NCERT Class 7 Geography Human Environment

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Human Environment Settlement,

Transport and Communication

In Chapter 1 you have learnt that early human beings depended entirely on nature for food, clothing and shelter; but with time they learnt new skills to grow food, build homes and develop better means of transport and communication. In this way they modified the environment where they lived.

Settlements are places where people build their homes. Early human beings lived on trees and in caves. When they started to grow crops it became necessary to have a permanent home. The settlements grew near the river valleys as water was available and land was fertile. With the development of trade, commerce and manufacturing, human settlements became larger. Settlement flourished and civilizations developed near river valleys. Do you recall the names of civilization that grew along the banks of rivers Indus, Tigris, Nile and Hwang-He.

Settlements can be permanent or temporary. Settlements which are occupied for a short time are called temporary settlements. The people living in deep forests, hot and cold deserts and mountains often dwell in such temporary settlements. They practice hunting, gathering, shifting cultivation and transhumance. However more and more settlements today are permanent settlements. In these settlements, people build homes to live in.

It was Mary’s birthday party. She and her friends were waiting for Gurpreet to arrive so that Mary could cut the cake. At last Gurpreet arrived- tired, coughing and wheezing. She explained that the traffic jam was terrible. Mary’s mother Mrs.Thomas patted Gurpreet’s back and sighed, “Oof! The pollution in our city!” Prasad had recently come from his village. He asked, “Why do we have such traffic jams and such pollution in the cities?” “The number of vehicles is increasing day by day due to the growing population in the cities”, Mary’s father, Mr. Thomas replied.

Mary asked, “Then why are people coming to the cities?” Her mother replied, “They come looking for jobs, better education and medical facilities.” Mary further enquired, “If so many people keep coming to cities, where will all the people live?” Mr. Thomas said, “That is why you see so many slums and squatter settlements where people stay in congested and unhygienic conditions. Shortage ofpower and water supply are common problems in the cities”. Prasad said, “Our villages may not have big cinema halls, well-equipped schools and good hospitals, but we have lot of open spaces and fresh air to breathe in. When my grandfather was sick we had to rush him to the city hospital.”

From the above conversation we can identify two different pictures of settlements – the rural and the urban settlements. The villages are rural settlement where people are engaged in activities like agriculture, fishing, forestry, crafts work and trading etc. Rural settlements can be compact or scattered. A compact settlement is a closely built area of dwellings, wherever flat land is available (Fig. 7.2). In a scattered settlement dwellings are spaced over an extensive area. This type of settlement is mostly found in hilly tracts, thick forests, and regions of extreme climate (Fig. 7.3).


1. Answer the following questions.

(i) What are the four means of transport?

(ii) What do you understand by the term ‘settlement’?

(iii) Which are the activities practised by the rural people?

(iv) Mention any two merits of railways.

(v) What do you understand by communication?

(vi) What is mass media?

2. Tick the correct answer.

(i) Which is NOT a means of communication?

(a) telephone   (b) books   (c) table

(ii) Which type of road is constructed under the ground?

(a) fly over    (b) expressways    (c) subways

(iii) Which mode of transport is most suitable to reach an island?

(a) ship     (b) train      (c) car

(iv) Which vehicle does not pollute the environment

(c) cycle   (b) bus    (c) airplane

3. Give reasons.

(i) Today’s world is shrinking.

4. For fun.

(i) Conduct a survey in your locality and find out how people commute to their respective workplaces using –

(a) more than two modes of transport

(b) more than three modes of transport

(c) stay within walking distance.

(ii) Mention which mode of communication you will prefer most in the following situations –

(a) Your grandfather has suddenly fallen ill. How will you inform the doctor?

(b) Your mother wants to sell the old house. How will she spread this news?

(c) You are going to attend the marriage of your cousin for which you will be absent from the school for the next two days. How will you inform the teacher?

(d) Your friend has moved out with his/her family to New York. How willyou keep in touch on a daily basis?

Please refer to attached file for NCERT Class 7 Geography Human Environment



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