Everything that we see around us makes up our environment. The landforms and bodies of water that make up the landscape, the mountains and valleys, rivers and seas; the climate, the rains brought by the monsoons, the warm, humid weather that we frequently experience; the natural resources that we make use of; every plant and animal that live around us. Truly, the environment is made up of a lot of things.
All these things that we find in our surroundings and all the natural phenomena that we observe are not due to some random luck or accident. What makes up our environment is very much related to where our country is on the globe. Or, to say it in a different way, the characteristics of our environment are determined by the location of the Philippines on the planet.
Latitude and Longitude
Before we learn about the characteristics of our environment, let us first talk about the location of the Philippines. Where is the Philippines? The Philippines is on Earth, of course, but where exactly is it located? To answer this question, you have to learn a new skill: locating places using latitude and longitude.
Where in the world is the Philippines? (Part I)
After performing this activity, you should be able to describe the location of the Philippines using latitude and longitude.
What to use
What to do
1. Study the image of a globe on the right.
Then get a real globe and identify the parts that are labelled in the image. Be ready to point them out when your teachers asks you.
2. After studying the globe and the image on the right, try to define “equator” in your own words. Give your own definition when your teacher asks you.
Figure 1. What does the globe represent?
3. The “northern hemisphere” is that part of the world between the North Pole and the equator. Show the northern hemisphere on the globe when your teacher asks you.
4. Where is the “southern hemisphere”? Show the southern hemisphere on the globe when your teacher asks you.
5. Study the drawing on the right. It shows the lines of latitude.
Q1. Describe the lines of latitude.
Q2. Show the lines of latitude on the globe
when your teacher asks you. Figure 2. What is the reference line when determining the latitude?
Q3. The starting point for latitude is the equator. The equator is at latitude 0° (0 degree). At the North Pole, the latitude is 90°N (90 degrees north). At the South Pole, the latitude is 90°S (90 degrees south). Show the following latitudes when your teacher calls on you: 15°N; 60°N; 30°S; 45°S.
Q4. The globe does not show all lines of latitude. If you wish to find 50°N, where should you look?
6. Study the drawing on the right. It shows the lines of longitude.
Q5. Describe the lines of longitude.
Q6. Show the lines of longitude on the globe when your teacher asks you.
Q7. The starting point for longitude is the Prime Meridian. The Prime Meridian is atlongitude 0°. Show the Prime Meridianon the globe when your teacher asks you.
Figure 3. What is the reference line when determining the longitude?
Q8. To the right of the Prime Meridian, the longitude is written this way: 15°E (15 degrees east), 30°E (30 degrees east), and so on. To the left of the Prime Meridian, the longitude is written as 15°W (15 degrees west), 30°W (30 degrees west), and so on. On your globe, find longitude 180°. What does this longitude represent?
Q9. Not all lines of longitude are shown on a globe. If you want to find 20°W, where should you...