facts

We live in an era of data and information. Right from deciding what to read, what to wear, which restaurant to go to, which city to visit, whom to vote for, we consider ourselves rational human beings who rely on data to make all our decisions. How much of this data is based on facts rather than opinions and/or perceptions? This review looks at two websites, Gapminder and Our World in Data, which attempt to provide reliable global statistics and promote a fact-based worldview.

What is understood well is retained well. This article looks at 'retention and forgetting' and ways to enable students to retain the material taught.

Narmada is the natural boundary that separates the south of India from the north. It is also one of only three rivers in penninsula that flows from east to west. One of the five most holy rivers in India, Narmada is also the fifth largest river in the country. Since it is considered a holy river, it is believed that a dip in the river Narmada will wash away one’s sins. This a story of how the river Narmada came to be.

The Yamuna is the largest tributary of the river Ganga. Like the Ganga, the Yamuna too is considered very holy. Besides being spiritually important, nearly 70 per cent of Delhi’s population depend on the Yamuna to satisfy their water needs. This is a story of how the Yamuna came to be.

Originating in Nepal, the Kosi river is the main tributary of Ganga. Another trans-boundary river, the Kosi is prone to flooding and is therefore the cause of several deaths, especially in India. Although Kosi takes away life, it also gives life by being a source of irrigation and groundwater to the regions it flows across. This story tells us how the river Kosi came to be.

The Indus river is famous in history for giving birth to one of the earliest civilizations of the ancient world—the Indus Valley Civilization. Even today the river continues to be key to the economy of Pakistan. With its origin in Tibet, the river flows through 3 countries before discharging in to the Arabian Sea. This is a story of how the river Indus came to be.

The Ganga is the most sacred river for the Hindus and is the lifeline of the millions of people living along its course. In fact, the Ganga basin is the most heavily populated river basin in the world. The Ganga, unfortunately, is also one of the five most polluted rivers in the world. The story given here is the story of how Ganga came to flow on this earth and some other beliefs surrounding it.

The Cauvery is one of the most sacred rivers of India. An important source of irrigation and hydroelectric power, Cauvery has been the lifeblood of both the ancient kingdoms of South India and its modern cities. The story here, tells us of the origin of the river and the various beliefs surrounding it.

Storytelling is a skill that every teacher should develop, for there is no better way of teaching children than through stories. Stories open the doors of imagination, information, and facts for children.

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