Food, Water and Shelter



To gain an appreciation and understanding of similarities and differences


Human geography, health sciences


Cognitive, reflective


One hour


Food, water and shelter are the essentials of life regardless of where people live.  Unfortunately, some people spend all of their time struggling to obtain these essentials.  This activity will enable the participants to recognize the amount of time some families spend just to survive.


The educator will read the story about the Gomez Salinas family from La Praesita,  Mexico and the Mariano de Souza Caldas family fromGuriri, Brazil.

During the readings, participants will make notes regarding food, water and shelter.  These notes will be used during a discussion of the following points:

  1. How much time during the day is spent preparing food, fetching water and building or repairing the shelter?
  2. What conveniences do we have in North America that same time obtaining the bare essentials?
  3. How are the families’ diets and living spaces similar or different?
  4. How could the lifestyles of these families be improved or made easier?

Ask the participants to draw conclusions from this discussion.


Text:  Families of the World

Writing materials


Research what world health organizations are doing to improve living conditions for people in different parts of the world.