Environmental Studies (EVS) at the primary stage envisages exposing children to the real situations in their surroundings to help them connect, be aware of, appreciate and be sensitized towards the prevailing environmental issues (natural, physical, social and cultural). Beginning with child’s immediate surroundings (including natural, social, physical and cultural settings) related to self, home, school and family in the early grades and gradually moving on to the wider environment (neighbourhood and community at large), EVS not only helps children to get acquainted with their own environment but it also strengthens their bond with it.
Creating learning situations in the context of children is very crucial to learning EVS. Efforts need to be made to avoid giving direct information, definitions and descriptions and instead create situations for children to construct their own knowledge by interacting first hand with their surroundings and with other children, elders and significant others. During this process, they would access various sources of knowledge besides the textbook and explore various learning sites besides the classroom. Real world exposure would lead to opportunities for them to encounter various social issues (such as those of gender bias, marginalization, challenges of the differently abled (including those of the elderly and the sick) and natural concerns (such as those of protection, preservation, conservation of natural resources).
Care may be taken to ensure that besides resource material, the classroom environment and the pedagogical processes are inclusive i.e. they cater to the diversity of learners in terms of their abilities, cognitive development, pace, style, etc. It is important to acknowledge and give primacy to children’s experiences to help them connect these with the school knowledge while ensuring their active participation. Hence, the learning situations need to include a variety in approaches, strategies and re sources to ensure that each learner (including the differently abled and the disadvantaged learners) gets opportunity to observe, express, discuss, question, critically think, improvise and analyse, i.e. gets engaged in various processes of learning involving use of multiple senses in individual and group set-ups.
As per of EVS curriculum, children at the Primary Stage are expected to;
- acquire awareness about immediate/wider surroundings through lived experiences on various themes related to daily life for example Family, Plants, Animals, Food, Water, Travel, and Shelter etc.
- nurture natural curiosity and creativity for the immediate surroundings.
- develop various processes/skills e.g. observation, discussion, explanation, experimentation, logical reasoning, through interaction with immediate surroundings.
- develop sensitivity for the natural, physical and human resources in the immediate environment.
- point out/ raise issues related to equality, justice and respect for human dignity and rights.
Learning outcomes - Class III
- Identifies simple observable features (e.g. shape, colour, texture, aroma) of leaves, trunk and bark of plants in immediate surroundings.
- identifies simple features (e.g. movement, at places found/kept, eating habits, sounds) of animals and birds ) in the immediate surroundings.
- identifies relationships with and among family members.
- identifies objects, signs (vessels, stoves, transport, means of communication, transport, signboards etc.), p laces (types of houses/shelters, bus stand, petrol pump etc.) activities (works people do, cooking processes, etc.) at home/school/ neighbourhood.
- describes need of food for people of different age groups, animals/birds, availability of food and water and use of water at home and surroundings.
- describes roles of family members, family influences ( traits/ features /habits / practices), need for living together, through oral/ written/other ways.
- groups objects, birds, animals, features, activities according to differences/similarities using different senses. (e.g. appearance/place of living/ food/ movement/ likes - dislikes/ any other features ) using different senses.)
- differentiates between objects and activities of present and past (at time of the elders). (e.g. clothes /vessels /games played/ work done by people).
- identifies directions, location of objects/places in simple maps (of home/ classroom/ school) using signs/symbols/verbally.
- guesses properties, estimates quantities; of materials/activities in daily life and verifies using symbols/non - standard units (hand spans, spoon/mugs, etc.).
- records observations, experiences, information on objects/activities/places visited in different ways and predicts patterns (e.g. shapes of moon, seasons).
- creates drawings, designs, motifs, models, top, front, side views of objects, simple maps (of classroom, sections of home/school, etc.) and slogans, poems, etc.
- observes rules in games (local. indoor, outdoor) and other collective tasks.
- voices opinion on good/bad touch , stereotypes for tasks/play/food in family w.r.t gender, misuse / wastage of food and water in family and school
- shows sensitivity for plants, animals, the elderly, differently abled and diverse family set ups in surroundings. (For the diversity in appearance, abilities, choices - likes/dislikes, and access to basic needs such as food, shelter, etc.)
Learning outcomes - Class IV
- Identifies simple features (e.g. shape, colour, aroma, where they grow/any other) of flowers, roots and fruits in immediate surroundings.
- identifies different features (beaks/teeth, claws, ears, hair, nests/shelters, etc.) of birds and animals.
- identifies relationship with and among family members in extended family.
- explains the herd/group behaviour in animals (ants, bees, elephants), birds (building nests), changes in family ( e.g. due to birth, marriage, transfer, etc. ).
- describes different skilled work ( farming, construction, art/craft, etc.), their inheritance (from elders) and training (role of institutions) in daily life.
- explains the process of producing and procuring daily needs (e.g. food, water, clothes) i.e. from source to home. (e.g. crops from field to mandi and to home, water from local source and ways of its purification at home/ neighbourhood).
- differentiates between objects and activities of past and present. ( e.g. transport, currency, houses, materials, tools, skills - farming, construction, etc.)
- groups the animals, birds, plants, objects, waste material for observable features. ( e .g. on appearance (ears, hair, beaks, teeth, texture of skin/surface), instincts (domestic/wild, fruit/ vegetable/ pulses/ spices and their shelf life) uses (edibility, medicinal, decoration, any other, reuse), traits (smell - taste/, likes, etc.)
- guesses (properties, conditions of phenomena) , estimates spatial quantities (distance, weight, time, duration) in standard/local units (kilo,gaj, pav etc.) and verifies using simple tools/set ups to establish relation between cause and effect. ( e.g. evaporation, condensation, dissolution, absorption; for places; near/far, objects; size and growth; shelf life of flower, fruit, vegetables)
- records her observations /experiences/information for objects, activities, phenomena, places visited (mela, festival, historical place) in different ways and predicts patterns in activities/phenomena.
- identifies signs, location of objects/places and guides for the directions w.r.t a landmark in school/neighbourhood using maps etc.
- uses the information on signboards, posters, currency (notes/coins), railway ticket/time table.
- creates collage, designs, models, rangolis, posters, albums, and simple maps (of school / neighbourhood etc.) using local/waste material.
- voices opinion on issues observed/ experienced i n family/ school/ neighbourhood e.g. on stereotypes (making choices/ decision making/ solving problems), discrimination practices on caste in use of public places, water, MDM/community eating, child rights ( schooling, child abuse, punishment, labour.)
- suggests ways for hygiene, reduce, reuse, recycle and takes care of different living beings (plants, animals, and the elderly, differently abled people), resources (food, water, and public property) .
Learning outcomes - Class V
- Explain the super senses and unusual features (sight, smell, hear, sleep, sound, etc.) of animals and their responses to light, sound, food etc.
- explains the use of technology and the process of accessing basic needs (food, water etc.) in our daily life. ( e.g. farm produce to kitchen i.e. grains to Roti, preservation techniques, storage tracking of water source)
- describes the interdependence among animals, plants and humans. (e.g. communities earning livelihood from animals, dispersal of seeds etc.).
- explains the role and functions of different institutions in daily life. (Bank, Panchayat, cooperatives, police station, etc.)
- establishes linkages among terrain, climate, resources ( food, water, shelter, livelihood) and cultural life. (e.g. life in distant/difficult areas like hot/cold deserts) .
- groups objects, materials, activities for features/properties such as shape, taste, colour, texture, sound, traits etc.
- traces the changes in practices, customs, techniques of past and present through coins, paintings, monuments, museum etc. and interacting with elders. (e.g. cultivation, conservation, festivals, clothes, transport, materials/tools, occupations, buildings/houses, practices like cooking, eating, working)
- guesses (properties, conditions of phenomena) , estimates spatial quantities (distance, area, volume , weight etc. ) and time in simple standard units and verifies using simple tools/set ups. ( e .g. floating/sinking/ mixing/evaporation /germination /spoilage /breathing /taste)
- records observations/experiences/information in an organised manner (e.g. in tables/ sketches/ bar graphs/ pie charts) and predicts patterns in activities/phenomena (e.g. floating, sinking, mixing, evaporation, germination, spoilage ) to establish relation between cause and effect.
- identifies signs, directions, location of different object s/landmarks of a locality /place visited in maps and predicts directions w.r.t. positions at different places for a location.
- creates posters, designs, models, set ups, local dishes, sketches, maps (of neighbourhood/ different places visited) using variety of local/waste material and writes poems/ slogans/travelogue etc.
- voices opinion on issues observed/experienced and relates practices /happenings to larger issues of society. (E.g. discrimination for access/ownership of resources, migration/ displacement /exclusion, child rights).
- suggests ways for hygiene, health, managing waste, disaster/emergency situations and protecting/saving resources (land, fuels, forests, etc.) and shows sensitivity for the disadvantaged/deprived.
Source : NCERT