Intangible Cultural Heritage Lesson Plan: Tonga Proverbs on Water

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Sustainability Starts with Teachers’ is an innovative UNESCO-led capacity-building programme for southern African teacher educators in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), Primary and Secondary Education, and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) from 11 countries. It responds to regional sustainable development concerns and opportunities, the Africa 2063 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). As a direct outcome of this project, ‘culture-specific’ resource material for teachers was developed, aiming at providing teachers with practical tools on how to integrate living heritage in the classroom.

4 lesson plans have been co-developed with the insights of teachers who have piloted them in their classrooms.

In this lesson, students from grade 8th-10th will reflect on the meaning of water as expressed through indigenous proverbs of Southern Africa. The proverbs selected for this activity come from oral history studies of Tonga, which is an ethnic group based in Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Malawi. Teachers are encouraged, where feasible, to complement the proverbs used in this activity and include additional proverbs that might resonate especially well with their class’s context.

The students will specifically reflect on these proverbs and draw on their own personal knowledge of proverbs from other ethnic groups to reflect on topical and thematic similarities. They will also analyze proverbs individually and in groups to reflect on the significance of water in the Southern African context as a chosen symbol of meaning. Additionally, the students are urged to make connections between indigenous proverbs and life today.

To explore the other lessons plans developed under the same project, click on the links below:

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Sustainability Starts with Teachers