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Tikho's Story: A Quest for Clean Water in Zambia



Tikho’s Story is an authentic tale about water and sanitation issues from a youth perspective. Tikho is a young girl from Zambia, whose community is working to improve its access to safe drinking water. The slideshow includes short videos made by the young Zambian Tikho, providing students with a glimpse into daily life without easy access to clean water. The resource includes a multi-media presentation, curriculum-linked lessons plans, card sorting games, posters, and action sheets.  The resource activities encourage students to take action within their own community on global or local water issues.

Students will:

  • play a game that helps them evaluate practices related to water and sanitation both locally and globally.
  • compare water and sanitation in their community with a community in Zambia
  • explain the connections between safe drinking water, sanitation, and health
  • discuss positive and negative practices related to water and sanitation
  • brainstorm possible actions that will address water and sanitation issues.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • communicating
  • sharing ideas


  • An authentic story about global water and sanitation issues from a youth perspective.
  • The slideshow and videos aim to break down stereotypes and foster cross-cultural understanding.
  • The activities are age-appropriate and can be adapted for other levels.
  • The resource provides students with informative facts about children's basic needs.
  • The resource is well-organized and easy to use.


  • Should include an authentic action project
  • Should include some assessment tools such as rubrics
  • No modification of materials for students with learning difficulties

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (1)

    • Community-Building and Participation
  • Human Health & Environment (1)

    • Environmental Contaminants & Health Hazards
  • Water (2)

    • Water Quality
    • Water Treatment and Distribution

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good
  • Students learn that many children are denied access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. The resource helps students develop a view of the world around them and learn about basic needs and rights. The students are not influenced to adopt any particular point of view and are encouraged to help make a difference.
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good
  • The questions provided to guide the student discussions effectively introduce the social and environmental dimensions of the importance of safe drinking water and sanitation.
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good
  • Students gain a better understanding of the problems children around the world must overcome to have acces to clean water and basic sanitation.
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Good
  • The resource offers the opportunity to discuss different types of action that students can take at home, in school and in the community to address water and sanitation. The resource provides a Take Action Worksheet which directs students to actions of their choice and offers a template for their planning, but it does not explicitly support an authentic action experience.
Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Good
  • The sorting activity and the reflection questions provide the students with the opportunity to express their values.
Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good
  • Tikho's Story is one of empowerment to help break down stereotypes and foster cross-cultural understanding. Students learn about water and sanitation from the perspective of Tikho, a young girl from Zambia. They compare water and sanitation in their community and a community in Zambia.
Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Poor/Not considered
  • Not considered in this resource
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good
  • Students compare water and sanitation in their community and a community in Zambia. They have an opportunity to brainstorm possible actions that will address water and sanitation issues.
Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good
  • Students discuss the importance of safe water and sanitation, and learn how a community in Zambia is working to ensure they have access to these basic needs.
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good

The activities are structured so that multiple answers are possible. The activities present many opportunities for open discussion and sharing of opinions.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good

Topics in Science, Social Studies and Language Arts are addressed.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Satisfactory
  • Students are provided with some thought-provoking questions for discussion.
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.


Differentiated Instruction Satisfactory
  • The resource provides a variety of discussion and brainstorming activities, done individually or as a group assignment.
Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Satisfactory

An authentic story about global water and sanitation issues from a youth perspective.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory

Students work in groups

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Good

Reflective questions and activities are suggested to gather information about students' learning.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory

Students suggest ways to promote action locally and globally.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good

The activities are based on an authentic account of global water and sanitation issues in Zambia.

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Good
  • Students are encouraged to make a difference in whatever way appeals to them, local or global issues, fundraising or awareness, it's their choice.
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.