Study of Our environment

From Karnataka Open Educational Resources
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Additional information

Useful websites

  1. Stony Brook University's Environment Forum
  2. Educational resources on microbe life

Reference Books

Teaching Outlines

Concept #

Learning Objectives

  1. An environment is the surrounding conditions of a living organism, which affects the growth and development of the organism.
  2. Environment consists of both living and non living things which constantly interact with each other
  3. Natural environment includes all living and non living things and the natural phenomena that occur within their boundaries. These exist in the worlds without any massive civilized human intervention. The natural environment consists of the living things like micro organisms, plants and animals and the non living things (physical factors) like air, water, land, temperature, rocks, weather etc and the biogeochemical cycles like oxygen cycle,nitrogen cycle etc. which makes life possible.
  4. The man made environment is formed by the human interventions made on the natural environment for organization of their living spaces for better conditions of living like houses, transportation infrastructure, power generation infrastructure etc.
  5. An ecosystem as a community of living organisms and non living things in constant interaction with each other as a system. Also as a network of interactions between the organisms or between the organisms and the environment.For eg: aquatic ecosystems like fresh water ecosystems and marine ecosystems, terrestrial ecosystems like desert ecosystem, mountain ecosystem etc. An introduction on classification of organisms, species, food chains/food web ,producers (primary and secondary) and consumers, biogeochemical cycles, habitat and its features, different types of water bodies etc.

Notes for teachers

These are short notes that the teacher wants to share about the concept, any locally relevant information, specific instructions on what kind of methodology used and common misconceptions/mistakes.

An issue based activity has been planned which is also a community based activity and is comprehensive in itself. It is also interdisciplinary in nature for a complete cognitive understanding and meaning making. The issue is relatable to the learner as it occurs in her own ecosystem.The learning process depends on the learner's experiences from the activity based on her cognitive level to develop the ideas into meaningful knowledge making. An important part of the activity is the role of the teacher as a facilitator to bring out the experiences of the learners, picking apart ideas from them and leading them to form their own thoughts and understandings. The questions provided are just examples to help the teachers to begin or shift or direct discussions with the students as active learners.It is also necessary for the teacher to have good understanding of the issue being dealt with which will be a pre-requisite.The same activity can be used for learners of different cognitive levels and they understand the concepts accordingly.

Apart from the usual understanding of the environment as just the natural environment the students should be able to explore other environmental modifications made by the human beings to organize their living spaces for better living conditions. For eg: how roofed houses and closed walls (building constructions) makes a different environment than living in a cave or on a tree.

Supporting activities- For the current activity - to visit a lake nearby- the supporting activities could be collecting water sample from the lake, collecting waste sample from and around the lake, visiting other lakes, conversing with people who live around the lake, mapping of the lake, taking videos and photographs of the lake and its surroundings ,conversing with a researcher/LDA official on the issue of lakes in bangalore etc could further the learning process.


Activity No # 1 A study visit to a nearby lake and observing the surroundings (environment)

  • Estimated Time: 1 day
  • Materials/ Resources needed: Book, pen, Water bottle (sample collection)
  • Prerequisites/Instructions:The teacher should have a deeper understanding of the lake being visited,the ecosystem and the environments.It would also be helpful if the teacher is aware of the issue of lakes in Bangalore.
  • Multimedia resources
  • Website interactives/ links/ simulations
  • Process (How to do the activity):

Discuss with the students in the class about the recent issue of lakes in Bangalore. Discuss how some of the major lakes have disappeared for urban infrastructure constructions, pollution in lakes, others reduced to wetlands and even dried up. Discuss the recent issue of froth formation in the Bellandur and Varthur lake, and how fire started in Bellandur lake. An introductory discussion to understand the awareness of the students about the issue will be enough. Plan a visit to a nearby lake and make note of their observations based on pre-understanding and real time experiences. Make groups of students with accompanying teachers to attend to them.Students could discuss within the group about the issues of the lake and how it affects other living things and the environment

  • Developmental Questions (What discussion questions):
  1. What is a lake? How is the lake water spread across? Is it shallow or deep?
  2. How is the life inside the lake, which all plants, animals and micro organisms (species) live in there, what do they eat and what are their sources of energy ? (oxygen cycle, phosphorus cycle, nitrogen cycle )
  3. What are the non living things (abiotic factors) inside the lake and the chemical interactions happening between them?
  4. Does sunlight reach the lake and does it reach till deep bottom of the lake?
  5. What is the temperature in the lake? Are they the same throughout the year?
  6. Can these living organisms live outside the lake? (habitat, structure, source of nutrients, reproductive processes and their roles in the ecosystem of the above organisms)
  7. Do these organisms living in the lake depend on each other?(Food chain in a lake? Can we identify a food chain on the land? )
  8. How do they get food or absorb them into their bodies?
  9. How algae and aquatic plants help in oxygen cycle?
  10. How does aquatic plans and algae get energy? How are they unlike the bacteria and fishes?( Producers and consumers, primary producers, predators and prey)
  11. Are all these organisms having their full life cycle in the water? Eg: Insects, birds etc? (Do we live in one ecosystem and one environment?)
  12. Which are other places which have similar environment? Is a lake ecosystem similar to a rainwater pool? Or a pond?
  13. What is the difference between lakes and ponds and rivers? (types of Aquatic ecosystems)
  14. Does the lake have running water? ( lentic and lotic ecosystems,wetlands)
  15. What are the fishes and snakes found in the lake? Is it different in different lakes and how? Find examples of different species available in lakes in bangalore. (Species richness, biodiversity)
  16. What are wetlands? How are the formed?
  17. What are canals? What are they for? How does it help lakes to survive?

The issue:

  1. Is lake a ground water resource? How is it helping maintain ground water table?
  2. What is a water table? How is it maintained?
  3. What are the water sources in Bangalore city? How is the rainfall in bangalore, rivers in bangalore, other water bodies and water sources (irrigation) and drinking water sources in bangalore? (Water ecosystems)
  4. How were lakes formed in bangalore? What were their intended uses?
  5. Which are the lakes in bangalore and what is their current status?
  6. What is the status of the lake you visited?
  7. What are the effects of urbanisation on the lakes? ( effects of man made environment or human interventions on natural environment)
  8. Why are lakes depleting or getting dried up?
  9. How are lakes being encroached? ( for eg: recent sankey tank encroachment issue by Mantri developers) ,How does it affect the catchment area?
  10. How does surrounding vegetation help sustain lakes?
  11. Is construction also affecting other water bodies?
  12. Why are canals encroached? How is canal encroachment affecting the lakes?
  13. How is sewage dumping and industrial waste affecting the lake water?
  14. What is a drainage system? How is it maintained? What are sewage drains, storm water drains etc
  15. How is the lake water getting polluted by sewage? (What is water pollution?)
  16. What does polluted water contain as harmful? How is water getting polluted? (sewage and industrial waste dumping, acid rains)
  17. How is the oxygen cycle been affected?
  18. Why are froth forming on the lakes?
  19. How did the water at Bellandur lake catch fire?
  20. Are other lakes or water bodies showing similar phenomenon?
  21. How did floods happen in Chennai recently? Is it possible to flood in Bangalore?
  22. Will lake depletion affect the number of migratory birds depending on the ecosystem?
  23. How does lakes affect other dependent livelihood like fishing, washer men etc
  24. Is it necessary to preserve lakes?

Understanding the environment around the lake:

  1. What is the lake surrounding like? (Vegetation, urban spaces, villages, slums, roads, canals etc)
  2. Are the people who live near the lake aware of the issues of the lake?
  3. Do these people understand importance of lakes in bangalore?
  4. What can we do to protect and revive the lakes?
  5. What are the policies been adopted?
  6. How is the government (BBMP, BDA, Forest dept etc) helping in it?
  7. What is lake development authority?
  8. What are the public private participation initiatives by lake development authority? How is it affecting the lakes?

Associated questions:

  1. Are there other issues in bangalore related to water?
  2. What are the major water sources in bangalore? What are the drinking water sources?
  3. What are borewells?
  4. Why are tanks built?
  5. Is water requirement more than the available resources?
  6. Are there dams built in bangalore?
  7. Is there water pollution happening in bangalore?
  8. Is water plentifully available in bangalore?
  9. Is drinking water safe and hygienic these days?

  • Evaluation (Questions for assessment of the child)
  • Question Corner

Concept #

Learning objectives

Notes for teachers

These are short notes that the teacher wants to share about the concept, any locally relevant information, specific instructions on what kind of methodology used and common misconceptions/mistakes.

Activity No #

  • Estimated Time
  • Materials/ Resources needed
  • Prerequisites/Instructions, if any
  • Multimedia resources
  • Website interactives/ links/ simulations
  • Process (How to do the activity)
  • Developmental Questions (What discussion questions)
  • Evaluation (Questions for assessment of the child)
  • Question Corner

Activity No #

  • Estimated Time
  • Materials/ Resources needed
  • Prerequisites/Instructions, if any
  • Multimedia resources
  • Website interactives/ links/ simulations
  • Process (How to do the activity)
  • Developmental Questions (What discussion questions)
  • Evaluation (Questions for assessment of the child)
  • Question Corner

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