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Activity 4.1 Class 10 Science – Carbon and its Compounds

Activity 4.1 in Chapter 4 of the NCERT Class 10 Science book

Activity 1.4 is a straightforward and interesting exercise. It encourages students to discover how carbon compounds are found all around them in their daily lives. It helps students realize the importance of carbon compounds, also known as organic compounds, in our everyday life.

Activity 4.1 Class 10 Science


This activity aims to help students recognize the widespread presence of carbon compounds in everyday objects and materials.


The activity begins with students making a list of ten items they have used or consumed since the morning. This list is then compiled with those made by their classmates, and the items are sorted into a table. If there are items made up of more than one material, they are placed into the relevant columns of the table. The table includes three categories: items made of metal, items made of glass/clay, and others.

Here’s an example of how the table might look:

Things made of metalThings made of glass/clayOthers
Mobile phoneWatchBook
FridgeTest tubeBottle
FanMirrorWashing machine
Nail cutter Bag
Scissors Cloth
  Wood door & windows

Discussion and Conclusion

The activity leads to an important realization:

  • A large number of things we use daily, including various food items, are made up of compounds of carbon.
  • These carbon compounds are called organic compounds.
  • This vast presence of organic compounds signifies their importance in our life.

Questions for Reflection

  1. What properties of carbon allow it to form a multitude of compounds?
  2. Can petroleum and fossil fuels be classified as carbon compounds?
  3. What are some common examples of carbon compounds in our daily life?
  4. How does the property of catenation in carbon contribute to the diversity of organic compounds?

Answers to Reflection Questions

  1. Carbon has a unique ability to form strong covalent bonds with other carbon atoms and with atoms of other elements. This is due to its four valence electrons, which allow it to form four covalent bonds.
  2. Yes, both petroleum and fossil fuels are classified as carbon compounds. They are primarily composed of hydrocarbons, which are compounds made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. These hydrocarbons can exist in various forms, such as gases, liquids, or solids, depending on their molecular structure.
  3. Common examples of carbon compounds in our daily life include
    • carbon dioxide (exhaled by humans and animals),
    • glucose (a primary source of energy for our bodies),
    • cellulose (found in plants and vegetables), and
    • various hydrocarbons like methane (found in natural gas) and petrol.
  4. Catenation is the ability of an atom to form bonds with other atoms of the same element. It is especially strong in carbon, which can form long chains, branched chains, and rings of carbon atoms. This property leads to the formation of a vast number of compounds. Many of these compounds also contain atoms of other elements, most commonly hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus. This leads to an even greater diversity of organic compounds.

This activity serves as a stepping stone towards understanding the fundamental role of carbon in the world around us. It sets the stage for a deeper exploration into the world of carbon and its compounds, which is the focus of Chapter 4 in the NCERT Class 10 Science book.

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