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Chapter 1
Going to school

Let us meet some children and see how they reach school.

Bamboo Bridge

Children going to school while crossing a bamboo bridge.

It rains so much where we live. Sometimes after the rain, there is knee-high water everywhere. But that does not stop us from getting to school. We hold our books in one hand and bamboo with the other. We quickly cross the bamboo and rope bridge to reach school.

Try these

School children stepping over bricks.

  • Collect some bricks. Lay them on the ground in a line as shown in the picture. Try walking on them. Was it easy?

  • Make a small bridge by tying 4 or 5 bamboo poles together. Ask your teacher to help you. Now walk on your bridge. How did you feel? Did you fall down? If you walk like this a few times, you will start finding it easy.

Do you think it would be easier to walk on this bridge barefoot or with shoes or slippers? Why?

School children in Ladakh climbing up a trolley, an open box made of wood.

The Troley

Everyday we have to cross the river to get to school. The river is wide and deep. There is a strong iron rope across the river. On both the sides it is tied tightly with strong trees or rocks. There is a trolley (an open box made of wood) attached with the rope. Four or five of us sit in the trolley. A pulley helps the trolley to move across the rope. We reach the other side of the river in a short time.

Let us do

Observe pictures 1 and 2. In the pictures, children are pulling the buckets from the well. Can you tell the difference in both the pictures? Which would be easier – using the pulley or not using it to lift things?

A boy pulling bucket from well without a pulley.

A boy pulling bucket from well using a pulley.

A girl lifting a brick with a pulley.

  • Look around you – where all do you see the use of pulleys? List them.

  • With the help of a pulley, try and lift various things, as shown in the picture.

People crossing over a cement bridge.

Cement Bridge

We often need to go across some water bodies, so we use bridges. These are made of cement, bricks and iron rods. The bridge may also have steps.

  • How is this bridge different from a bamboo bridge?

  • How many people do you think can cross the bridge at one time?

You have seen how children use different kind of bridges, to cross rivers and other uneven areas to reach school.

  • If you had a chance, which bridge would you like to use? Why?

  • Do you have to cross any bridge on the way to your school? If yes, what is the bridge like? Draw its picture.

  • Find out from your grandparents, what kinds of bridges were there when they were young.

Is there any bridge near your house? Find out more about the bridge.

  • Where is the bridge – over water, over a road, between two mountains or somewhere else?

  • Who all use the bridge? Is it used by people on foot and also by vehicles and animals?

  • Does the bridge seem to be old or is it new?

  • Find out what materials are used in making this bridge. List some of them.

  • Draw a picture of the bridge in your notebook. Do not forget to draw the train, vehicles, animals or people who cross the bridge.

  • Imagine what difficulties there would be, if the bridge was not there?

Let us find out some other ways by which children get to school.

School children in Kerala getting out of a small wooden boat called as Vallam.


In some parts of Kerala, we use a vallam (small wooden boat) to reach school.

  • Have you seen any other kind of boats?

  • Can you think of other ways by which we can travel on water?


Few children riding on a camel cart in Rajasthan.

We live in the desert. There is sand all around. It gets very hot in the day. We ride in a camel-cart to reach school.

  • Have you ever sat in a camel-cart or horse carriage (tonga)? Where? Did you climb on it yourself, or did someone help you?

  • How did you feel riding in the cart? Also share your experience in the class also.

Children riding on a Bullock cart in a village.


We ride in our bullock- cart, going slowly through the green fields. If it is too sunny or raining, we use our umbrellas.

For the teacher: How do animal feel when made to pull cart. Discuss issues to develop sensitivity towards animals.

  • Do you have bullock-carts where you live?

  • Does it have a roof?

  • What kind of wheels do they have?

  • Make a drawing of the cart in your notebook.

Girls riding bicycles to school.

Bicycle ride

We ride our bicycles on the long road to school. At first, girls here did not go to school, because it was too far. But now groups of 7-8 girls easily ride even through the difficult roads.

  • Can you ride a bicycle? If yes, who taught you to ride?

  • How many children come on bicycles to your school?

Jugad - What a Vehicle!

A wooden cart attached to a motorcycle used for transportation in Gujarat.

Look at our special transport. It sounds phut-phut-phut when it runs. Is it not something special! The front looks like a motorcycle but the carriage at the back is made out of planks of wood.

  • Do you have such vehicles in your area?

  • What do you call them in your area?

  • Would you like to ride in something like this? Why?

  • Can you tell why it is called jugad?

  • The jugad has been made by using waste material. Why don’t you also try to make something by putting together some waste material?

Can you think of a place where none of these vehicles can reach? Yes, there are such places!

Some children crossing a forest to reach school.

Children cross the Jungle

We have to go through a thick forest to reach school. At some places, it is so thick that even sunlight does not pass through. It is also very silent there, you can only hear the sounds of different birds and other creatures.

  • Have you ever been in a thick jungle or any such place?

  • Write your experiences in your notebook.

  • Can you recognise some birds by their sounds? Can you imitate the sounds of some birds? Do it.

Moving on the Snow

Few girls in Northern Hills crossing over snow while holding hands.

See, how we reach school! We go to school through miles of snow. We hold hands and walk carefully. If the snow is soft, our feet sink into it. When the snow is frozen, we may slip and fall.

  • Have you ever seen so much snow? Where? In films or somewhere else?

  • Do you think that such places have snow all the time? Why?

School children in Uttarakhand are walking on a rocky path.

Rocky Paths

We live in the mountains. The paths are rocky and uneven. The children who live in the plains will find it difficult to walk on these. But we can easily race up and down.

No matter whether there is a dense forest, farms, mountains or snow on the way, we manage to reach school.

  • Do you face difficulties on the way to your school?

  • Which is the best month, in which you like to go to school? Why?

See Me Walk!

  • Go to a ground or an open space with your friends. Act the way you will walk in these situations.

    • The ground is made of soft and smooth rose petals.

    • The ground is covered with thorns and there is tall grass on the sides.

    • The ground is covered with snow.

Was there a difference in the way you walked each time? Discuss.

For the teacher: Discuss different modes that children use to come to school. Help them identify the possible dangers and discuss the safety aspects. You may discuss with them environment friendly ways of travelling.

Talk and share about it

  • Do you also have punishment in your school? What kind?

  • Do you think that punishment should not be there in schools?

  • If you come across any such incident, whom will you inform?

  • How will you make a complaint?

  • Is punishment the only solution to misdeeds? Make some rules for school to prevent misdeeds.

  • Draw a picture of your ‘dream school’ in your notebook and write about it and share in the class.

For the teacher: The purpose behind giving this column is to totally discourage punishments in schools. Discuss this issue sensitively in the class. Encourage the students for self-discipline.