Resource 2: Topics from the Class IX and Class X textbook that could be used for a group discussion

Improvement in food resources

Ask each group to think of all the ways in which we can improve crop yields. You could give them this question in advance for homework and, if you live in a rural community, ask them to talk to their relatives and friends in order to find out what people do to improve the crop yield on their land. If you live in a city, encourage the students to call any relatives they have who live in rural areas, or to go to the market and ask the people selling produce what they do to improve the crop yield.

Issues they could discuss include the following:

  • Should we use chemical fertilisers on the soil? What problems can fertilisers cause?
  • Pesticides are essential for growing healthy crops. The fact that they can harm wildlife is unfortunate, but not important.
  • Given that there is unemployment and malnutrition in India, should our priority be to build houses and factories or to grow more crops?

Managing the garbage we produce

Conduct a brainstorm of all the sources of garbage we produce. This might include things from the home, sewage, factory waste, litter, etc. Write all the ideas on the blackboard. If possible collect some pictures that you could pass round to generate ideas.

Divide your students into groups and ask each group to come up with three ways to reduce the amount of garbage we produce as a society. If they have more than three suggestions, ask them to try and agree the three best ones. They might come up with things like:

  • building a recycling plant so people are encouraged to recycle rather than just throw things away
  • making plastic bags and cups much more expensive than paper ones
  • making investment in sewage systems a priority
  • increasing taxes to pay for garbage collectors to work in the cities.

Then ask each group to give their three suggestions. Finally, your students could vote on the one suggestion that they think would make the greatest difference to society as a whole.

Sources of energy

This will take two lessons.

Split your students into groups of five, ten or 15. Give each group one method of generating electricity to research one of the following:

  • burning coal
  • solar energy
  • wind power
  • nuclear power
  • biomass.

Give them one lesson to research this method for generating electricity. They should make notes on:

  • how the method works
  • the advantages of this method
  • the disadvantages of this method.

There will be some information in their textbook. You could also get some more books from the library or give them hints on searching the internet, and encourage them to look in books they might have at home.

In the next lesson, pose the problem that a new power station is to be built in your community. Which type should it be?

Divide your students into groups of five – but this time, make sure that each group contains one ‘expert’ on each method of generating electricity.

Ask each group to decide on which sort of power station to build in your community.