Bamboo, the wonder grass

Sujata C

In 1945, when the atomic bomb flattened Hiroshima, one of the few living things closest to the bombed region that survived the annihilation was the bamboo.

Thomas Alva Edison’s inspiration for the filament of the bulb came from the smouldering embers of a campfire when he was watching a splinter of bamboo glow in the dark night.

For Alexander Graham Bell the tough and flexible bamboo strip was the perfect choice for the gramophone needle.

Bamboo Bamboo, a woody grass known to be the fastest growing plant on earth, has many sobriquets to its credit. In India it is known as the poor man’s timber, for the farmer it is green gold. The Chinese affectionately call it the friend of the people. The Japanese call it the miracle plant. The Vietnamese go a step further and call bamboo a brother. For scientists bamboo is the new green plastic.

The subject of bamboo is well suited for an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning. It has a natural scope for integration and you can also develop smaller thematic units for enhanced learning. There are so many aspects to bamboo that transcend curriculum boundaries and make links between disciplines like geography, history, social sciences, food, medicine, arts, sports, science and even technology! Like all integrated teaching projects you can break this project up under different heads like knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, extension and evaluation. The learning experience will be stimulating and the results will be better as the possibilities for learning beyond the classroom are many.

The author is a freelance writer based in Hyderabad. She can be reached at

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