allows students to interpret the past, understand the present and plan for the future.

Political Differences

World Geography classes teach ninth grade students to understand of the forces behind world partnerships and divisions. According to National Geographic, cooperation among nations is a result of agreeing on how to manage the Earth's surface, while conflicts arise when countries disagree on the division, control and management around the globe. In Virginia, ninth graders learn to explain and analyze reasons for political divisions and ways countries cooperate among political jurisdictions to solve problems and settle disputes.

Economic Distribution

World Geography students in the ninth grade also study economic factors like imports and exports, natural resources, distribution of income and standards of living as they pertain to each part of the world. In New York, for example, students are expected to learn about land use, economic development, population shifts and transportation networks. The National Geographic Geography Standards state that geographic literacy is necessary enhance economic competitiveness, preserve quality of life, sustain the environment and ensure national security.