Welcome to Social Studies



Degrees and Certifications:

B.S. Secondary Education, Penn State University M.Ed. Educational Leadership, Lamar University

Patrick Mohrbacher

Good Day. This is my tenth year teaching social studies, and second teaching APHG. I am thrilled to be at Heath and teaching so many fantastic young people. If you have any questions, please reach out to me via email and I will return your message promptly. 




2022-2023 SYLLABUS

Mr. Patrick Mohrbacher

Room 4304

Conference: By appt or mornings


Phone: x 6400



The course is structured according to the course outline from the AP® Human Geography Course Description published by the AP College Board®. The purpose of the course is to use geographic processes to systematically study and understand spatial patterns that are evident in the world in which we live.


Units of study begin with physical geography to satisfy Texas requirements and continue with the nature and perspectives of geography; demography including but not limited to density, migration patterns and influencing factors; cultural patterns and processes including but not limited to language, religion, and ethnicity; political geography; economic geography; industrialization; rural and urban geography including but not limited to land use and development. Emphasis is placed on geographic models and their applications. Case studies are compared locally, nationally and internationally.



  • To introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that shape human use and alteration of earth’s surface.
  • To learn about and employ the methods of geographers, especially including observation, mapmaking, data gathering and reporting, and technical writing.
  • To employ spatial concepts, geographic vocabulary, and landscape interpretation to a variety of locations and situations around the globe and in local areas.



    • National Geographic: Human Geography: A Spatial Perspective
    • All classroom and course content will be housed in Canvas


Additional Resources

  • We will be reading articles and other pieces throughout the course
  • Some videos will be shown, but not in their entirety


Course Content

This course is a total of seven units and it focuses on the human aspects of geography.  The seven units include

  • Unit 1: How to Think Like a Geographer
  • Unit 2: Population and Migration
  • Unit 3: Cultural Processes and Patterns
  • Unit 4: Political Organization of Space
  • Unit 5: Agriculture, Food Production, and Rural Land Use
  • Unit 6: Industrialization and Economic Development
  • Unit 7: Cities and Rural Land Use


Required Materials

  • Writing utensils: Pencils #2, pens (black or blue for writing assignments, any color for notes)
  • 3-Ring Binder: 2.5 or 3” (AP Human Geography use ONLY)
  • 7 tabs (1 for each unit listed above)
  • Colored Pencils (we will be doing maps on paper this year)
  • One spiral (or composition) notebook dedicated to AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY VOCABULARY (at least 100 pages, preferably college ruled)



Since you are in an AP class, you are expected to show a high level of skill and commitment. This course will be more difficult than Honors and you should not be upset if you receive grades that are lower than you’re used to. If you keep working hard, you will continue to do better.  All students are required to take the College Board’s AP Human Geography Exam on May 4, 2023. More information about how to register and payment will be coming later.  All policies in the student handbook will be followed, in order to maintain a professional atmosphere. Disruptions of the educational process will not be tolerated. Severe disruptions will result in an office referral. Discipline issues will be handled fairly, but on an individual basis in my classroom. Consequences may include, but are not limited to, change in seating arrangement, letters or phone calls to home, detentions, and office referrals.  I do not foresee any of these problems.



All of the course material will be housed in Canvas.  We will be completing assignments both through Canvas and on paper.  If you are absent you will need to check Canvas to see what you missed that day. If you are unable to complete your work through Canvas due to an illness, please reach out to me as soon as possible.  It is also your responsibility to turn in a major assignment or complete a test or quiz before you are absent for a school-related event or other excused absence.



You are expected to be in class, seated, and ready to work when the bell rings.  If a student is more than 10 min late, they will be marked absent, per state law. If you are tardy, I will enter that into Skyward. If tardies become a persistent issue, there will be consequences. If a student is more than 10 min late, they will be marked absent, per state law.


Late Work

Your assignments will be turned in either through Canvas or in person.  Assignments will be due at a certain time in Canvas or at the beginning of class. Late work turned one day after it is due will receive no more than 85% credit. After two days you will receive not more than a 70%, third day you will receive no more than 50% and after the fourth day you will receive a 0%.  I will only accept late work until two days before the end of the 9 weeks grading period.



Both in-class assignments and homework assignments will require the use of computers with internet access. If you do not have internet access readily available at home, you are welcome to use the computers in the RHHS library either before or after school, or with a pass, during lunch. Announcements and information about classroom assignments can be accessed by students AND parents through Canvas.  There is also a Remind account for this course that both students AND parents are welcome to join.  Each student will be required to sign a separate contract relating to your use of technology in my class.


Food & Drink

I will allow food and drink in my classroom. However, this will be done in moderation and will not become a distraction.


Tutoring and Extra Help

I expect all of my students to attend tutoring when they feel like they need it.  There will always be at least one teacher from the Geography team available every day before and after school.  The RHHS Geography tutoring schedule can be found on Canvas and posted in the classroom.



Assignments taken for a grade are divided into two categories per the Rockwall ISD grading policy: “Formative Assessments” and “Summative Assessments.” Formative Assessments (30% of your grade) include, readings, short writings, daily assignments, homework, and the content and organization of your notebook. Summative Assessments (70% of your grade) include large writing assignments, vocabulary, quizzes, projects, book notes, binder check, and tests/exams.