Chapter 1 Family and friends

Relationship refers to the state of connection in which two or more people are related by blood, marriage or feelings. Spending more quality time with family and friends enhances relationships and boosts happiness. In a family, it is important to spend quality time together; however, it is equally important to give space to one another, to do something they like. It is not the duration of time for which you have been in a relationship that matters but the trust that you have in one another that strengthens one’s relationship. Active listening, positive communication and keeping promises help to build trust in a relationship. On the other hand, mistrust occurs when there is a lack of communication. Encouraging friends and family members, especially in their difficult times, can help them to stay motivated and positive.


Family is a group of people associated with kinship, affinity or common residence. It can also be viewed as a strong bonding between a husband and wife, either with or without children. Sentiments such as love, cooperation and friendship exist within a family. Family plays a major role in defining an individual’s social life and is the first community in which human beings learn how to live collectively. The individual units of a family also play an important role in the existence of society.

Family And Society

Family is the core unit of all social organisations. It is the place where the development and progress of a society starts. Children begin their early education and training within the family. The social and cultural values of the community are inculcated in the child through the family. In most societies, a family is the principal institution for the socialisation of children, as it creates and supports an environment conductive to train and educate a child. Family helps in preserving culture through the transfer of knowledge, attitudes and values.

Types Of Family

Different types of family are discussed as follows:
• Matrilocal family is a type of family where a young married couple resides at the bride’s parents’ house.
• Patrilocal family is a family in which a young married couple resides at the bridegroom’s parents’ house.
• Nuclear family consists of a married couple and their children.
• Extended family is a family that extends beyond the nuclear family. Apart from the couple and their children, it includes grandparents and other relatives.
• Conjugal family is called the family of procreation, i.e. the family one creates following one’s marriage.
• Consanguineous family is called the family of orientation, i.e. the family we are born into. It implies ties of blood.

Functions Of A Family

Maclver divided the functions of a family into two categories: essential and nonessential. Provision of a home can be included under the essential function, whereas recreation can be included under the non-essential function. In a family, essential functions such as economic functions, educational functions and sexual and reproductive functions are carried out. Ogburn and Nimkoff divided family functions into six categories: affectional, economic, recreational, protective, religious and educational. They believed that bonding and togetherness in a family can be strengthened through love and affection. According to Lundberg, primary group satisfactions, cooperation and division of labour, care and training of children and regulation of sexual behaviour and reproduction are the four basic functions of a family.

Friends And Friendship

A friend is a person whom you can trust, whose company you enjoy and who accepts you for who you are. A true friend shares your joys and sorrows, never leaves you in the lurch if you disagree, stays in regular contact with you and trusts you completely. He/she always stands by you in adverse situations and protects you from harm. The bond with a friend is called friendship. It is a form of interpersonal relationship, closer than association. It is about listening to each other patiently and spending quality time with each other. Honesty, trustworthiness, loyalty and unconditional acceptance are considered to be the true benchmarks of a good friendship. Aristotle classifies friendship into the following three categories:
• Friendship of utility: This is a kind of friendship where the friend is a person who is with you only for the sake of his/her own interest.
• Friendship of pleasure: This is friendship of mutual interest, where you and your friend share a common interest or pleasure.
• Friendship of the good: This is friendship of virtue, where two friends have mutual respect for one another and enjoy each other’s company. Here, the two persons are friends not because of the sake of interest or pleasure but simply because they like each other.

Peer Relations

Peers tend to have a major influence in a child’s initial development. It is important to help a child during the initial phase of peer association, when he/she finds it difficult to get along with peers. Positive social relationships in childhood and adolescence can help an individual live a happy and healthy life.
Early friendship and positive relations with peer groups tend to help a child protect itself later against psychological problems. Children find it easier to be accepted by their peers if they are competent and demonstrate pro-social behaviour at an initial age. However, children with behavioural, cognitive or emotional difficulties also face the risk of being rejected by their peers. Issues with peers at an early stage may affect a child’s social and emotional development. Peers may also facilitate antisocial behaviour, especially in adolescence stage. A watchful yet sympathetic eye of a parent or a guardian may help avoid such behaviour at the right time.

Work And Play

‘Work is to an adult what play is to a child.’ Playful activities help the children to remain active, and promote learning. Playing helps in the physical and cognitive development of a child. It also helps in the process of socialisation of children, through the establishment of relationships, development of behavioural controls and social skills. Thus, it helps in building the overall personality of a child, which ultimately enables the child to be accepted by the society, including family, community and school. Adults can help in the multi-dimensional development of children by engaging them in different types of play. They should avoid stereotyping particular play activities with gender roles and appreciate the natural tendencies of children. For children, playing is spontaneous and natural; however, as they grow up, it gets more organised and activity oriented. Play can be categorised in two types — free play and organised play. Free play is where children do not follow any specified rule and play with outdoor or indoor implements of their choice, while organised play involves following the specific rules as per the recreational activity chosen.

Importance Of Play

The importance of play in child’s life is discussed as follows:
• It helps in developing the physical, social and cognitive abilities of a child.
• It is therapeutic to children who are emotionally disturbed and have social adjustment problems.
• It helps a child to remain active and acquire various physical skills.
• It empowers a child to make choices and take decisions.
• It helps in the development of the brain.
• It can be integrated with formal learning to make it more interactive and longlasting.
• Organised activities related to vocabulary help in language development in children.
• Activities such as singing, story-telling, role play and creative drama can be associated with socio-emotional development in children, as these help improve inter-personal relationships.
• Activities such as clay modelling, threading beads, building blocks, painting and drawing help in hand-eye coordination and muscle development.


Animals and plants co-exist with human beings and both are dependent on each other for survival in the larger ecosystem. A few studies suggest that playing with pets can reduce the chances of heart attack and other ailments, as pets help in relieving stress. Animals are present everywhere, be it on land, in water or in air. They are mobile and can move from one place to another. However, they have different habits, body sizes and movement patterns.

Habitat And Adaptation

Animals live in a habitat or surroundings that suit them the best and they have different feeding habits. Fishes live in water along with many other creatures. Amphibians live both on land and in water. Birds (Aves) and mammals live only on land. Animals have different modes of nutrition. They may show parasitic, saprophytic or holozoic (engulfing and internally digesting the food) modes of nutrition. According to the food they eat, through holozoic nutrition, animals can be categorised as:
• Herbivore ( Plant eating)
• Carnivore (animal eating)
• Omnivore ( both plant and animals eating) Animals must reproduce to survive as a species. The stages of development of an animal from an embryo to a mature adult are called the life cycle of an animal. Animals are categories into two types, according to the mode of reproduction:
• Oviparous: The animals which lay eggs. For example: fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, insects, etc.
• Viviparous: The animals which give birth to their young ones. For example: mammals (human, goat, deer, etc.) Two Modes of fertilisation: Some animals show external fertilisation (fertilisation of ovum and sperm outside the body of females, For Example: fish, frogs, etc. Development of embryo in such a case occurs outside the body of the females and is called external development. Most vertebrates show internal fertilisation (fertilisation of ovum and sperm inside the body of females). For Example: reptiles, mammals, birds, etc. Development of embryo in such cases can occur outside the body of the females if they are oviparous) or inside the body of the females (if they are viviparous). It is found that the animals which have mammary glands, hair on their body and visible ears are oviparous (give birth to their young ones). These are also known as mammals. For example: dog, cat, cow, deer, human, etc.

Invertebrates And Vertebrates

Animals can be classified into two main categories based on backbone, the vertebral column on the back of the animals, made of jointed bones: vertebrates (animals with backbones) and invertebrates (animals without backbones). Mammals, birds, fishes, reptiles and amphibians are vertebrates while sponges, worms, insects, starfish, spiders, crabs, are invertebrates. An amazing 97 per cent of the animals on the earth are invertebrates.


Vertebrates show variation in various features such as heart, respiratory organs, limbs, excretory organs, mode of reproduction, etc. The body of some organisms is covered by scales or hair or feathers, or scales.


Fishes have a two-chambered heart (one auricle and one ventricle), reptiles and amphibians have a three chambered heart (two auricles and one ventricle, exception; crocodile with four chambered heart), mammals and birds have a four chambered heart (two auricles and two ventricles). The summarised version of features of veretebrates is given below

Vertebrates Features
Pisces (Ex: fish, sea snakes) Scales on body, invisible ears, 2 chambered heart, respiration through gills, oviparous
Amphibians (Ex: frog, toad) No scales on body, invisible ears, 3 chambered heart, respiration through gills, skin and lungs, oviparous
Reptiles ( Ex: snake, lizard) Scales on body, invisible ears, 3 chambered heart, respiration through lungs, oviparous
Birds ( Ex: crow, pigeon, parrot) Feathers on body, invisible ears, 4 chambered heart, respiration through lungs, oviparous
Mammals (Deer, elephant, fox) Hair, visible ears, 4 chambered heart, respiration through lungs, viviparous

Sleeping time of animals varies according to their needs. Some animals sleep for only a few hours in a day like cows sleep for only 4 hours . Sleeping time of some is long like sloths sleep for 18 hours in a day

Locomotion In Animals

Animals move from one location to another in search of food, safety and shelter. In a safe shelter, animals can rest and breed peacefully. Animals have various types of body parts or limbs for locomotion. Some animals fly, some swim, some hop and some crawl. Some animals have two legs while some have four legs. Penguins have flippers, fishes have fins, frogs have webbed feet and insects have wings, while snakes have no limbs.

Respiration In Animals

All animals need oxygen and energy to survive. Animals have both simple and complex breathing systems. Humans and terrestrial animals have lungs to breathe. Fishes and tadpoles have gills that enable them to take in oxygen from water. Earthworms take in air through their thin and moist skin. Microscopic animals take in air from their body surface. Animals have many ways of protecting themselves from danger and from predatory animals. Animals escape by running, flying or swimming away. Some use camouflage to protect themselves from predators like some insects. Some others use needles, electric shock or poison to attack or scare away predators. For example: A porcupine is difficult to be attacked as it is covered with needle-sharp quills. Octopus squirts a cloud of dark ink in order to confuse its attackers. Lets learn about the special lealures of animals

Some animals Special features
Elephant Adapt to keep their body cool; big ears work as a fan, love to play with mud and water; do not rest much and sleep less as well; adult elephant can eat more than 100 kg of leaves and twigs a day. Oldest female is the leader of an elephants’ herd.
Tiger Has strong sense of sight as well as hearing, can see six times better than humans at night. , can move its ears in different directions to catch the sound.
Dolphins Dolphins have the ability to make different types of sound to communicate inside water.
Birds Adapted to fly: boat shaped body (streamlined body), hollow bone, wings and feathers; Perching feet to anchor the branches of trees; Strong sense of sight : Eagles, kites, vultures Neck twisting: Moving neck helps them to see in different directions even in the presence of fixed eyes. Owls can twist their heads almost 360 degrees by rotating their neck backwards to a large extent Mynah can move its neck back and forth with a jerk. Nest: Bulbul: Makes its nest in bushes with dried grass and hedges Robin: A robins nest is soft and cozy, made of soft things like grass, soft twigs, roots, wool, hair and cottonwool Crow: A crow’s nest the made of both soft and hard things like pieces of wire and wood Cuckoo (Koel) show brood parasitism (lays its eggs in the nest of so it crow, can be taken care of) Sunbird makes hanging nest on the branches of trees

Animal Husbandry

Animal husbandry is the study of domesticated animals or livestock. It includes breeding, feeding, weeding (eliminating uneconomical livestock) and heeding (efficient handling of livestock). Domestic animals such as sheep, goat, cow, etc. offer wool, fur, meat and milk. Birds and poultry are kept in poultry farms. Viral and bacterial diseases often affect the livestock. For example, anthrax is a bacterial disease and foot-and-mouth disease is a viral disease that affects the cattle. The Indian Dairy Corporation and the National Dairy Development Corporation have been set up for the enhancement of livestock and milk production. To take care of the health of livestock, veterinary hospitals have been set up at several places.

Useful Animals

Animals Products
Cows, goats, buffaloes Milk, meat
Hens, ducks Eggs
Sheep Wool
Camels, snakes Leather
Silkworms Silk fibres
Honey Bees Honey, Beeswax
Chickens Meat, Eggs
Goats Milk, Meat
Rabbits and squirrels Fur

Importance Of Animals For Children

By observing birds and animals, children can learn a lot about animals and the surrounding environment in which they exist. For example, by watching the movement of birds and animals, children can easily understand that physical movement of any living being is not restricted to the use of legs and feet. By carefully observing the animals and birds, children can learn about their various features and activities. Stories and play items related to the animal world also have symbolic a meaning for children.
As children love interaction, pets can be a useful connecting link between a less socially outgoing child and other playmates. Pets can help children in developing positive personality traits such as sharing responsibility, taking care of others, selfesteem, importance of hygiene and safety, etc. Pets can also help in increasing a child’s innate interest in both living and non-living things surrounding them.

Endangered Species

Animals become rare and endangered for a number of reasons. These include destruction of their natural homes, climate change, hunting and pollution. An endangered species is one that is at a risk to get extinct. Such species are monitored by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an international organisation that gathers information on the world’s plant and animal species and also lists them according to the threats they face. Animals such as the one-horned rhino, tiger and giant panda are a few examples of the endangered animals. Animals that have disappeared from the planet are called extinct animals. Dodo is a species of bird that has now become extinct.


Plants form the backbone of all life on Earth. They not only provide us food and other useful products but are also important to maintain the ecological balance of nature. Plants belong to the kingdom Plantae and are living multicellular organisms. They form a clade, comprising flowering plants, conifers, ferns, mosses, green algae, etc.

Parts Of Plants And Their Roles

Each plant part has essential functions, for example, plants produce flowers to make seeds from which a new plant can develop. A plant’s body is mainly divided into two parts: roots and shoots (stem, leaves, flowers, fruit and seeds). Leaves are called the food factory or the kitchen of the plant. Green leaves take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, energy from sunlight, water from soil. They then convert the water and carbon dioxide to food using light energy. This process is called photosynthesis. The green colour of a plant comes from a chemical substance called the chlorophyll. Although most plant leaves are green, leaves can have many other colours. Some leaves change their colour during the autumn. The stem supports the upper part of the plant and holds these parts upright. The tubular system in the stem helps to transport water and dissolved nutrients to the rest of the plant. Thus, the stem connects the roots to the rest of the plant. Plants such as sugarcane store the food they produce in their stems. Flowers are the reproductive parts of a plant. They contain stamens and carpels surrounded by bright coloured petals and green sepals. Bees and other insects are attracted by the colour and smell of the flowers and help in pollination. After pollination, seeds develop in the ovary of the flower to become fruits. Seeds develop by the maturation of the ovule, after pollination. Plants grow their seeds from their flowers. Plants have seeds in their fruits.
Fruits are fleshy seed-bearing structures that are sweet, juicy or sour, for example, apple, mango, grapes, etc. They protect the seeds and help in seed dispersal. Roots help anchor the plant to the ground. They generally grow below the ground and absorb water and nutrients from the soil, which are then transported to the rest of the plant. Some plants store the food they make in their roots.

Types Of Plants On The Basis Of Physical Characteristics

The different types of plants divided on the basis of physical characteristics are discussed as follows: Herbs are very small and delicate plants that cannot stand erect. They have thin and weak stems and are largely vegetables and flowering plants. Tomato, brinjal and dahlia are some common herbs. Shrubs are bushy plants that are smaller than the trees. They have woody stems and live for a few years only. The branches of shrubs generally remain close to the ground. Rose, bougainvillea, and cotton are some examples of shrubs. Trees are big, tall and strong plants. Their stems are strong and woody. The stems of trees are called trunks, which are straight and do not require any support. Trees live for many years. Most of them have branches that grow out of the tree’s trunk and bear leaves, flowers, or fruit on it. Climbers are plants whose stems are too weak to stand straight on their own. They generally twine around a stick or climb up a wall for support. Money plant is an example of a climber. Creepers are plants that literally creep along the surface of the ground and tend to spread over a long distance. Watermelon, pumpkin and bottle gourd are some examples of creepers.

Types Of Plants On The Basis Of Their Life Span

The following figure shows the Types of Plants on the Basis of their life span: Fig: Types of Plants on the Basis of their Life Span The different types of plants divided on the basis of their life span are discussed as follows: Annual plants live for one growing season. During that time, these plants produce seeds and then die. Examples of such plants include zinnias, sunflowers, impatiens, wheat, maize, some herbs, etc.
Plants Annuals Biennials Perennials Woody perennials Herbaceous perennials
Biennial plants live for two seasons. These plants bear roots, stems and leaves in the first season while in the second season, they bear flowers. Carrot, radish, potato, etc. are examples of such plants. Perennial plants live for more than two years. Once these plants have developed, they require very less upkeep in the form of watering and fertilisation because their roots branch out over a large area, unlike the roots of annual plants. These tend to stay in the ground for years. In woody perennial plants, the above-ground parts persist over the winters and resume growth over the spring. Herbaceous perennial plants are non-woody plants whose roots can withstand tough winter conditions and the plants re-sprout in the spring time.

Importance Of Plants

Following points show the importance of plants:
• Plants clean the air and provide us with fresh oxygen to breathe.
• Plants are the support system of all life forms and help maintain balance in nature.
• Plants help prevent soil erosion and keep the soil fertile.
• Plants provide us with food. We eat roots (carrot, radish, beetroot, turnip, etc.), leaves (cabbage, spinach, lettuce, etc.), stems (ginger, garlic, potato, onion, etc.), fruits (apple, banana, orange, mango, etc.), seeds (pea, bean, gram, etc.), nuts (peanut, cashew, almond, etc.) and cereals (maize, barley, rice, oat, etc).
• Most of the products that we use in our daily life such as cosmetics, dyes, perfumes, rubber, paper, etc. have their key ingredients derived from plants.
• Plants also provide animals protection from predators. Therefore, the destruction of plants also endangers the life of animals.
• Animals use plants to fulfill their needs of nutrition and shelter.
• Plants such as mustard, groundnut, sunflower, etc. provide us oil. Oil is extracted from these plants by crushing their seeds.
• Plants such as teak, deodar, sal, etc. provide wood for furniture.
• Plants such as tulsi, neem, garlic, poppy, etc. are used as medicine.
• Plants provide us fibre and jute to make products like clothes, bags, ropes and mats.
• Plants make our surroundings beautiful. Some of them are also used for ornamental purposes.
• The wood of babul, mango and other trees is used as fuel in villages.
• The wood of the bamboo tree is processed into pulp for making paper.
• We get gum from babul, acacia and kikar tree. Gum is made from the juice of the plant tissues of these plants.
• Dead and dried leaves and stems of plants are used for making manure.
• Plants provide other products like beverages (tea and coffee) and spices.

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