Education

Water Wagon Drawn by Three Mules, Mexico, 1928


Historical Context
Mexico is often thought of as a hot, dry country.  While it is true that much of Mexico lacks enough precipitation during at least part of the year, the climate in Mexico ranges from the extreme temperatures of the northern deserts to tropical rainforest in the south.  Mexico also has a diverse landscape.  While much of the population lives in the large central plateau, the country also has high mountains, volcanoes, and spectacular beaches, as well as desert and tropical rainforest.
Essential Question
How does geography influence culture and economy?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain the role of geography in the development of culture and economy.
[click to enlarge]
Document Description
A water wagon drawn by three mules in a Mexican village, January 1928.
Questions
  1. From looking at the photograph, what do you think the climate is like at this location? 
  2. What do you think the man in the photograph might do for a living?
  3. What is the Spanish word for the animals in the photograph?
  4. Is this a good way to transport water?
  5. What other ways could water have been transported in 1904?
  6. What might this water be used for?
  7. Compare the buildings in this photograph to the homes in the photographs "Homes of Lower Income Mexicans, circa 1920s" and "House of Sun-Dried Brick, 1904."
Historical Challenge
Research ways humans have transported water throughout history. Create a poster or collage showing some of these methods.
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: If a milk jug holds about one gallon, estimate how many gallons of water could fit into the barrel in the photograph. Convert your answer into liters.
Science: What force/s cause the water to come out of the barrel?
Science: How is irrigation used in Mexico?
Resources
  1. Goodwin, William. Mexico (Modern Nations of the World). San Diego: Lucent, 1999.
  2. Heinrichs, Ann. Mexico (A True Book). Danbury: Children's Press, 1997.
  3. Jermyn, Leslie, and Mary-Jo Reilly. Mexico (Cultures of the World). New York: Benchmark, 2002.
  4. http://www.kidskonnect.com/Mexico/MexicoHome.html
  5. http://www.mexonline.com/history.htm
  6. http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/specials/goplaces/0,12405,176090,00.html