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Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Bringing Water to a Village in Lesotho

Water in Africa

Africa, Lesotho
Grades 3-5, Grades K-2
Arts & Music, Environment, Language Arts & Literature, Social Studies & Geography
1-2 class periods

In this lesson, students will learn about the role of water in ceremonies and celebrations around the world, as well as about the role water plays in the daily lives of those living in Lesotho.


Students will

  • Recognize the importance of water to several cultural events.
  • Identify several ways in which water can be collected for use by those in Lesotho.
  • Compare the availability of water in Lesotho to that in their own communities.
  • Catchment: Anything that can be used to collect and store water.
  • Water source: Where your water comes from - a well, lake, river, borehole, ocean, etc.
  • Sesotho: The possessive and adjectival form of “Lesotho.”
  • Mosotho: The word used to refer to an individual who is from Lesotho.
  • Basotho: The word used to refer to two or more people from Lesotho.



  • Examples of Water Acquisition Systems (Find link above)
  • Maps of Lesotho (Find link above)
  • Construction paper, yarn or string, various art supplies



  1. Begin the lesson by asking students to respond to the first essential question, "Where does our water come from?" Start a class discussion on how the students' own community gets the water they use each day. Examples might be a community water tank, surface water from a nearby river, or piped water from a distant source. For younger ages, this is an excellent opportunity to introduce the topic of community resources, and how communities meet their citizens' needs. Many students have never thought of where their water comes from—perhaps they think it merely comes out of the faucet when they turn the knob. All water has a source; help your students to realize where theirs comes from.
  2. Ask the class to locate Lesotho on a classroom map of Africa, pointing out that students will investigate how water is used in Lesotho.
  3. Review the photos of Lesotho with the students, pausing at each one to identify what the people in each photo are doing.
  4. Have the students watch research Lesotho on the internet.  Students should find information illustrating how life in Lesotho is different from life in the United States.
  5. Discuss with students some of the ways in which the Basotho gather the water that they need on a daily basis. These examples can come from what they saw in the photos or the video.
  6. Distribute "Examples of Water Acquisition Systems" (Find link above), "Water Supply Provision Process" (Find link above). Instruct the students that the water acquisition systems are examples of what might be used in African countries.
  7. Review with the students some of the readings by Peace Corps Volunteers who served in Lesotho. These narratives will give the students a good idea of how water is incorporated into special events.
  8. Have the students create a simple mobile to celebrate the importance of water. These can include cut-outs of clouds, raindrops, plants, glasses of water, etc. These can all be connected with yarn or string and suspended from the classroom ceiling as a reminder of how fortunate we are in our access to water resources.


Frameworks & Standards

Essential Questions
  • How do communities find water sources?
  • What are some ways that life in Lesotho differs from life in the United States?

Science Standards:

  • Standard 6: Science and Technology
  • Standard 7: Personal and Social Perspectives

Language Arts Standards:

  • Standard 2: Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.
  • Standard 8: Students use a variety of technological and informational resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
  • Standard 9: Students develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social roles.

Technology Standards:

  • Standard 4: Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility

Geography Standards:

  • Essential Element I: The World in Spatial Terms
  • Essential Element II: Places and Regions
  • Essential Element IV: Humans Systems
  • Essential Element V: Environment and Society

Visual Arts Standards:

  • Standard 1: Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Process
  • Standard 2: Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
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