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Introduction: Teaching of Environmental Studies

The National Curriculum Committee had recommended in the 1975 policy document “The
Curriculum for the Ten-year School: A Framework”, that a single subject ‘Environmental Studies’
be taught at the primary stage. It had proposed that in the first two years (Class I-II) Environmental
Studies will look at both the natural and the social environment, while in Classes III-V there
would be separate portions for social studies and general science termed as EVS Part I and Part
II. The National Policy on Education 1986 and the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 1988
also posited the same approach for the teaching of Environmental Studies at the primary stage.
Contemporary research on how children learn to make sense of the world around them and
how pedagogy in primary school can enable them to develop scientific abilities and understanding
for in consonance with social and environmental concerns has further supported this integrated structure.
Classes The NCF 2000 had recommended that Environmental Studies be taught as an integrated course
at the for the entire primary stage, instead of in two distinct parts devoted to science and social studies
in Classes III-V. The present NCF 2005 has called for the continuation and further strengthening
90 of this integrated approach for Environmental Studies during the primary years.

NCF 2005 and Objectives of Environmental Studies

The present syllabus is designed to forge an integrated perspective for the primary stage of
schooling that draws upon insights from Sciences, Social Sciences and Environmental Education.
The National Curriculum Framework 2005 indicates some of the objectives of teaching science
and Social Sciences at the primary stage as follows:
• to train children to locate and comprehend relationships between the natural, social and
cultural environment;
• to develop an understanding based on observation and illustration, drawn from lived
experiences and physical, biological, social and cultural aspects of life, rather than abstractions;
• to create cognitive capacity and resourcefulness to make the child curious about social
phenomena, starting with the family and moving on to wider spaces;
• to nurture the curiosity and creativity of the child particularly in relation to the natural
environment (including artifacts and people);
• to develop an awareness about environmental issues;
• to engage the child in exploratory and hands-on activities to acquire basic cognitive and
psychomotor skills through observation, classification, inference, etc.;
• to emphasise design and fabrication, estimation and measurement as a prelude to the
development of technological and quantitative skills at later stages;
• to be able to critically address gender concerns and issues of marginalisation and oppression
with values of equality and justice, and respect for human dignity and rights.

Integrating ‘Subjects’ or Forging a New Understanding?

What do we understand by General Science and Social Sciences? When we think of these ‘subjects’
in school we clearly have in mind some body of knowledge and also typical ways of acquiring
that knowledge that we associate with each of them. These school subjects have evolved through
their own complicated histories and are today quite different from the way sciences or social
sciences are practiced in the real world of specialized disciplines, such as physics, zoology, chemistry,
molecular biology, history, sociology, geography, economics, political science, etc. So what happens
when groups of specialists sit down to discuss what should be taught at the primary level? They
naturally tend to think of ‘topics’ that have traditionally served as the bases of their own different
disciplines. Thus biologists (if we can use that term to somehow bring together botanists and
zoologists!) would naturally propose a study of plants, animals or the human body, whereas
physicists would think of sound, light, force and work, while chemists would propose studying 91
forms of matter, properties of substances, etc. Add to this the different disciplines under the Syllabus
rubric of Social Sciences and we soon end up with a confounding platter of topics, which are not
necessarily ‘integratable’, and are neither close to the way the child relates to her world. at the
Most primary school curricula working on an integrated approach therefore do not proceed Elementary
with lists of ‘topics’ from different ‘subjects’ but instead propose ‘themes’ that allow for a connected Level
and inter-related understanding to develop. This requires moving beyond traditional boundaries of
disciplines and looking at priorities in a shared way. This approach has been followed for the present
syllabus. Several themes were discussed to see what possibilities each of them offers, to bring
together insights from different disciplines, in an interconnected manner that is basically child centered.
For each theme a web of possible connections was drawn up, of concepts and skills, to explore
how that may be developed over the primary years. Specialists from several different disciplines of
sciences, social sciences, pedagogy, gender studies, child development, curriculum studies, etc. discussed
the possibilities of the proposed themes, pointed out the gaps, and debated on the priorities for a
child centered approach. It is clear that there is no single format that can offer a uniquely satisfactory
elaboration of ideas for primary school and this syllabus too makes no such claim.
This is not a prescriptive but instead a suggestive format, which indicates the key themes and
sub–themes along with their possible connections. It consciously begins with key questions rather
than key concepts, which can trigger the child’s thinking in new directions and provide scaffolding
to her learning process. This format is meant to help textbook writers, teachers and parents to
appreciate the immense possibilities and the depth of children’s understanding. It also indicates
how adults can stimulate and actively support children’s learning, rather than restrict or throttle it,
as often happens when children are forced to memorise information they just cannot understand.
Themes for a Child Centered and Integrated Approach
This syllabus web has been developed within a child centered perspective of themes that provide
a common interface of issues in social studies, sciences and environmental education. The syllabus
for Classes III-V is woven around six common themes given below; the predominant theme on
‘Family and Friends’ encompasses four sub-themes:
1. Family and Friends:
1.1 Relationships; 1.2 Work and Play;
1.3 Animals; 1.4 Plants
2. Food;
3. Shelter;
4. Water;
5. Travel;
6. Things We Make and Do
The syllabus web moves outward over the three years; it gradually extends the child’s
understanding of her world, beginning from the immediate ‘self ’ to include her family, the
neighbourhood, the locality and also the country. Thus by the time the child reaches Class V, she is
Syllabus able to see her ‘self ’ in the larger context – as part of a community, the country and also, more
Classes tacitly, as located in this world. Indeed, in some flights of fancy the syllabus even goads the young
at the child to ride on a spacecraft and leap beyond the earth, into outer space, that may yet not be
Elementary comprehensible but is certainly fascinating for her.
Thus, for instance, the theme on ‘Food’ begins in Class III with ‘cooking’, ‘eating in the
family’, about what we eat and what others eat, what animals eat, etc. It then moves on in
Class IV to how food is grown, what different plants they may have seen, how food reaches us, etc.
In Class V children discuss who grows it, the hardships farmers may face, while staying grounded to
the reality of our own pangs of hunger or the plight of people who do not get food. In addition,
‘when food gets spoilt’ explores spoilage and preservation of food, while changes in food habits
and the crops grown are analysed through the experiences of elders/grandparents. Finally ‘our
mouth - tastes and even digests food’ sees how the saliva makes food taste sweet on chewing,
while ‘food for plants?’ also introduces the idea of some curious insect eating plants.
The theme on ‘Travel’ was developed to help the child on this journey of ideas, of expanding
social and physical spaces, into newer and unfamiliar terrains of often mind-boggling and no less
fascinating diversity. In Class III the theme encourages children to look at their own journeys, if
any, and to see how older people in their family may have traveled in earlier times, as they also
hear of accounts of how people travel today in a desert, through forests, in the hills, or in big
cities. Moreover, it also suggests a story as a ‘resource’, to bring into the classroom the experiences
of a child of a migrating family and the problems she faces in the process of her schooling. Such
narratives suggested as ‘resources’ are meant to provide creative opportunities of bringing in
experiences of other children/people, who may be very different, but whom children can relate
to. This can be done through stories, posters, plays, films, and other media. In Class V the theme
‘Travel’ takes children through the ‘rough and tough’ terrain of the Himalayas with, perhaps, the
story of Bachhendri Pal, who hoists the national flag after a trying expedition, while they can also
be encouraged to design a flag for their own school.
This theme also takes them on a ‘ride on a spacecraft’ into space, from where for the first time
they see the aerial view of the earth, and being no less than a Rakesh Sharma or a Kalpana Chawla,
each child is asked to give an interview to the Prime Minister of India about what they see from
there!. The exercise of looking at aerial views is developed through different views of school, where
different perspectives get introduced. It is linked to the concept of mapping, which they begin in
Class III through a basic two-dimensional representation of their classroom, and by the time they
reach Class V they can read and draw simple aerial views of their locality or city.

‘Plants’ and ‘Animals’ as Part of the Theme ‘Family and Friends’

‘Plants’ and ‘Animals’ have consciously been included under the theme of ‘Family and Friends’ to
highlight how humans share a close relationship with them and to also provide a holistic and integrated
scientific and social perspective of studying them. Traditionally ‘plants’ or animals’ are presented as
autonomous categories, seen purely from the perspective of science. Here an attempt is made to locate 93
them in a social and cultural context, and also to see how the lives and livelihoods of some communities, Syllabus
such as the gujjars, musahars or ‘pattal’-makers, are closely connected with specific animals or plants. for
Moreover, in the universe of young children narratives of animals and plants play a significant role, and
at the
they can relate well even to the animated characters perceived as ‘family and friends’. Elementary
It is a challenge to transcend conventional boundaries of scientific disciplines to try and Level
relook at the notions of, say, ‘plants’, ‘animals’, ‘food’, or ‘our body’ from a child’s perspective. In
fact, some scientific categories are seen to be too formal and counter-intuitive, and perhaps even
‘reductionist’, for the child to understand. Conventionally biologists divide living things broadly
into two categories ‘plants’ and ‘animals’. The idea of ‘plants’ is considered simple enough to be
presented in primary school along with ‘parts of a plant’, ‘functions of the parts of the plant’, etc.
But why should this way of looking at a plant be considered more ‘natural’ or even desirable for
a child? In fact, extensive research across the world has shown that young children find it too
abstract to make a distinction between living and non-living, or to divide the living world between
plants and animals. Despite considerable exposure to science teaching in several countries, children
as old as 13-15 years have consistently believed that a tree is different from a plant, contradicting
the conventional categories of biologists’. Children also systematically differentiate between plants
and vegetables (‘a carrot and cabbage are not plants’), or even between plants and weeds (‘grass
is not a plant’). Moreover, a majority of children do not naturally think of seeds as parts of a
plant. This has led some primary school curricula to postpone these conventional categories and
first allow space to children to explore their own intuitive ideas, in order to achieve a better
understanding later of how science tends to classify them differently.
Taking cognisance of the way children think ‘plants’ are first introduced through the theme on
‘Food’ – through what plants children eat, and also through the idea that we may eat the leaves, or
the stem, or seeds of different plants. In fact, this comes after a discussion on questions related to
‘Which of the following is food? – red ants, birds’ nest, goats’ milk, etc. This is to sensitise them to
the idea that what some of us take to be ‘food’ may not be so for others; that food is a deeply
cultural notion. As discussed above, to allow for a more connected approach ‘plants’ is a sub-theme
under the umbrella of ‘Family and Friends’. Thus in Class III children look at the different ‘plants
around us’, at possible changes over time from when their parents were young, and also what
things around them are made of plants. They are expected to talk to their parents and other elders
around them, so that these discussions can act as scaffolding to their learning. This is also indicated in
the activity column of the syllabus. Children in Class III also observe the shapes, colours, aroma, etc
to see the diversity of ‘leaves in our lives’, to talk of how plant leaves may be used to eat on, the
times of the year when lots of leaves fall to the ground, which may be used to make compost, and
also paint different leaf motifs they see on their pots, animals, clothes, walls, etc. In Class IV they
look at ‘flowers’ and flower sellers, and discuss ‘whom trees belong to?’ while in Class V they
move on to ‘forests and forest people’, the notion of parks or sanctuaries, and also ‘plants that
have come from far’. In this way they are enabled to construct a more holistically connected
understanding, from a scientific, social, cultural and environmental perspective, that is enriched with
an aesthetic and caring appreciation of plants around them.
Our Bodies, Ourselves: ‘Family and Friends’ offer Sensitivity and Sensibility
Classes Similar to the case of ‘plants’ discussed above, traditionally ‘our body’ is also treated in a purely
at the scientific and socially distanced manner, with units such as ‘our senses’, ‘parts/organs of the body’
Elementary and ‘respiration’, ‘digestion’, etc. However, the theme ‘Family and Friends’, specially through its
two sub-themes 1.1 Relationships and 1.2 Work and Play, allows children to look at their own
body as part of their ‘self ’ in a more contextual and connected manner. In Class III in the sub-theme
on Relationships, they discuss their relatives, who live with them and those who have moved away,
to get a basic idea of relationships and changing households. They reflect on whom they admire
among their relatives and for what qualities or skills, and describe on which occasions or festivals
they meet most of them. The unit ‘our bodies – old and young’ helps them place their own body
in relation to those of their family members, and asks them to notice differences that may occur
with age. More significantly, the rubric of the family provides a sense of intimacy and empathy, to
help develop sensitivity towards people having different abilities/disabilities. For instance, they look
at how some of their older family members may have difficulty in hearing or seeing, and then go on
to discuss how they themselves or their friends may cope with such challenges.
In Class IV, the same sub-theme ‘Relationships’ has a unit on ‘your mother as a child’ to
make children find out about who were her relatives with whom she lived then. They also think
about their body in relation to their mother’s; how a baby rat or kitten is related to its mother, and
through a possible narrative, about children who may have been adopted/looked after by foster
parents, say, after a cyclone. By ‘Feeling around with eyes shut’ they explore their senses of
touch, smell, etc. - not in isolation of the people or animals they care for - but by trying to identify
all those living with them only by touching, hearing or smelling them. They continue the exploration
of feeling what is smooth/rough, hot/cold, wet/dry, sticky/slippery, etc. and are asked to think
if there are some things (or people) they are not allowed to touch. This unit also attempts to make
them sensitive to the fact that while touch can mean both a caress and a painful slap, the caress too
can be a ‘good’ touch or a ‘bad’ touch.
In Class V, the unit ‘Whom do I look like?’ helps them identify family resemblances, to look
for any similarities in the face, voice, height, etc., and also to note particular traits such as ‘who
laughs the loudest?’. It goes on to how by ‘feeling to read’ on a Braille sheet, someone like
Helen Keller could manage to overcome tremendous challenges, as described through accounts
of her autobiography.
‘Family and Friends’ has another sub-theme 1.2 ‘Work and Play’ through which they explore
different patterns of activity when people are working and ‘not-working’ in their family and
neighbourhood. This helps them to sensitively look at stereotyped gender roles, and to compare their
own daily routine with that of a working child. It also allows them to analyse the games they play, to see
how traditional games or toys have changed since the time their grandparents were young. In Class V
this sub-theme looks at ‘team games - your heroes’ and also martial arts or wrestlers and how they
are trained. An exploration of our bodies and the process of respiration naturally falls into this context,
and in ‘blow hot blow cold’ they compare how much faster they breathe after a run. They also see
how much they can expand their chest, how they blow on a glass to make it cloudy, and blow to warm
their cold hands and also to cool something hot. As suggested this unit could make use of the beautiful Classes
story by Dr. Zakir Hussain, “Usee Se Thanda Usee Se Garam’ as a resource. The unit ‘clean work, at the
dirty work’ sensitizes them to the dignity of labour and how different people’s work provides essential Elementary
services to society, possibly through a narrative/story based on Gandhi’s work.

Things we Make and Do

The area of Things we Make and Do is visualised as an important component as well as a
common thread inherent in the process of understanding all the other themes. We humans make
things not only to meet our needs but also to express ourselves in a variety of ways and to
transcend our limitations. We also comprehend better when we do things ourselves. Often when
a young child gets a toy for a gift, she has fun dismantling and later re-assembling it in a
completely novel way as much as enjoying it as it is. When she is given a new book she
is eager to add ‘her pictures’ into it as much as appreciating the book. Formal education
as well as all that goes into ‘being a good child’ however discourages these acts. The
theme of Things we Make and Do therefore is an opportunity to recharge the variety
of energies/components that make learning more fulfilling, and where cognition
is not an end but a process enriched by experience, failure, observation, success,
etc. There is also a need to give our rich living traditions of art and craft,
of ‘making and doing things’, their rightful place in our curricula.
Another aspect related with this theme is to understand the significance of
design and technology in relation to science and society. Technology is not merely
applied science; it has an independent existence and in many cases predates
developments in science. Moreover, most of the things we make and do also depend on raw
materials and interventions that impact the earth and life on earth.
This theme will also help address the issue of dignity of physical labour. A young child loves
sweeping, wanting to help the mother in the household chores, loves fiddling with any electrical appliance
within her reach. However, she soon begins to ascribe value to these things that she once enjoyed doing.
Sweeping becomes dirty, and to be done by servants or women in the house, fiddling with implements
becomes an area reserved for men and boys. In short work becomes a way to segregate people, to
judge them, to ascribe it to a particular gender, class or caste. Mahatma Gandhi’s vision and plan of
‘Basic Education’ had the potential to overcome these fractures. The present syllabus takes a small step
in that direction, while encompassing contemporary concerns relating to environmental education,
social relations with a vision for sustainable development and appropriate technologies
It needs to be emphasised that the syllabus has consciously included key questions that openly
address issues of inequality or difference and encourage children to think critically. Whether it is
about social discrimination in school or in getting water, about physically challenged people, or
working children, all these issues are part of the reality of children, especially those who are
disadvantaged and therefore more vulnerable to be pushed out of school. The objectives clearly
stress the need to enable children to articulate and critically reflect on these lived experiences,
Syllabus however unpleasant, and not promote a culture of evasion or silence in school. This calls for a
for specially sensitive approach in textbooks as well as in the teaching learning process in classrooms,
Classes and teachers will need to review how they can do justice to these questions.
at the
Elementary Scaffolding Children’s Learning: The Question Format of the Syllabus
Since the 1970s the philosophy of primary education in different countries, including ours, has been
influenced by the Chinese saying “I do, I understand”. This lays emphasis on the principle of ‘learning
by doing’, which suggests that learners actively construct their understanding while directly interacting
with their environment. However, this model of learning looks at each learner as a solitary individual –
it is the “I’ who is trying to understand, struggling to develop each concept. This approach is associated
with the ‘cognitive constructivist psychology’ of Piaget, and implies that teachers can only provide a
stimulating environment for children to develop. This also suggests that children need to be nurtured
individually like delicate plants, as they develop naturally through successive stages of intellectual
development. However, in the last few decades it has been increasingly seen that children do not learn
alone, through interaction with the environment, but learn more through talking and discussing with
other people, both adults and other children. This psychological approach known as ‘social constructivism’
has been influenced by the work of Vygotsky and Bruner, who showed that adult support is crucial to
children’s thinking. With an appropriate question or suggestion the child’s understanding can be extended
far beyond the point which she could have reached alone. In fact, it has been shown that through the
‘scaffolding’ provided by such questions, discussions, and adult support, the child can be helped to
cross what is called ‘the zone of proximal development’ to leap to the next level of understanding.
The present syllabus is framed within this social constructivist perspective of learning. It is
hoped that children will be supported to construct knowledge far beyond their individual abilities
through appropriate questions and interventions, including discussions with adults, in school and
also at home, as also among themselves. Instead of listing key concepts the syllabus begins by suggesting some
key questions, framed in a language appropriate to stimulate the thinking of a child that age. These are not
meant to be questions of the textbook but are suggestive of the nature of scaffolding to be
provided to help children think in certain directions. This is especially important to help children
articulate their own ideas, for instance, in the case of what they understand by the term ‘plants’ or
‘animals’. Textbooks written in different contexts and regions will be different and indeed must
reflect their own specific concerns. However, such questions are important for textbook writers
to know how to guide children to observe, compare, predict or analyse certain phenomena or
processes. For instance, in the theme on Food, there is a question “Who provides us the Mid-day
Meal?” This is a leading question to encourage children to begin thinking about the agencies and
institutions who provide certain services, beyond the concrete observation of the particular person.
Thus as they begin to think about the post office or the school or hospital as institutions, it will
help them in developing the abstract concept about the notion of governance or ‘government’,
which they normally encounter later usually in the form of statements or information that they
are totally unable to comprehend. Thus when appropriate connections and linkages are made in
the child’s mind about her own immediate experiences she is enabled to understand more abstract
or sophisticated concepts and arguments later.
The matrix of each theme contains leading questions and key concepts and also suggested Classes
resources and activities. As the name indicates, these are purely suggestive for teachers and textbook at the
writers, to give an idea of how the particular theme can be dealt with. It is clear that different Elementary
textbooks based on this syllabus structure can turn out to be very diverse in terms of the elaboration
of the themes. Just as every structure must have its own foundations and its own stability, similarly
each child ultimately needs to construct her own understanding, articulation, knowledge and skills.
We do know that children are not blank slates or empty vessels to be filled by ‘information’ about
carefully listed key concepts, and that they cannot learn by passively listening to adults, however
expressive they may be. This is the basic problem of our traditional system which relies on giving
‘information’, justified on whatever grounds, but without caring to know about the possible zone
of the child’s development. Indeed there is no getting away from this: If children have to understand
an idea they have to construct knowledge for themselves, which can happen when they get the
right cues to connect new understanding with what they already possess. This syllabus identifies
those cues that will help children connect with their varied knowledge systems. Our children do
indeed know and can learn a lot; it is our responsibility to help them do it better.

What Learning Do We Expect?

How can Environmental Studies help all our children, all those who struggle to go to school, and
even all those who still cannot do so; those for whom the main purpose in life is going to school, as
well as those who aspire for a school that can support life, with meaning and dignity? This document
gives a suggestive matrix of themes and sub-themes through the three years of Classes III-V. It is up
to the teachers and textbook writers to translate this into books, materials and classroom activities, to
shape an enabling learning environment for each child, wherever she may be located. Even in the earlier
years children do learn about their environment, though there is no separate subject in school. It is
expected that in Classes I-II the two subjects of Language and Mathematics will incorporate some
themes for the development of concepts and skills in areas broadly related to EVS.
This syllabus format consciously does not spell out any outcomes for each theme. For each
thematic area related key concepts, skills and activities have been clearly indicated at appropriate
places. However, schools must ensure that these activities or discussions will be conducted because
only then can it be ensured that learning will happen. For instance, at several places the activities
indicate that children need to conduct specific observations. We know that even young children’s
senses are sharp and they are able to detect small differences between fairly similar objects, though
not always the similarities. However, the purpose of conducting ‘observation’ activities in EVS is
usually not to collect random similarities or differences, but to seek information from the object to extend
children’s ideas and understanding. For instance, to look specifically at the shapes of leaves, the edges, the
patterns of lines in it, etc. to know more about them. Thus specific purposes will need to be spelt out when
activities are designed. Similarly, young children ask many questions which help in their development, but
which are not all deep, and which do not allow them to understand things at that stage. However,
EVS classrooms will need to provide opportunities to children to be able to progressively ask higher order questions that
Syllabus require different levels of reasoning and investigation, by planned activities and exercises to get them
for to phrase their questions, to answer, discuss and investigate them. These are basic to the learning
Classes process in EVS and yet, unfortunately, most classrooms are not designed to ensure this. How then
at the
can we expect all children to learn? What then does it mean to specify any outcomes at this point?
Level We reiterate the purpose in drafting this syllabus through the following example:
What biology do students know?
Janabai lives in a small hamlet in the Sahyadri hills. She helps her parents in their seasonal work of
rice and ‘tuar’ farming. She sometimes accompanies her brother in taking the goats to graze. She
has helped bring up her younger sister. Nowadays she walks 8 km everyday to attend the nearest
secondary school.
She maintains intimate links with her natural environment. She has used different plants as
sources of food, medicines, fuel wood, dyes, and building materials; she has observed parts of
different plants used for household purposes, religious rituals and in celebrating festivals. She
recognises minute differences between trees, and notices seasonal changes based on shape, size,
distribution of leaves and flowers, smells and textures. She can identify about a hundred different
types of plants around her, many times more than her biology teacher can – the same teacher
who believes Janabai is a poor student; that “These students don’t understand science … they
come from a deprived background!”
Can we help Janabai translate her rich understanding into formal concepts of biology? Can
we convince her that school science is not about some abstract world coded in long texts and
difficult language: it is about the farm she works on, the animals she knows and takes care of, the
woods that she walks through everyday? (National Curriculum Framework 2005, p. 45)

Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested

Issues Resources Activities

1. Family and Friends

My family
Who all live with you at Concept of a family; Child’s daily life Obser vation, enquiry
home? How are they diversity in family types; experience; Family about family relations
related to each other? Do Family as a support members. from adults, discussion.
you have relatives who do system, Ideas about
not live with you? Have relationships; Simple
they always been there? family tree (three
How many children did generations).
your grand parents have? 99
Who do you think will be Syllabus
your new relatives in
future? at the
My family and me Level
Do you look like anybody Family influences – Family members, local Observation, exploring
in your family? Have you physical characteristics, knowledge, story/poems from elders about
learnt anything from values and habits, on different festivals. extended family, narrating
anybody in your family? appreciating qualities and stories/singing poems
Whom do you admire skills of family members; related to festivals, writing
most among all your family as a support about any festival,
relatives? Who is the most system. drawing.
caring and patient person?
When do you meet
members of your family
who do not live with you?

Whom do I look like?

Do some of your Concept of similarity Family photographs; Discussion About stories/
relatives look similar? between relations, Narrations by elders about films/jokes involving
Which features are similar hereditary features. family members when twins
– eyes, ears, the voice or they were young.
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

height? Are there any two

people in your family who
look exactly alike?

Old and the physically

Do you know of people Sensitivity to the old and “Meri bahen sun nahin sakti’ Reading and discussion;
who are hard of hearing? physically challenged; a book by Bharat Vigyan Making different kinds of
Are many of them old? Introduction to the sense Samiti or any other sounds and expressing
Do you have any friends of hearing and sight; material on differently likes and dislikes about
who cannot hear/see well? sensitization to the fact abled children. them.; blindfold act,
Is there any way in which that the body ages, also visiting any local institution
you may have helped that some children may that deals with the blind or
them? Are there any not hear /see at all or may any other institution.
Syllabus sounds you like but be partially affected.
for others/elders do not? Basic idea about Braille.
at the
Elementary 1.2 PLANTS
Level Plants around us
100 How many different kinds Exploring children’s ideas Child’s daily life Observation of different
of plants do you see about a ‘plant’. Plant experience, observation, plants around, compare
around you? What are the diversity; size, where they information from and classification based
differences you notice? grow, shape, colour, grandparents/ elders, a on simple characters;
What things around you aroma, etc.; dependence sample/picture of a plant Discussion about things
are made of plants? on plants for everyday which is unusual in the local made of plants, pencil
Is there a plant in your area life. Introduction of new surroundings. prints of barks, leaf prints.
that was not there when plants/crops and changes
your grandparents were observed by elders over
young? time. Plants and the
Do you know of some climate/environment.
plants which do not grow
around you, say things that
we eat and not grown
around you?
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

Leaves in our lives

What different kinds of Leaf diversity – colour, Child’s daily life Observation, collection of
leaves do you see? Do you shape, texture, aroma, etc. experience, observation, a different leaves, smelling
use plant leaves to eat on? Seasonal shedding of story on a compost pit. different plant leaves,
In what other ways are leaves; compost from discussion, visit to a
leaves used? leaves. nearby compost pit,
Is there some time of the Leaf designs/motifs on decorating the classroom
year when lots of leaves different objects. with leaf motifs.
fall to the ground? Are Applying mehndi on palms
they burnt? Have you seen in different designs.
a compost pit?
What leaf motifs do you
find on clothes, pots,
walls, animals, etc.? Do
you decorate your house for
with leaves on some Classes
occasions? at the
Animals: small and big
Which are the smallest and Exploring children’s ideas Child’s daily life Observation of diversity
the biggest animals you of an ‘animal’. experience, observation, of animals around you,
have seen? Which have you stories/ poems on animals listing, Discussion about
only heard about? Which (NBT) what they eat, were they
animals have tails? How live relative size of animals
many legs? they have seen, pictures in
books, animals heard
about. Drawing pictures
of favourite animals.

Some creepy crawlies –

and flyers too
What different kinds of Exploring children’s ideas Child’s daily life Obser vation, of ants,
small crawling animals do of crawling animals, flyers experience, observation, flies, spiders, crickets,
you know? Where and and insects. stories/ poems on insects, cockroaches, earthworms,
from what does each of flyers and crawling lizards and other animals.
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

them hide? Which insects animals (NBT) Discussion about them,

can crawl and also fly? where they live, what they
Which ones bite us? Can eat, insect bites (wasp) etc.
flies make us ill? Why does Drawing some of them.
a spider make a web?

Which are the birds you Exploring children’s ideas Child’s daily life Drawings of birds;
see around your area? Do of birds-their living experience, observation, mimicking different neck
they like some trees more places, eating habits, stories/ poems on birds movements and sounds
than others? What do they common features like (NBT) of birds, collecting
eat? Can you recognize feathers and sounds feathers.
birds by their feathers? produced by them.
What are the different Feeding birds.
Syllabus sounds they make?
for Are they saying something
to each other? Are there
at the
Elementary some birds that come
Level from other places?
102 Do you feed any birds or
place water for them?


Work around me
What are the different Different occupations, Poem ‘Home work’ by Draw a daily time-chart
kinds of work done idea of working time and Shyam Bahadur Namra for your father, mother
around me? What work leisure time; work inside Case study: time chart of and yourself, discussion.
does my mother/ father/ and outside homes – the daily routine of a child
brother/ sister etc. do? gender, age, caste, who does a lot of
What work do I do? What economic, etc. aspects. housework
work do others do? When
I am not working what do
I do? When my father/
mother is not working
what do they do?
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

Working children
What kind of work was Sensitize children to other Excerpt from story by Reading and listening
done by children when children who work at Charles Dickens. to the story/excerpts.
your grandparents were home and outside - not as Narrative describing a Discussion and narratives
young? Has that changed a result of family neglect poor child’s/child laborers about children making
today? Who are the but more as a systemic experience in a common firecrackers at Shivkashi.,
children you know who cause. school in another country. child workers at Dhabas
work and go to school/ Important that all children and auto workshops.
who work and cannot go go to school.
to school? A sense of how child
labour existed in other
countries before all
children began to go to
good common schools.
Games we play Classes
What games do I play? Leisure; games in school Traditional and local Listing, classifying indoor at the
Did my grandparents play and outside, past and games; folk toys and outdoor games. Elementary
the same games? Are these present; for some play is
indoor/outdoor? work

2. Food
Foods from plants and
Which of these is food – Appreciation of cultural Regional narratives and Listing and discussing
red ants, bird’s nests, diversity in food; basic stories about ‘unusual’ about food we do or do
snakes, bananas, goat’s ideas about various plant foods mentioned. not eat; tabulating food
milk, etc.? used as food; food from we take from different
What plants do you eat - animals. plants and animals.
what parts of the plant? Observing and drawing
What food do we take different parts of plants
from animals? eaten.

What do you eat that is not Food may be eaten raw Songs/poems on food or Listing raw and cooked
cooked? What is eaten or cooked - steamed, lack of food; local food; discussion on
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

only when cooked? How boiled, baked, fried etc.; knowledge about what is cooking methods/
do you cook food? What Different fuels, types of edible; photographs. materials, etc; survey to
do you cook it on? What stoves; Types of vessels find out the types of
are the different kinds of used in cooking, different fuels/vessels used;
vessels used for cooking? shapes (regional/ drawing various utensils;
What are they made of ? traditional), different historical time line tracing
Is water used in all forms materials, etc. what in the kitchen has
of cooking? Which food changed and roughly
is cooked without using when.
water? How?

Eating in the family

Do all members of the Different eating practices Everyday experience, local Observation and asking
family eat the same food in the family. Amount of knowledge. Poems/ adults, discussion. Listing
Syllabus in your family? Who eats food varying with gender, illustrations on gender of food items bought
for more? Who eats last in age, physical activity, etc. stereotyping. from the market/grown
your family? Who buys Cooking and gender/ at home.
at the
Elementary the food and what is caste roles in the family;
Level bought from the market? Food for the baby,
104 Who cooks the food in significance of milk.
your family? What do
babies have for food?
When do babies start
eating and what do they
eat other than milk?

What animals eat

Do animals eat the same Food of domestic and Stories, cartoons and films. Obser ving and listing
things? What do different wild animals; care of different animals and their
animals eat? Do you feed domestic animals. feeding habits,; Discussing
the animals around you - food given to animals.;
what? What do they take observing animals being
from your house even fed, keeping food out and
when not fed? observing animals come
and feed.
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

3. Shelter
Houses and houses
Have you seen - a house Some unusual houses, a Pictures of different types Discussion; observation;
on stilts, a tent, a flat on narrative and a discussion of houses; easily available Drawing, model making
the tenth floor, a house on about why such houses are materials for model and art work. Creative
wheels or a house on a built. Different types of making. writing about imagined
boat? houses experiences.
Do you know anyone Need for shelter, need for
living in such houses? Why living together
do people use such

Decorating and
cleaning our shelter
How do you decorate My house, Houses/ Illustrations of designs/ Draw a picture of your for
your shelter? Do you draw shelters are decorated in motifs used for house. Draw the various Classes
designs on your walls/ different ways in different decoration of the house. kinds of designs/motifs at the
floor or decorate with cultures; Need for shelter used to decorate walls/ Elementary
leaves/flowers/other to provide protection floors of houses.
objects? How do you from heat, cold, rain and
keep your house clean? problems faced.
Do you also help in Need to share housework.
cleaning? Who mops and Garbage disposal.
sweeps it? Where do you
throw the garbage? Do
you have any problems
living in your house during
rains, summer or winter?
Have you seen houses with
sloping roofs? Why are
they made sloping?

My family and other

Who all live with you? Family members; pets and Daily life experiences. Discussion and sharing
Which animals live with other animals, insects, Cartoons. of experiences and
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

you - which are the biggest rodents, etc. Food for the knowledge. Drawings of
and the smallest animals pets and other animals. insects, rodents; pets and
living in your house? From Some are seen only at other domestic animals.
where do they get their night.
food? Where in your
house do these animals
live? Which of them are
seen only at night?

Mapping my
How big is your school? Neighbourhood, Survey of different parts Estimating distances,
What kind of a building is mapping and of the school, survey of marking location of
it? Can you draw a picture representation in two the neighbourhood places and drawing/
Syllabus of your school and your dimensions. Directions. mapping from different
for classroom ? Do you know perspectives, like from the
your way around your top, from the front etc,
at the
Elementary neighbor-hood? Can we Draw a map of the route
Level explain to someone how to from our house to the
106 reach the post office or the nearest shop.
bus stand from our house?

4. Water
Water for my family
What are the main sources Local sources of water; Child’s daily life experience, Listing the sources of
of water in your locality? uses of water; gender local knowledge water, Exploring by
Who fetches the water and roles; distance estimates; asking questions from
from how far? Do all the social discrimination; clean elders or people around,
people in your locality use water for drinking Discussion.
the same source of water?
Are some people not
allowed to take water
from where you take it?
From where do you get
water? Does it look clean
enough for drinking?
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

Do animals and plants

need water?
What happens if plants Water for plants and Library resource-brief Reading, Discussion;
and animals do not get animals. information about the Comparison of a well
water – how do you see camel, cactus along with watered and a wilting
that a plant or animal is their pictures. plant.
thirsty? Do all animals/
plants need the same
amount of water? Which
plants/animals need the

Water shortage
When is it difficult to get Water scarcity, wastage Newspaper clippings Poster making/ writing
water? Are there some and recycling, water about water shortage/ activity in groups with a for
people in your area who harvesting. water being wasted. message of saving water. Classes
always face water at the
shortage? What would Elementary
happen if we had no
water? Have you seen
water being wasted –
how? How can we avoid
it? Do you reuse water?

Water in our lives

Which of your daily Use of water in different Library resources, Enacting different
activities use water? Do activities; cultural observations related to activities that utilise water/
you and others you know expressions about water/ daily life. Songs about a rainy day, listing the
wash your hands and feet rain/ rivers; observations water/river/rain? activities in which water is
before you enter the related to rain and the used, singing rain/river/
house? Why do you think response of plants and water songs/poems
this is done? animals. together in the class.
Can you describe the scene
of a rainy day – with
details about birds, animals,
plants and yourself.
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

Storing water
How do you store water Measurement of volume Child’s daily life Drawings of different
in your home? Do you in terms of non-standard experience, bottles of containers.
collect rainwater - how? units such as buckets, pots, different shapes/sizes/ Measurement activities;
How much water do you etc. Estimates of materials; Panchtantra story. demonstration to help the
store every day? About quantities used for understanding of
how much do you use for different domestic conservation of volume.
drinking or bathing? In activities; safe handling of Touching different
what kinds of containers water. Containers made containers and discussing
do you store water for of different shapes and about their material.
drinking/ washing/or for materials to store water
animals? What are the for different purposes;
containers made of ? Conceptual development
If the water is at the same of conser vation of
Syllabus level in a narrow and a volume.
for broad container does it
mean they contain the
at the
Elementary same amount of water?
108 5. Travel
Going places
Has your family traveled Need for travel, travel Story of a journey along Reading and Discussion,
together to another within the locality and the river, mountain, etc. Drawing a village / sea/
place? Where and what beyond; travel to different forest /mountain scene.
for? How did you go? social spaces – forest,
How long did it take? village, city, etc.; travel for
How far did your migration, sight-seeing,
grandparents (or other family occasions.
elderly persons) travel
when they were young?
How did people travel in
those times? How do
people travel today in the
desert, hilly areas,
on sea, etc.
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

Ways to travel
How do we go to school? Different modes of Pictures of modes of Collect pictures of
How do we travel to other transport; short distance, transport; different modes of
places? How many long distance, newer ways transport; classify them
different ways have we of traveling. into different types of
travelled? How many Different kinds of transport; enact a train
different ways of travel workers associated with journey/railway station,
do we know of ? railways/station. Observations of activities
Have you been to a railway at the station like loading,
station? What all do you weighing, washing trains,
seen there? Who are the signaling, selling tea, level
people who work at the crossing, etc
station and on the train?
How did people travel in
the past? for
Talking without at the
speaking Elementary
If I cannot speak, how do Communication without Sign language, dance Playing dumb charades,
I tell people what I want speaking, Use of sign mudra’s. enacting situations without
to say? language, dance mudra’s. speaking, learning sign
language, practicing mudra’s.

Mailing a letter
What happens when I Letter as a means of Local post office, different Trip to local post office,
post a letter? How does it communication, work samples of letters- inland, Obser ving sorting,
reach my friend? Who are and people associated post card, greeting card, stamping, weighing etc.
the people who help to do with the post office; etc. Discussion with
this? Are there any other different means of workers at the post office.
ways of sending a communication, changes
message? How was a letter with time.
sent in the past?
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

6. Things we Make
and Do
What kinds of pots do we To meet basic needs Narratives and illustrations Making pots of clay; also
see around us? What human beings make of pots and containers with rings; with different
containers are used to things; need natural made in early times – with types of clay; drying in the
store grain? What kinds of resources, creativity; have rings of clay (e.g., Social sun; talking to potters or
containers did people changed the way we live. Studies book by Eklavya). brick makers to find out
make long, long back with An idea of the earliest how these are burnt/
rings of clay- when they pots made for storage of baked in furnaces.
did not have a potter’s grain – when there was Making different
wheel? Can you make such no potters wheel. ornaments etc. with clay.
pots and dry them in the The experience of making
sun – how long do you such pots with clay; drying
Syllabus think these will last? How and the need to bake
for does the potter bake them? them for greater strength.
at the
Elementary Textiles
Level In how many different Diversity in types of The idea of different styles Activity to wear/drape a
110 ways can you wear a long clothing we were; even of dress; traditional dupatta or long cloth in
cloth that is not stitched? with unstitched clothing. unstitched clothing and different styles to emulate
How many kinds of sarees Colours and design are different styles of draping what different people do
or lungis have you seen used in textiles; scope for it. and also to create their
worn by people from creativity; vegetable dyes. Some idea of mixing own designs.
different parts of the colours to make new ones; Play with colours and
country? fast colours and colours colour mixing;Using dyes
How many different that run; tie and dye; block to dye cloth; making
colours do we know of printing and making our blocks with potato or
– how many new ones own blocks with ladies fingers for printing
can we create? What are vegetables.Samples of on paper.
fast colours and what blocks, dyes.
problems do we face
when colours run? How
do we make our own
vegetable block prints
and tie and dye?

Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested

Issues Resources Activities

1. Family and Friends

Your mother as a child
When your mother was Change with time in Discussion with mother, Asking questions from
your age who were the people residing together. grandparents and other mother about her
relatives she lived with? Family tree today. relatives. childhood.

Where do babies come

Have you seen a newborn From the mother’s body; Kya tum meri amma ho? Story telling and
baby - where did she mother-child relationship; (NBT story) discussion. 111
come from? Where does Foster parents and Syllabus
the puppy/ kitten/ calf/ adoption
chick come from? at the
Do you know of people Elementary
who are looking after/ Level
have adopted a child?

My extended family
Are there things you learn Family as a microcosm; Family members, family Discussion on family
from your family (Family values – gender, photographs, values, habits within
members? What? Do you earning capacity, decision family; discussion on
do anything different making, caste, religion family occasions.
from other members of perceptions etc.); changes
your family? Do all your in family value system –
family members live with lead to changes in society;
you all the time? When do Festivals and family
you meet members of gatherings
your family who do not
live with you? What
festivals do you celebrate
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

Feeling around with

eyes shut
With your eyes and ears Sensitivity to people who Child’s daily life Guessing game: Group
closed can you identify the are differently abled; experience, observation; activity where children
people/animals living Senses of smell and narratives related to smell touch different things with
with you merely by touch;, emotional and touch; materials for their eyes shut.
touching/smelling? By response to a caress/slap; games and activities.
touching can you tell if ‘good’ and ‘bad’ touch.
anything is cold/hot, wet/
dry, smooth/rough,
sticky/slippery, soft/hard?
Are there some things
which you are not allowed
to touch? Do you feel
Syllabus uncomfortable when
for some people touch you?
at the
Elementary 1. 2 Work and play
Level Fun and fights at play!
112 Do you play the same Different games at home Tom Sawyer – story Discussing and planning
games at school that you and school. ‘whitewashing the fence’ rules for local games and
play at home? What things Play as a way of social or any other story on playing together in
do you use to play with? negotiation; rules of each ‘work’ and ‘play’. groups; writing them
Does the school provide game; fights and the need down.
these? Do you fight while to negotiate – ideas of fair
you play? How do you play.
decide the rules for the Restrictions on play;
games? Does anyone playmates from children
stop you from playing? of different gender or
Who and why? Do you class/caste backgrounds.
play with every child
(boys and girls) in your
neighbourhood? Are you
stopped from playing
with certain children?
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

How they learnt their

In your area do you know Different occupations in Local crafts persons and Drawing people with
the people who do the the local region/ country; other professionals their professional tools;
following: make pots/stitch who does what work. talking to some people
clothes/ make shoes/cure Gender and work. and describe how they
people/ build bridges/ learnt their skills
embroider/fly planes/
repair cycles/ drive buses,
etc? How well do you
know them – their names,
family etc? What tools do
they use for their work?
Where did they learn how
to do these things? for
Fun at the fair/Circus at the
Have you been to a fair or Elementary
a circus? Which is the item Ways of recreation. Circus/fair, a poem on Kite-making and kite-
you liked best – was it a Mela. flying activity in groups,
ride, a game, something making tops, writing a
you saw/ate/bought? paragraph about an
When do you fly kites? experience in a fair/circus.
How do you make
them fly?

1.3 Animals
Animals and their
Which animals like to Herds; group behaviour; Observation, child’s daily
move around in groups? animal-human life experience, story on
Which animals are shy and intreraction. animals moving in
do not come near you? groups, visuals
Have you seen animals
playing with or riding on
different animals?
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

Who is attracted to
Why do bees/butterflies Honey from flowers; bee Film; description Illustrated Observation of flowers
come to flowers? How hive and basic idea of narratives/discussion with and the insects that visit
do people collect the honey collection. beekeepers on the process them, drawing the
honey from bee hives? of honey collection. flowers, insects,; discussion
on colour, fragrance.

Long ears or short?

Which animals have ears? Some animals have Child’s obser vation, Listing and classification
Which animals have hair external ears. They also information/description of animals with and
on their body? have hair. and illustrationsabout without ears; with and
animals. without hair; drawing
them; feeling them.

for 1.4 PLANTS
Classes Roots of plants
at the Do all plants need water Plants need water; roots Child’s obser vation, Observation, collection,
Elementary to grow? Which part of absorb water and hold it information about the drawing of roots of
the plant absorbs water to the ground. roots eaten by people; different types,
from the soil? When you Roots eaten normally by pictures/specimes of Observing trees/plants
tug at grass, why does it people like carrots, radish, roots. whose roots are affected
not come out easily? Why sweet potato, and during by activities like
do plants/trees not get famine. construction/paving/
uprooted when there is a Aerial roots of some plastering.
strong wind? Which roots plants Obser vation and
are eaten by people during discussion about swinging
famine when nothing else on pipal/bar gad aerial
grows? roots.

Which plants around us Flowering plants; seasons; Child’s, obser vation, Drawing flower motifs
have flowers? Do they obser vation of buds stories/ poems about for clothes, animals, pots,
come only at some times blossoming into flowers; flowers, a visit to a garden. etc. Making floral
of the year? How is the different shapes, colours, decorations;
bud different from the petals, aroma, etc. Observing the flowers and
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

flower? What are the Flowers used in everyday Talking to flower sellers, buds, noting similarities
different kinds of flowers life, festivals, etc. Floral gardeners, etc. and differences; observing
we have seen – shapes, motifs and designs on /smelling and feeling
colours, petals, aroma, etc? clothes, animals, pots, different flowers.
What do we use flowers walls, etc.
for? Do you eat any Knowing the local flower
flower? Have you seen seller; some idea of the
flowers motif painted on local unit of measurement
clothes, walls, floors, pots, (by cubit, fixed garland,
animals? each stem, etc.) and cost.
Who sells flowers in our
area? Where do these come
from? How are flowers 115
sold - for how much? Syllabus
Whom do trees belong
at the
to? Elementary
Which plants/trees Level
around you are looked Neighbourhood and its Local knowledge, Listing of some common
after by people – by plants; wild and domestic information about trees in the neighbour-
whom? Which are not? plants; domestic and wild plants hood; discussion about
Whom do they belong Fruits eaten by people (NBT books). ownership of trees; fruits
to? Who eats the fruit of living in forests. that are not eaten by us.
trees that grow wild? Cutting trees.

How we get our food
How does food reach us? From field to mandi - Discussion with a Listing plants children
Who grows it? How you from market to house; vegetable seller/retailer in know that provide them
seen vegetables and fruits grown by farmers; fruit the mandi, / truck driver food; bringing samples;
growing? How you seen trees, vegetables, cereals, who transports food common spices, observing
plants of rice/ wheat/ dal pulses, oil seeds; items. and drawing samples,
etc? What are the spices Spices recognizing them by smell
do you know? Which and taste.
spices can we recognize by
smelling or tasting.
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

Special occasions
When do many people Community eating; Mid Visit to a langar/such Discussion on occasions at
eat together? What food day meal (where occasions, talking to which there is community
is eaten? Who cooks it? applicable). people who cook on such eating; Listing of the
How is it served? Cultural diversity in foods occasions. different foods eaten at
Does you get a mid day associated with special Narratives about hostel different occasions;
meal meal in school? - occasions like festivals, food/pantry car of train. drawing and descriptions
What items? Who family celebrations/ of the large utensil used
provides the mid day ceremonies etc. on such occassions
meal? Boarding school.

Tongue and Teeth

How do we taste different Taste, tongue; teeth – Samples of different food Obser vation of each
foods? How do teeth help types, milk teeth, items; peer observations; other’s teeth, tongue and
Syllabus us to eat – are all teeth permanent teeth. pictures or models of mouth; counting teeth;
for similar? Which teeth have Tongue and speech. teeth. drawing; experiments with
I dropped and how are different tasting items.
at the
Elementary the new ones different?
116 Teeth, beaks and claws
Are the teeth of other Teeth in some common Visit to observe some Observation and drawings
animals similar to ours? animals; beaks and claws animals; personal of beaks, claws and teeth
Can we tell what birds eat of birds – relationship experiences; Visuals; of different animals,
by looking at their beaks? with food they eat. (NBT books on birds.) birds, etc.
Are the claws of birds
also different? Is their
shape related to the food
they eat?

Houses then and now
Do you live in houses House change over Discussion with elders in Making models of houses;
similar to ones your time; rural and urban the family. Visit to any old collection of materials
grandparents lived in? Are differences, multi-storeyed building in the area; used to make houses.
houses now made of houses along with slums changes in the Drawing pictures of old
similar materials as was in cities. construction of houses and new buildings.
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

used then? What are the Materials used have with time; houses in
differences? changed. villages and cities.

What do you do with Waste materials, waste in Newpaper articles and Listing things thrown
waste in your house? our houses, urban/rural advertisements on waste/ away as garbage, waste.
Where do you throw it? waste. garbage. Discussion on reduction
Do you reuse any waste Reduce garbage. of waste.
materials? Who takes away
the garbage?

Where animals live

Do animals live in shelters? Diversity in animal habitat Stories/pictures of Discussion, listing of
Which animals live and shelters. habitats and shelters animals with respect to
in water? On land? Some structures like webs animals use or make. their habitat and shelter.; for
Underground? Are there have other purposes. making birds nests with Classes
any animals that we see only scrap materials, making at the
at night? Where do they go caves, rat holes etc in Elementary
during the day? Do we mud/sand pits.
know of animals that
make their own shelter?

When birds make nests

When and why do birds Birds make nests for Child’s obser vation; Observation of a bird’s
make their shelter? Do all laying eggs. Nesting habits visuals; nest of any bird. nest and drawing pictures.
birds make nests? Where of different birds vary. Songs and poems; dance
do different birds nest - Different materials are and movement to
when do they fly away? used for nests. simulate bird flight.
With what different
materials do birds make
their nests?

Mapping our
Who are my neighbors? Introduction to the Child’s experiences, Discussion, enquiry from
Do I have any of the concept of giving enquiry, observation and friends and neighbours;
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

following near my house directions with respect to previous knowledge of counting number of steps
– a school, grocery shop, any landmark; also a routes. and estimation of distance
market, well, river or preliminary mapping Local map /chart of the for making a preliminary
pond? Where are they with process, further use of use school and its map.
respect to your house? of symbols, use of a scale. neighbourhood.

Water fit for drinking
What are the major natural Natural sources; inland Health personnel of the Discussion with the
sources of water in your water and sea water; local area, library resource. elders/health personnel
area? Is the water fit for potable water; diarrhoea about pollution of natural
drinking – do you clean it and other common water sources of water and its
at home? Do you know borne diseases, safe effects; demonstration/
how dirty water can make handling of water, group activity of simple
Syllabus you ill? Why do we not purification of water. methods of water
for drink seawater? How is purification; seperation of
salt separated from salt from saline water.
at the
Elementary seawater?
118 Water sources
Where do you see large Reservoirs, canals, dams Film, photographs of Visit to the natural sources
amounts of water in your etc.; Different public dams/canals/tanks/ of water in the local area
neighborhood? Is it a activities at water bodies; ponds etc., local and observing what uses
tank/pond/canal/river/ protection of water knowledge. Narrative on the water is put to.
dam? What do men/ bodies. the recent struggle of the Discussion, and writing
women/children/ Water as a scarce resource panchayat’s against Coke letters/making posters
animals do with the water and the strug gle for in Plachimada, Kerala. highlighting the misuse of
there? Is it used for acquiring it (those who the water body.
bathing/washing? Who can exploit resources by
bathes/washes there and dig ging deeper and
who does not? How can deeper wells).
we ensure that this water
is not made dirty?
Do you find factories/
people dumping garbage
or harmful materials in
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

rivers or seas? Are some

animals also facing
problems due to what we
do to the rivers or seas?

Our river/sea
Which is the river closest Rivers and seas; seasonal Local knowledge, Story Drawing/Painting/Make
to our locality? Do we change in water flow; on the lines of the a model of a water body
find any change in the animals in the sea/river. SCERT, Delhi Class VI in the neighbourhood
water flow in different Water pollution and Civics – lesson called (using scrap materials) as
seasons? Which are the big harmful effects on Yamuna. well as the animals found
rivers we know of ? Have animals. in the river/sea.
you seen the sea? Which
are the animals found in
the sea/river? for
Water vanishes when at the
heated? Elementary
Why do puddles dry? In Basic processes of Child’s daily observations Activity on water drying
which season do wet evaporation and and clss room discussions. up from a wet cloth or
clothes dry easily? When condensation dish of water in different
do they dry with conditions such as sunlight
difficulty? and shade.
Have you seen and
wondered where water
droplets on the outside of
a cold glass of water
came from?

Animals for transport
Have you traveled on a Use of animals for Personal experience of Enacting instances of
tonga / horse carriage? transport; sensitivity travel; songs about travel animals used for transport
How is it different from towards animals. by tonga, etc. and people riding them.
travelling on a bus? Are the
horses well looked after?
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

Have you seen a

horseshoe? Why is it used?
What materials have you
seen being transported
using animals? Are there
any special occasions when
you ride on animals?

Paying for travel

How do pay for our travel Familiarity with currency Coins and currency notes; Enactment of a bus
by train/bus/boat etc? notes and coins, national railway and bus tickets. journey.
Who issues/checks the symbols, recognizing Old coins/Pictures of old Comparison of coins and
bus /rail ticket? some language scripts; coins; visit toa museum. currency notes; /Tracing
Which currency notes and Introduction to Mahatma of coins.
Syllabus coins have you seen? Gandhi Old coins, Designing a school
for Pictures of which animals change. emblem/logo.
can we see on a ten rupee
at the
Elementary note? Which symbol is
Level found on every coin?
120 How many scripts can you
recognise on a note? Who
is the person whose face
is shown on every
currency note?
What coins/notes did our
grandparents use when
they were young?

Travel to another place

Do you know anyone Different land forms, Travelogue describing the Reading and listening,
who has traveled very far languages, clothing, food place they have come discussion, writing about a
from your village/city? habits, some idea of from; description of a traveling experience of
Why did they go so far? another country (only train/ship/plane journey. oneself or visiting relatives.
What are they doing there? through a story/imaginary
How do they travel when narrative).
they visit your family?
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

6. Things We Make
And Do
Building materials
and tools
How are bricks made? Process of making Narratives and pictures of Making bricks; drawing
What tools have you seen involves raw materials, different bridges children and talking about
being used for making a tools, labour, energy– cross, on the lines of the different tools.
wall or a house? changes over time in book – Going to school Observing, drawing and
Is there a bridge to cross these and in environment in India (by Lisa describing different
while coming to school? too. Heydlauff Penguin); of bridges and how people
What kinds of bridges Materials and tools used the process of make their own local
have we seen and where? for construction; construction, use of tools bridges from ropes,
How many kinds of Different skills of people and materials. bamboo and logs of
bridges can we make? at engaged in a Observation of different wood.
construction activity. bridges; making bridges. Making toy bridges in for
school. Classes
at the

Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested

Issues Resources Activities

1. Family and Friends

Family tree
Can you make a family Family in transition – A story woven around a Activity - Write the names
tree with as many of your Impact of larger socio- family tree with old family of all your family
relatives you can get economic forces are photographs. members along with their
information about? changing family structure ages. How many
Who are the relatives and quality of life in generations have you been
whom you have never families; Idea about able to get details about?
seen? Where do they live? several generations; how
some people move away,
Syllabus some continue to live
for together, and how
Classes households get formed/
at the reformed at several places.
Level How these are affecting
122 roles, relationships, value
systems, aspirations within
a family.

Shifting from place to

Have you always lived at Shifts in habitation- Story of a migrating family Discussion or letter
the place that you now live migration/transfers/ or a family displaced by the writing; drawing.
in? If not, where does demolition displacement construction of a dam or
your family come from? Associated difficulties demolition of an urban

Who laughs the loudest?

Who is the tallest/shortest Basic ideas of Cartoons; narratives. Mimicking people in the
in the family? Who has the measurement - of height; family – laugh and voices;
longest hair? How long? Observing and drawing people in the
Who has the loudest appreciating qualities and family.
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

voice/laugh in the house? skills of relatives; Writing exercises about an

From how far away can observing infants. infant they have observed.
you hear it? Who speaks
the softest? When does a
child cry the loudest?
When she is hungry-or
angry? Who is the best
cook in the family?

Our likes and dislikes

Which is your favourite Our bodies, our senses, Narratives about Observation, discussion,
colour? Which is your our likes/ dislikes vary e.g. preferences in taste, describing and writing
friend’s favourite colour? our concept of foul/ smells, colours in about a friend’s likes/
Which is your favourite fragrant smell different cultural context. dislikes; a class survey
food? What about your Cultural influences of taste, about childrens favourite for
friends favourite food? smell, etc(to be discussed without colour/food etc. Classes
Do you know your stereotyping). at the
friends’ likes and dislikes? Elementary
Are there any smells you
don’t like (fish, mustard
oils, garlic, eggs etc) ? Do
you eat fish?

Feeling to read
Do you know how people Awareness and Autobiography of Helen Activity with Braille paper
read with their hands? Do sensitisation towards the Keller; excerpt from her (or simulated Braille
you know someone who problems of physically teacher’s account of how paper).
finds it difficult to walk/ challenged; she learnt; Braille sheet.
speak/see etc.? How do
you think they learn to
overcome the problem?


Team games – your
Do you play any games in Types of games/sports, Library resources- Indian Collecting information,
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

teams? Have you ever importance of team cricket team; narrative making picture albums ;
been captain of the team? spirit in games, gender about some national and posters of sports persons
Do boys and girls play stereotyping. international players.
together? Have you heard Some idea of other
of any Indian team playing countries and national
in another country? Which teams.
is your favourite team Gender, class stereotyping
sport? Do you know any in play.
National level player?

Local games/martial
What are the local games/ Local and traditional Description or Reading, discussion,
martial arts of your area? martial art forms/games. photographs of collecting information
Syllabus Do you know someone Typical practice routines; traditional martial arts, and writing about local/
for who is good at them? teachers/gurus; changing ‘Nat’, acrobat, martial games.
Have you seen a young patterns of local games. boat race, etc.
at the
Elementary acrobat or wrestler
Level practicing? Who taught
124 them? For how long have
they learnt the art/game?
What are the new games
in your area that were not
played earlier?
What do you do in the Changing nature of
evenings for leisure? What leisure.
if there is no TV? Who
decides what programmes
to watch?

Blow hot blow cold

How many times do you Our breathing – estimates Story by Zakir Hussain – Observation, , activity of
breathe in a minute – on of different rates; chest “Usee se thanda usee se breathing in and out and
sitting still, just after a run? expansion and contraction garam” – Zubaan books. observing the difference
How much can you expand in the child’s body while (mirror/glass/on palm);
your chest by breathing exhaling and inhaling; My measuring chest; counting
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

deeply? Can you make a breath – hot and humid; heart beat and breathing
glass cloudy by blowing on tacit understanding of rate , making and using a
it? How do you blow to cooling by blowing and stethoscope
make something cold? Do helping a fire to burn.
you also blow to keep a fire

Clean work – dirty

Can you list ten different Dignity of Labour Extract from Gandhi’s Reading and discussion
types of work that people Dependence of society on autobiography; narrative based on sug gested
do for you. In this list such essential services. from another country - resources.
what work is seen as dirty Choice of work as a sweepers treated with
and what is seen as clean? societal value. dignity; story of a Valmiki
What would happen if boy discriminated in for
there were no one to - school because of parents’ Classes
clean our streets/our occupation. at the
home/clear the garbage? Elementary

How animals find
their food?
If you leave some food Sense organs; Comparison Information about animals’ Observation of animals
outside your house do with humans – activities senses and other functions. to study their response
some animals take it away? such as eating sleeping etc. Narratives about animals sound, food, light and
How do they find it? such as ants, bees, dogs, other stimuli.
Do these animals also birds, snakes etc giving
hear/speak/ see/smell/ ideas about their senses.
eat/ sleep?

What we take from

What animal products do Animal products used by Child’s daily life Listing and drawing of
we use for clothing, us. experience, information items made from animal
shelter, etc.? about products we products.
obtain from animals.
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

Why is the tiger in

Why do people kill wild Protection of wild life; Excerpt from ‘Man eaters Discussion, reading,
animals? Which are the selling of animal parts. of Kumaon’ by Corbet. poster making activity
animals that are poached? with a message to save
wild life.
People who depend on
Do you know people Communities dependent Library resources; Discussion on people
who catch/trap/hunt/ upon animals; hunters illustrations of whose livelihood depend
entertain using animals? restricted to smaller pre-historic hunting on animals; drawing;
Have you seen how snake spaces; changing patterns scenes (Bhimbetka). Discussion on people
charmers/gujjars depend of wild and domestic Narrative of gujjars’ teasing/troubling animals
on animals? animals. or snake charmers’ at the zoo/other places.
Syllabus What do you understand To be sensitive about relationships with
for by cruelty to animals? Do cruelty to animals; realize animals.
you think a snake charmer that people who depend Child’s observation; an
at the
Elementary is cruel to the snake? on animals for their story/narrative about an
Level Have you seen scenes of livelihood are not animal and its caretaker ,
126 hunting in rock paintings necessarily cruel to them. e,g, mahouth/tonga wala
or on ancient seals? Basic idea of pre-historic Films/pictures of
hunters and the wild shooting, skins (tiger) of
animals seen at that time. animals.

Growing plants
How does a plant grow Seed germination, root Seeds, germinated seeds. Study ger mination of
from a seed? Can you and shoot axis, baby plant, some seeds, experiment
grow a plant without storage of food in the to determine conditions
seeds? How do you grow seed; seed dispersal. suitable for germination
mangoes/potatoes? (air and water).
Where does the seed
come from? Have you
seen seeds that fly/stick to
your clothes/drift in the
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

Forests and forest

Have you seen or heard Tribal life; effects of Information about Exploring from parents,
about a forest? How do deforestation; tribal life, communities reading, and discussion.;
people live in forests? communities dependent dependent on forest tracing tree trunks.
How is their life on forest products e.g., produce, effects of
threatened by forests ‘pattals’, bamboo deforestation.
being cut? What kinds of products, etc.
foods do they collect
from the plants there?
What leaves are used for
eating on?
Do your parents
remember places with
trees/forests where there for
are none today? Why were Classes
the trees cut and what is at the
there today? Elementary

Protected trees
Have you heard of a Public/private ownership Story of the Chipko Enactment of chipko
park/sanctuary? Who of trees/forests. movement and the andolan; poster – ‘save
looks after it? Does Sacred groves; people’s women’s role in trees’; survey and identify
anybody own it? movements to protect protecting trees. any ‘green belt’ in your
Have you seen a place their forests. neighbourhood.
where trees are worshiped
or protected by the

Plants that have come

from far
Does tea come from a Plants from different Song/poem from Local knowledge, reading,
plant? Where did people countries. Chakmak: “Alu, mirchi, and discussion, reciting the
first grow tea and what chaiji; Kaun kahan se aye ji” poem together; making
does the plant look like? Story about the Chinar tea.
Does it grow only in tree coming to Kashmir.
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

some places/climates?
What did people drink
when there was no tea in

2. Food
When food gets spoilt
How does food spoil? Spoilage and wastage of Sharing family experiences Keep some bread, other
How do we know that food. Preser vation of Interaction with a person food for a few days – see
food is spoilt? Which food, drying and pickling. involved with food how they spoil.
food spoil sooner than production/preservation.
others? What can we do
to prevent food from
getting spoilt?
Syllabus What do we do to keep it
for fresh during travel? Why
do we need to preserve
at the
Elementary food? Do you leave food
Level in your plate?
Who produces the food
we eat?
Do you know of On different types of Farmers’ narratives - Study germination of
different kinds of farmers. Hardships faced Could take one example seeds, experiment to
farmers? Do all farmers by subsistence farming, from Punjab and the other determine conditions
own their land? including seasonal from AP. Story of a child suitable for germination;
How do farmers get the migration. Need for missing school because of Observations in any farm.
seeds they plant every irrigation, fertilizers. his/her family’s seasonal
year? What else besides migration. Family
seeds is required for a crop members. Visit to a farm.
to grow?

What did people grow

Did your grandparents or Changing food habits, Information on food Collection of samples or
any elderly person eat the changing crops grown in from different places. pictures of food from
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

same food you eat today? some areas. different places/cultures.

Do all of us eat the same Different food habits in
kind of food? Why do different places/cultures.
we eat different kinds of

When people do not

get food
Do you know of times Hunger, famine (as both Print material on different Collection of pictures
when many people do not a natural and man-made calamities; Narrative of related to natural calmities;
get enough food to eat? phenomenon); grain the Bengal famine as a discussion on affects.
Have you seen where extra being spoilt in storage; man-made calamity; TV
grain is stored? nutrition deficiency news bulletins etc.
How do you know when diseases.
you are hungry? for
Do you know of people Classes
who get ill because they do at the
not have enough to eat? Elementary

Our mouth – tastes

and even digests food!
How do we taste food? Tasting food; chappati/ Child’s experience; some Tasting activity, action of
What happens in the rice becomes sweeter on samples of food items; saliva on rice/chappati.
mouth to the food we chewing; digestion begins story of someone on a
eat? Why do we give in the mouth; glucose is a glucose drip.
glucose to patients? What sugar.
is glucose?

Food for plants?

What do plants need for Water, manure, air for Pictures/visuals of Obser vations and
food? Do you know of plants; Insectivorous insectivorous plants. discussion on food for
any plants that eat insects? plants e.g. pitcher plant, plants; making amodel of
What do animals eat? Do Venus fly trap; basic idea a food chain/web.
all animals eat the same of food chain/web.
food? Do animals eat
other animals?
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

3. Shelter
Why different houses
Why do you have different Variation in shelter: Different houses in Making models of houses;
kind of houses in regional difference, different climates and collection of materials
different places? Different difference due to climate regions. used to make houses in
houses in the same place? and materials available, different places.
economic status, etc.

A shelter for everyone?

Does everyone have a Need for living close to Pictures of villages, Write and draw the area
shelter to live in? Why do others, the idea of colonies etc. you live in, find out about
people live together in neighbourhoods. people who work for
villages, hamlets, colonies, Need for sharing everybody.
neighborhoods? resources and spaces,
Syllabus division of spaces.
Ants live in colonies?
at the
Elementary Do you know how bees/ Ant or bee colony, social A case study of social Obser vations and
Level ants live together in behaviour in insects. organisation in bees/ants. drawings of ant colonies,
130 colonies? different types of ants.

Times of emergency
Have you heard of houses Disaster and trauma of Newspaper clippings. Discussion, finding out
being damaged by losing one’s home; about the hospital, police
floods/earthquakes/ community help; station, fire station, etc.
cyclones/fires/storms/ Hospitals, police stations,
lightening? What would it ambulance, shelters, fire
have felt like? Who are the station, first aid.
people who come to help?
What can you do to help
others before the doctor
comes? Where can we
look for help at such
times? Who runs such
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

4. Water
Water from where in
earlier times?
From where and how far Estimates of distance Illustrations, story of a Enquiry from grand
did your grandparents get measurement; changes in ‘baoli’/stepwell parents/ other elders;
water? How far do you sources and water drawing, model making
have to go for water? availability over time; of a step well.
What are underground community ser vice
wells/’baolis’? Do you still especially for long-
see them being used? Have distance travellers.
you seen a ‘piaao’?

Water flow
From where do farmers Sources for irrigation; Farmer/any local person Interaction with a farmer,
get water to grow crops? different quantities of who works in fields, a visit to a field, making for
Do all crops need the water for different crops; plant/crop. water wheel., activity with Classes
same amount of water? Different methods of water wheel. at the
Have you seen water lifting water; the use of a Elementary
flowing upwards? What waterwheel.
are the different ways in
which you have seen water
being lifted? How is
flowing water used to
grind grain?

Plants and animals in

What kinds of animals and Animals and plant life in Weeds of different kinds; Listing and classification;
plants live in water? Are water; classification in pictures of plants and drawing of water body.
there weeds that are terms of similarities and animals living in different
covering your pond/ differences. habitats.
lake/ river? Can you
classify all the animals you
see around you to show
which ones live in water
and which live on land?
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

What floats, sinks or

Have you ever seen Basic observations and Various materials to Hands-on activity to
anything floating in water? classification related to experiment with, such as, observe solubility in water,
Can you classify as many floatation and solubility in sugar, stone, oil, salt, sand floatation; discussion,
things around you to see water; oil and water are etc. interpretation.
which float, which sink liquids that do not mix; Story of the donkey and
and which mix with water? basic concepts about the salt/cotton bag.
Does oil mix with water? liquids; litre as unit of
What are the similarities measurement of volume.
and differences in water,
oil, milk, cold drink, etc.?
How do we measure
for Mosquitoes and
at the
Elementary Is their any stagnant water Stagnant and flowing Health worker or a doctor. Interaction with a
Level in your locality? Do you water; mosquitoes and Newspaper articles on community doctor;
132 find more mosquitoes in malaria. malaria etc. observation of site of
stagnant water? Is there any stagnant/flowing water.
way to reduce the
mosquitoes in water?
Have you heard of
malaria? In what season do
you find more people
getting ill with malaria?

5. Travel
Petrol or diesel
Do all vehicles need petrol Fuels used in vehicles; Fuel Poems and songs about Discussion, finding out
to run on? What other is costly. Non renewable trains/cars etc.; Enquiry different fuels used,
fuels do you know that source. from adults; the story of comparison of cost of
are used for vehicles? ‘petrol’. petrol and diesel.
What do trains run on? In
the past what did they run
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

on? What do tractors use

as fuel? For what other
purposes are petrol and
diesel used?
Find out the cost of a litre
of petrol/diesel in your
area? Do all vehicles run
an equal distance on a litre
of fuel?

Rough and tough

Have you seen or been to Mountains, expeditions Excerpt from the Act/dance to show
a mountain? How and and the spirit of autobiography of climbing on a difficult
why do you think people adventure; some idea of Bachendri Pal; Flag of mountain;
make such difficult trips? training for high altitude; India atop mount Designing a flag for your for
How do you think they national flag. Everest; flags of some school; identifying some Classes
train for it? countries other flags at the
Ride on a spacecraft
What all do you see in the The sky in the day and Story of Rakesh Sharma/ Observation from a
sky – at day time? And at night. Kalpana Chawla. terrace to draw its aerial
night? How many of the Basic exposure to the view.
things you see in the sky aerial view of the earth Imagine yourself in a
are man-made? and what India looks like spacecraft giving an
Have you heard of people from there. interview to the PM about
traveling in a space craft? what you see from there!

Oldest buildings
Is there any well-known Heritage buildings as a Oral narratives from Drawing pictures of the
monument/historical place source of knowledge people; pictures. building or the monument
in your area that people about our past; to be able in your neighbourhood or
come to visit? What are the to understand how they memory or imagination.
oldest buildings around were built; materials
your area? Have you usedcome from a variety
traveled far to see any of places, skills of the
historical monuments? crafts person; Some
Questions Key Concepts/ Suggested Suggested
Issues Resources Activities

Have you heard of those historical personalities.

personalities who lived in
these monuments or who
built these?

6. Things we Make
and Do
Growing Food
How do we grow food? After basic needs met, Narratives; talking to Observing and talking
What tools do we use for exploration leading to elders, farmers, those about processes of
preparing the field? For improving and overcoming involved in growing and growing food; drawing
cutting and harvesting? human limitations; cooking food. tools used in different
For cutting and cooking greater expression of ‘Dump se pump’ by Arvind processes; finding out
different vegetables/ creativity; overuse of Gupta. about different dishes
Syllabus dishes? natural resources needs to made from the same grain,
for How do we water the be checked. say, wheat/rice.
crops? How do we lift Some idea of the story of Making a simple
at the
Elementary water through a pump or a grain from the field to waterwheel, sprinkler,
Level a waterwheel? Can we our plate – in terms of pump.
134 make a water wheel, processes and the tools
sprinkler, etc.? used. Different things
made from the same
grain, say, wheat/rice.
Simple observations of
water lifting in fields or in
homes; making of a water
wheel, sprinkler, etc.