Slums in Mumbai:


A Lesson Plan for Teachers

Local History Lesson
Class 8th

Aerial view, Source: Google Images


The lesson plan is designed for students living in Dharavi to know more about their locality and learn their version of the history of Dharavi.
Number of Days : 2 1/2 lectures + 1/2 field trip
Duration of Lectures : 30 mins

Learning Objective

By the end of the course students should be able to:
- Define what slums are, how they fit into urban settings.
- Explain the reasons of slum formation and have a critical dialogue on pros and cons.
- Know where the residents of the slum come (migration) from and what they do (occupation).

Day 1

Curriculum: Spatial Understanding of Dharavi, Definition of a Slum
Type : Class Exercise
Duration : 30 mins

Pretest :

Duration: 5 mins

What is a Slum?

The teacher looks for keywords like poor, city, urban, unclean, dirty, sanitation, slumdog millionaire, zhopdi etc. The teacher builds a definition of slums from the students’ answers.

Class Reading :

Duration: 10 mins
Reading Material: Student Handout

  • Definition of slums
  • Facts on Density, Population, Sectors

Class Exercise :

Duration: 10 mins

Ask students where they live and point it out on an A1 size map. Write the students’ names at the location of their homes. Use post its if necessary.

Example for the Class Exercise, Base Image Source : SRA

Homework :

Ask students to talk to their parents about where they came from and get old photographs of them and their surroundings.

Day 2

Curriculum: Occupations, Migration
Type : Class Exercise
Duration : 30 mins

Teacher assignment :

Collect old photographs of Dharavi. The photographs can also be a part of the teacher’s kit to be used for multiple classes.

Class Exercise :

Duration: 15 mins

Use the same map as the previous day. In addition to the students’ names, attach photographs brought by the students and the teacher on the map to the respective locations. Also write the occupation of the students’ parents on a different color of post it and paste it on the map.

Example for the Class Exercise, Base Image Source : SRA

Class Reading :

Duration: 10 mins
Reading Material: Student Handout

  • Occupations in Dharavi
  • Migration in Dharavi

Homework :

Read about the History of Dharavi from the notes.

Day 3

Curriculum: History of Dharavi, Occupations
Type : Field trip
Duration : 1 day

Field Trip

Duration: 4 hours

The teacher uses the same map created by the students and takes them from a point from where Dharavi started sprawling towards the interiors. Pointing out the old photographs of places and giving references from the previous class’s homework.

Presentation :

Duration: 2 hours

Each student talks about their new findings about their locality for 5 mins. They can use the map as a prop.
At the end of Day 2, the teacher hands out photographs of the map created by the students.

Teachers’ Resources

The teacher can print out the following material directly to be used as kit for the instruction.

Link to Printable Lesson Plan

Student Handout

A separate handout of general information of the lesson planned to be given to students. This handout includes the reading material for the classes and links for further reading.

Photographs of Dharavi

The teacher can print the following images directly for the class exercise on Day 2.

Map of Dharavi
The teacher may print out the map of Dharavi on an A1 sized paper for the class exercises.
Link to the map

 by the author.



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