1.The Urban Concrete Jungle
Some of the typical urban problems include:
- Overcrowding and lack of adequate living space.
- Large number of vehicles, air and noise pollution, and road accidents.
- Water scarcity.
- Sewage and sanitation problems.
- Garbage and waste management issues (including huge amounts of land being used as land-fills).
- Flies, mosquitoes and diseases.
- Migrant human populations living in slums in very poor living conditions.
- Large number of homeless people living on the streets.
- Factories, smoke, and pollution.
- Sad plight of both domestic animals (like cows) and wild animals (like monkeys).
If this is done in a smaller town/rural area, ask he children to describe any city that they have visited. Which ones? What were the highlights of their visit? What things did they find attractive? If this activity is done with city children then they can describe their own city or any city other than their own city.
Divide the blackboard into 2 columns; one column for the good things of the city, the positives, the other column for the negative aspects. In the positive column, jot down the main/common points of the children’s responses.
Form groups and ask the children to study the poster of the urban concrete jungle closely. Tell them to try and list out the problems of the city in their notebooks. After 15 minutes get the different groups to read out their responses. Jot these down in the second column (the negative aspects of the city) on the blackboard. Towards the end of the class, revisit the issues in both columns, which show the two faces of the city. Ask children to suggest appropriate headings for these two columns
2. Mapping Skills
Narrate The Story:
Prashanth is a young, energetic doctor. He lives in Chamrajnagar in Karnataka. He often visits the forests of Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple (BRT) wildlife sanctuary. He is very interested in wildlife and spends much of his free time watching and photographing the birds and mammals around. Often, he is accompanied by one of the young tribal boys who live in these forests and who know a lot about the area. The tribals here live in small settlements which are called podus in the language that they speak. Prashanth has many young friends in these podus.
This morning Prashanth wakes up early. He is excited. Basappa, one of his friends, is going to show him a giant squirrel’s nest. He plans to photograph the nest. “I hope the light is good for photography,” he says to himself, as he leaves for BRT on his bike. He has fixed up to meet Basappa at the bridge.
Before reaching the bridge, Prashanth passes by a shop and a silver oak plantation. At the bridge, Basappa climbs on to Prashanth’s bike and the two ride on. They drive up to a termite mound where Prashanth parks his bike. Then, they start walking and soon get off the tarred road onto a forest path. They walk for almost an hour before reaching a pond.
By the side of a pond are a clump of trees. Basappa points to one of them, and there amongst the leaves is a large nest with baby squirrels. Prashanth is delighted and clicks away! The giant squirrel prefers to live on top of large trees and does not come to the ground often. It jumps from tree to tree as it travels in the forest. So giant squirrels need stretches of forest land with trees so that it can look for its food. It is then important that the trees where they live are not cut.
Soon they set off towards the housing colony. They have been invited by a friend to eat ragi mudde for lunch. On the way they see a salt lick. A salt lick is a deposit of salt that is sometimes exposed on the ground. Many mammals come to such places to take a lick of the salt, which helps their bone and muscles grow. Prashanth noticed a large gaur at the salt lick. “What a lucky day for wildlife watching!” says Prashanth as they ride off to the colony.
Now Look At The Given Map And Answer The Following Questions:
- Trace the route that Prashanth takes up to the bridge with your finger.
- On the way to the bridge Prashanth sees a silver oak plantation. Find this on the map.
- Find out what else he passes by before reaching the bridge. Use the key or legend to help you.
- In what directions does Prashanth travel from the bridge to reach the termite mound?
- Trace the route they take to the spot where the giant squirrel nests.
- Trace the route they take from the nest to the salt lick where they see the gaur. In what directions do they travel to get there?
- What do Prashanth and Basappa see on their way to the colony?
- Use the grid system on the map, and fill in the grid location for the following: shop; bridge; salt lick; housing colony.
- Use the scale given on the map to find out the distance from:
- Prashanth's starting point up to the termite mound
- From the first bridge to the housing colony.
3. Paradise Tree
Show the class the “Paradise Tree” poster. Read out the text on it. Can the students recognise the flowers shown? Explain that this is an imaginary poster showing many species in one composite tree. Divide the children into groups. Let them now make their own Paradise Tree, drawing their favourite flowers on the tree. If there is anything special about the trees they are drawing, they could write the information alongside their pictures. Display the drawings of the children in class.
4. Fun with Phiya - http://web.archive.org/web/20150720205657/http://www.kalpavriksh.org/index.php/environment-education/children-s-section/activities-you-can-do/34-fun-with-phiya