Throughout the eighth-grade social studies curriculum, students examine many different facets of human rights. For example, as part of a unit on India, students explored the idea of access to water as an economic right and its impact on people’s lives. Millions of people in the world suffer from the effects of water poverty – insufficient access to clean safe water. In addition to reading, discussing and journaling about the topic, students were also very interested to participate in a water walk activity in God’s Acre.
Water weighs a little over eight pounds per gallon – which put our bright orange buckets at approximately 40 pounds! However, many students remarked that the weight was not as much of a challenge as was keeping the bucket balanced on their head since the water inevitably sloshed around while they walked. Good posture and a steady gait were essential to success in this activity! Thankfully, Mrs. Bulman was ready with some handy “head pillows” to help make life a little easier.
The activity was a fun break from the classroom, but the students took the lesson quite seriously. Walking a few feet on a level paved path is no comparison to walking several miles to a river or well, a reality faced by many women and girls in some parts of the world. Furthermore, all their hard work would barely have yielded enough water for their own personal needs, much less so for a big family. Many students have remarked since that the water walk was the most important activity they’ve had in class this year.