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Chapter 13
A River Tale

A river from the mountains is becoming dirty while moving through factories, industrial areas.

Look carefully at the picture of the river. Read the words given below. Boat, flowing water, blue, fish, water-plants, river, foul smell, big ship, oil, river banks, factories, washing clothes, animals, other work, change, city.

Use these words to make a story. Give a title to your story also.

Look at the pictures and answer the following questions:

  • What is the colour of the river where it begins?

  • A dirty beach.

  • At some places, there are many fish in the river, at others there are only a few and at some places there are dead fish. What could be the reason for this? Discuss.

  • What can be seen in the river before it reaches the village?

  • A dirty pond.

  • At which places did the colour of the water in the river change? Why did this happen? Discuss.

  • Which of the places shown in the picture would you like to live in? Why?

  • Would you like to change any of the things that you see in the picture? Why and how?

  • Have you seen people throwing different things into rivers or water bodies?

  • What could be done to keep rivers clean? Discuss.

  • If you wanted to drink some water, from which part of the river would you like to drink? Why?

  • In the last part of the picture the river flows into the sea. Have you ever seen the sea? Where? In a movie, or somewhere else?

River joining a sea.

  • Have you ever been near a river or sea? When?

  • Show with your hands, how the waves in the sea move.

  • Is the water from the sea drinkable? Why?

  • Do you think that there would be changes taking place in a river, pond or stream at different times of the year? What kind of changes would these be? Discuss.

  • Will there be the same amount of water in the ponds or rivers during the rainy season and in summer?

  • Is there a pond, river or lake near your town or city? Find out–

    • Are there any changes in the water during summers, the rainy season and in winters?

    • What are the different kinds of water animals found there?

    • What kind of trees and plants grow around it?

    • What are the kinds of birds that come there?

    • Have you ever seen or read about floods? Where?

    • What happens when there is a flood?

    • Have you seen dirty water in a river or pond? Where?

    • How would you know if the water is dirty? If the water looks clean, can you be sure that it is alright to drink that water? Discuss.

How does Water become Dirty?

You saw in the pictures that as the river flowed through or near many villages, towns and cities the water changed. The people used the river water for many different things such as washing clothes, bathing animals and cleaning utensils. Many of these activities made the water dirty. The water in the river kept changing as it flowed through various places. Water in ponds and lakes can also become dirty due to similar reasons.

From where do you get your drinking water? A river or a lake? Do you think that like the river in the picture your river or lake can also be affected?

Try this

  • For this activity you will need to bring certain things from your home. You will find most of these in the kitchen.

  • 5 or 6 glasses or bottles.

  • Salt, sugar, cooking soda, haldi, flour and dal (about half a teaspoon each).

  • Lemon Juice, soap water, sherbet, oil (one spoonful each).

What will you do?

Fill about half of each bottle or glass with water. Make sure that all have the same amount of water. Now, one by one, put each of the things in the water. For example - haldi in the first glass, oil in the second glass, soda in the third glass until you have one thing in each glass. Mix each thing in the water and see what happens. Write your observations in the table.

What did you observe? Put (✓) mark in the right places.

Things Dissolved (mixed) in water Did not dissolve in water Colour of water changes Colour of water does not change
Lemon juice
Soap water
Cooking soda
Oil (Mustard, Til or any other)

Now on the basis of your observations tell -

  • Do all things dissolve in water?

  • Does the colour of the water always change?

  • Did oil dissolve in water? How can you say whether it has dissolved or not?

Colour of the water may not change even after some things are dissolved in it. Would you say that these are absent in water?

Imagine how it would be if things like sugar, salt, lemon juice, sherbet, etc., could not dissolve in water!

Imagine how it would be if things like stones, chalk, plastic and garbage would dissolve in water!

There are many things that dissolve easily in water. Some of these can be very harmful for our body. Hence, it is important that we clean water before drinking it. One of the best ways to do this is to boil the water. If for some reason this cannot be done, can you think of some other ways to clean water?

  • How is drinking water cleaned in your house?

  • Find out the many different ways of cleaning water at home.

  • Draw pictures showing any two ways of cleaning the water.