Geography KS3: Rural life in India

Thirteen-year-old pupils Dua and Nayan are on a trip of a lifetime to explore the rural life of India.

They meet a local expert on rural life in India and learn that the majority of India’s population live in rural areas and are subsistence farmers.

They hear how India’s extreme climate can be hazardous for subsistence farmers due to drought and flooding.

They travel to a village 50km south of Patna and meet local farmers.

Women do most of the work in the fields and they talk to Pratima about how she has adopted new techniques to increase yield and profits.

They learn that there are two growing seasons.

They hear how the monsoon can force people to move to the cities each year to work.

They then meet local farmers and discover how they support each other within their community and how new farming techniques alongside a supportive community has improved the lives of local farmers.

They meet local children and talk about what life is like living in rural India.

This clip is from the series Exploration India.

Teacher Notes

The exploration of rural life in India provides an opportunity to discover the hard work and risks of subsistence farming and contrast this with intensive farming in Britain.

Pupils could consider what it would be like to survive on only what they, or their community, could grow each year.

What would they do if crops failed? Where would they go?

India’s extreme climate of droughts and floods makes this a hazardous occupation, and the monsoon can push farmers from their land and into the cities to work and survive.

Pupils could consider and design improved farming techniques using simple technology, and compare this to techniques being used by the Indian women.

Topics such as development, gender and the important role of women as farmers and community could be discussed.

While there is a contrast with India’s rural life and that found in Britain, there is a positive message which could challenge preconceptions of rural life and poverty in India.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Geography at KS3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 3rd Level in Scotland.

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Exploring the scale of India
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The Ganges
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Urbanisation in India
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Working life in India
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