Methods and activities related to environmental studies

By Bhawna Singh|Updated : November 15th, 2020

Activities like surveys, projects, field trips, community service, etc are done to enhance the understanding of concepts of EVS, while activities like sports, games, puzzle, discussion, music, theatre, dance, drama, etc. help in the holistic development of the individual.

Various are the activities related to EVS teaching:

  • Project method
  • Source method
  • Supervised study method
  • Co-curricular activities

Project method:

Students in a project method environment should be allowed to explore and experience their environment through their senses and, in a sense, direct their own learning by their individual interests. A very little amount is taught from textbooks and the emphasis is on the experiential learning, rather than rote and memorization. A project method classroom focuses on democracy and collaboration to solve "purposeful" problems. 

Principles of project method

Activity: The project involves mental or motor activity.

Purpose: The project should be purposeful and fulfill the needs of the pupils.

Experience: The project method provides varied experiences to the pupils such as manipulative, concrete, mental, etc.

Reality: The project should provide real experience.

Freedom: In the project method pupils are free to undertake different activities related to the project.

Utility: The activities undertaken in a project should be useful.

Steps of project method –

  • Creating Situation: In the first step, the teacher creates a perfect situation for the students in the class. He puts up the knowledge about the project method procedure, steps, and uses to the students. A project should arise out of a need felt by students and it should never be forced on them. It should be purposeful and significant.
  • Selection of the problem: The teacher helps the students to select the problem and guide them. Students allowed the freedom to choose the topic or problem based on their interests and ability.
  • Planning: In the process of planning a teacher has to act only as a guide and should give suggestions at times but actual planning is left for the students.
  • Execution: The students start their work in this step. They collect the relevant information and materials at first. The teacher should provide the time and right to the students according to their own speed, interest, and ability.
  • Evaluation: Evaluation of the project should be done both by the pupils and by the teachers. Here the students evaluate their task. They determine whether the objects are achieved or not.
  • Reporting and Recording: It is the last step of the project method in which each and every step of the work are reported. It includes all the information about the project like the proposal, plan and its discussion, duties allotted to different students, etc.

Advantages of project method:

  • It helps in developing social norms and social values among the students.
  • It provides a lot of opportunities for the correlation of various elements of the subject matter and also for the transfer of training or learning.
  • It helps in the growth of knowledge effectively.
  • As a result of their close cooperation with social participation helps in developing the spirit of democracy.

Disadvantages of project method:

  • The project cannot be planned for all subjects and the whole subject matter cannot be taught by this strategy.
  • It is not economical from the point of view of time and cost.
  • It is very difficult for a teacher to plan or to execute the projects to the learners and supervise them.

 Source Method:

The source method implies the use of original sources and materials while teaching. A source provides first-hand experiences and leads to a better understanding of the subject.

According to the source method, pupils build an account of anything with the help of available sources, documents, accounts, biographies, and literature, etc.

Objectives of source method:

  • To develop critical thinking
  • To develop skills in collecting data, organizing data, and interpreting it.
  • To develop a child’s interest and the right perspectives in Environmental science.
  • To enable the pupil to form their own independent judgment through critical analysis of sources.

    Advantages of source method:

  • The source method in the teaching of EVS gives a touch of realism to the subject.
  • The source method satisfies the curiosity of the children about the question by giving insight into the method of EVS.
  • The source method develops right-thinking, imagination, comparing and analyzing, drawing inferences, self-expression, and discussion.
  • This method initiates the pupils in research, which can later prove useful.
  • The study of EVS through source method makes the subject more concrete and meaningful.

Disadvantages of source method:

  • The source method is too complex and technical.
  • It requires trained teachers.
  • It is very difficult to access the original sources

Supervised study method:

Supervised study means the study performed under supervision. In actual practice, when the students engage themselves in some learning activities under the properly organized supervision of the teacher, the phenomenon is named as a supervised study. It may take in both the form of individual or collective.

Immediate surroundings and community provide many opportunities for supervision. Concrete tangible, visible, and describable data on cultural, industrial, political, geographic facts and relationships prove invaluable for the teaching of environmental science. Direct experiences are more effective in the learning process they are also retained for a longer time. Some examples of supervised studies are field trips, community surveys, etc.

Techniques of supervised studies:

  1. Field trip: A field trip or excursion is a journey by a group of people to a place away from their normal environment. For example, visiting a river or pond for collecting information about aquatic life.
  2. Community surveys: community surveys foster a comprehensive understanding of community structure and processes in their everyday operation, interaction, and complexities.
  3. Community service projects: community service project involves individual society of integrated mental physical, emotional, and spiritual nature.

Co-curricular Activities:

Co-curricular activities mean activities conducted on or off school premises by clubs, associations, and organizations of pupils sponsored by the Board of Education.

Co-curricular activity is defined as a program or out of class activity, supervised or financed by the school, which provides curriculum-related lea ring and character-building experiences.

Types of co-curricular activities:

Co-curricular activities are categorized under seven heads:

  1. Literary activities: It includes reading comprehension, writing competitions, etc.
  2. Physical development activities: It includes games, sports, etc.
  3. Aesthetic and cultural development activities: it includes folk dance competitions, folk song competitions, historical tours, etc.
  4. Social welfare activities – it includes activities like community services, cleaning the society, helping poor’s, etc.
  5. Leisure time activities – it includes music, theatre, etc.
  6. Excursion activities – like a tour, picnic
  7. Civic development activities – include activities like public speaking, group discussions, etc.

Importance of co-curricular activities:

  • co-curricular activities provide the first-hand experience to the student.
  • Co-curricular activities develop values like physical, psychological, ethical, academic, civic, social, aesthetic, cultural recreational and disciplinary values.
  • It enables the students to express themselves freely through debates.
  • -co-curricular activities make children perfect in decision making.
  • Games and Sports help to be fit and energetic to the child.
  • It makes the child socialized and also develops the feeling of belongingness in them.
  • Activities like participation in-game debates, music, drama, etc., help in achieving the overall functioning of education.

  Limitation of co-curricular activities:

  • Lack of infrastructure is the biggest limitation of co-curricular activities.
  • Students are not economically well off to bear the extra expenses.
  • These activities are not assessed in the examinations


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