Question: From the first paragraph
- Pick out two phrases which describe the desert as most people believe it is;
- Pick out two phrases which describe the desert as specialists see it.
Which do you think is an apt description, and why?
- an endless stretch of sand; water less and without shelter.
- a beautiful place; the home of a variety of people, animals and plants Description (ii) is apt. Human experience tells us so.
Question: The phrases on the left in the following box occur in the text. Match each of them with a phrase on the right.
Question: A camel can do without water for days together. What is the reason given in the text?
Answer: The reason is that the camel sweats very little. It can therefore retain the water it drinks for long periods of time.
Question: How do the smaller desert animals fulfill their need for water?
Answer: The smaller desert animals spend the day in the underground burrows to escape the heat. Some of them eat other animals and get the water they need from the moisture in the meat. Others eat plants and get the water they need from plant juices.
Question: In a desert the temperature rises during the day and falls rapidly at night. Why?
Answer: In humid climates, the air has moisture that protects the earth’s surface from the heat of the sun. Since deserts have no moisture cover, they heat up rapidly during the day and cool off rapidly at night.
Question: Describe a desert in your own way. Write a paragraph and read it aloud to your classmates.
Answer: A desert is usually a dry, hot and horrifying place. That is why only the nomads and camels in a small number live there. Of course, there are green patches also near the water spring. These places are called oases. The deserts occupy vast areas. In India the hot desert of Rajasthan can also be turned into fertile agricultural land provided we take water over there through canals.
Question: Go to the library and collect information about the lifestyle of people in desert areas- their food, clothes, work, social customs, etc.Show this information with the group.
Answer: The nomads are homeless people in desert areas. They keep shifting to places where they can get food and fodder. Their life is very hard. They use camels for transportation. They eat mainly meat and dates. They weave their clothes from the wool of camel or sheep. Their life style is very simple. They look to the sky for rain water. They have developed their own customs.
Question: Who finds it difficult to imagine what a desert is Uke?
Answer: Some people living in regions covered with forests and surrounded with hills find it difficult to imagine what a desert is like.
Question: What happens when it rains in deserts?
Answer: Rains are rare in the deserts. Whenever it rains, desert flowers start blooming The sight becomes as rewarding as that of any tropical garden.
Question: What is an oasis? How is it useful for desert plants?
Answer: An oasis is like a green island in the middle of a desert where a spring or a well gives plants and trees a better chance to grow.
Question: How do desert plants and animals differ from most plants and animals?
Answer: Desert plants and animals have developed the ability to require less water than most plants and animals.
Question: How do the desert plants fulfill their need for water?
Answer: Some desert plants adopt themselves to the life they lead. The cactus plants have thick stems. They store water in them. Their roots lie close to the surface of the ground. The roots quickly absorb the moisture from the light rains that occasionally fall. In this way, their fulfill their need for water. A few plants that live in deserts have developed the ability to require less water than most plants in other regions.