Fetching Water

This has been an exciting week so far! We began a new novel called The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis. It is a story about a 14-year old girl whose life has been drastically changed by the Taliban. Her family once lived in a lavish home complete with all of the modern ammenities. Now, they live in a 10 x 12 one-room apartment with a cupboard and two toshaks. Parvana, the main character, has the chore of getting the water for the family. This is no easy task. She has to take a bucket, walk down three flights of crumbling stairs, walk down the road, get water in the bucket, walk back towards her home, up the flight of stairs, and finally pour the water into the basin. She does this six times in order to fill up the basin.

In order to give a students a glimpse into Parvana's chore, we did a little activity. I got a 5-gallon bucket, put water into it (not completely full because I knew there would be mess on my hands if I filled it all the way to the top). I set up two cones, not too far apart, but far enough that the students would have to work. I lined my students in a line so all could see the person carrying the bucket. The students carried the bucket to the far cone and back to the start. This is all it took for them to realize how fortunate they are and how difficult Parvana's task must have been.

Below are some pictures of a student in my class. I gained permission from his mother to use him on my blog. I love the first picture because he is truly deciding what is going to be the best way to carry the bucket without losing any of the water.

And, of course, the students wanted me to perform the task. I willing did this because I think it is important to participate in the activities I ask my students to do. They loved it!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous week!


  1. I love the first picture of him thinking! It sounds like a great book to explore with the children.

    Teaching Maths with Meaning

  2. It is a great book! We are learning a lot about other cultures and ways of life.