Glencoe World Geography, 2005
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Chapter 12: The Cultural Geography of Europe
"The Culture of Iceland"

In this chapter students studied the cultural geography of Europe, including the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. Geologically, Iceland is the world's youngest country. Sitting on top of a fault in the Atlantic Ocean, this island nation is the result of thousands of years of volcanic eruptions. The people who live here have developed a culture as unique as their island home.

Lesson Description
Students will browse through a site rich in interesting facts about Iceland and its people. They can also view pictures of Iceland in the summer and winter. After answering questions about Iceland, they will prepare a guide for an American who might be assigned to an office in Reykjavík.

Instructional Objectives

  1. Students will be able to describe changes in Iceland's culture and settlement patterns.
  2. Students will be able to describe interesting facts about Iceland's culture.
  3. Students will be able to compare and contrast life in Iceland and the United States by creating a guide for American citizens assigned to work in Iceland.

Applied Content Standards
Standard 4: The geographically informed person knows and understands the physical and human characteristics of places.
Standard 10: The geographically informed person knows and understands the characteristics, distribution, and complexity of Earth's cultural mosaics.

Student Web Activity Answers

  1. The Althingi, established in 930, is the oldest functioning parliament in the world. Today it consists of 63 members elected by popular vote to 4-year terms.
  2. Students' answers will vary. Only a small number of Icelanders have family names. Most use their father's first name with the suffix "son" or "dottir," denoting "son" or "daughter."
  3. Ingólfur Arnarson was said to be the first settler. He was a chieftain from Norway, arriving in Iceland with his family and dependents in 874.
  4. Energy in Iceland is derived from geothermal and hydroelectric sources. Geothermal energy provides heat for 85 percent of all households.
  5. Students' guides will vary.

Go To Student Web Activity


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Glencoe World Geography, 2005
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