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Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Splish-Splash: Daily Use of Water

Water in Africa

Africa, Ghana, Kenya
Grades 3-5, Grades K-2
Arts & Music, Science, Social Studies & Geography
One to two class periods

This lesson facilitates the students’ understanding of access to water through reading stories from Peace Corps Volunteers who served in Kenya (east Africa region) and Ghana (west Africa region). As part of this lesson, each student will make a book that compares access to water in the United States, Kenya, and Ghana. An overall goal is to develop the students’ understanding of the similarities and differences between water use by people in Kenya and Ghana and their own communities.


Students will

  • Use reading skills to learn about Kenya and Ghana from Peace Corps Volunteers who served there.
  • Use reading skills to see similarities and differences among daily uses of water resources in Africa and the United States.
  • Develop enduring understandings of how water is a valuable resource for life.
  • Create an illustrated narrative that describes how they use water.
  • Rainy season: The time of year when most of the rainfall occurs. The rest of the year is much dryer.
  • Dry season: The time of year when it rarely rains. The rest of the year is much wetter.
  • Africa: one of the largest continents on Earth. It has 53 countries and is known for many things including large deserts and many animals.


  • Water in Africa: Kenya Photo Gallery (find link above)
  • Water in Africa: Ghana Photo Gallery (find link above)
  • Interview: Splish Splash: Narratives from Kenya (find link above)


    1. Write "Our Water" on the board and ask the students where the water in their community comes from.
    2. Explain that they will be learning about how people in the African countries of Kenya or Ghana get their water each day, and looking at how much water they use and how that is different than the amount we use in the United States. This will be done through the use of photos and reading real-life stories from Peace Corps Volunteers in Ghana or Kenya.
    3. Create a short list with your students on how they use water every day.
    4. Using a world map, globe, or textbook, show the class the location of their community, country, and continent. This will help to establish an understanding of the location of students' communities. Write the name of your community, country, and continent on the board for students to read. Show students the location of the continent of Africa. Show them Kenya in east Africa or Ghana in west Africa. Write the name of the country and the continent of Africa on the board for students to read.
    5. Show students the slides of Kenya or Ghana , which illustrate how people in those countries use water on a daily basis. As each image is shown, ask students to describe what they see. Use questions such as:
      1. How are the people in the photos using water in their daily lives?
      2. How is it different for these people in Kenya or Ghana than it is  for you here in America?
      3. What interesting things are the people in the photos doing?
    6. Read aloud the stories from "Daily Use of Water: Stories from Kenya " or the stories from "Daily Use of Water: Stories from Ghana." Discuss the ways each of the Peace Corps communities have access to water, how often it is available, and how that affects their daily lives.
    7. Create a discussion on how we are alike and different in our uses of water. Elicit statements such as, "People in our community, in Kenya , and/or in Ghana all wash our clothes. People in some communities in Africa wash their clothes in buckets of water because they don't have much water."
    8. Have students write a narrative and draw pictures about their understanding of water use in the country studied in this lesson.

Frameworks & Standards

Essential Questions
  • How does weather affect living things?
  • How does where you live affect how you live?
  • Science Standards:
    • Standard F: Personal and Social Perspectives
  • Framework and Standards

    Essential Questions
    • How does your access to water influence the way you live?
    • Why is water valuable?
    • Language Arts:
      • Standard 1: Reading for perspective
      • Standard 2: Understanding the human experience
      • Standard 4: Communication skills
      • Standard 9: Multi-cultural understanding
    • Science:
      • Standard 7: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
    • Visual Arts Standards
      • Standard 1: Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes




  • Art lessons: Using this lesson you can create several art projects around the themes of water conservation, lack of water in Africa, or how we use water. Allow students to create individual pictures, drawings, mobiles, or even a class mural.
  • Presentations: Have the class present their books, or parts of their books, to other classes in the school.


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