Apr 4, 2007

Things on sticks, stones, and treasure troves

Here's a jicama lollipop, folks! Called a jicaleta here in Mexico, a slice of jicama is covered with mango chile and plopped on a popsicle stick. Yum. This was my lunch.

Today I had a leisurely walk into town in search of odds and ends for my classroom. This week is Semana Santa, or Holy Week, and the town is just buzzing with tourists who come to see the rituals of the native Tarahumara. Most of the tourists, both from within Mexico and from abroad, come in tomorrow. The good part about living here is that I have inside knowledge that the artisans start selling their wares today, before the masses encroach. Here's what I found:

1.) An awesome wooden tray in the form of an apple. Ooooh! This will go so well with the little apple apron I made during my training!
2.) A "minute-glass" for use in a meditation exercise that I read about in Aline Wolf's "Nurturing the Spirit of the Child in Non-Sectarian Classrooms." I read the Spanish version, which was uplifting and full of practical ideas. It comes highly recommended.
3.) A hand-woven pine needle basket that smells scrumptious.

4.) A hand-carved, wooden kitty bowl! This wasn't actually for sale, as it was holding stones, but I made them sell it to me. (By being nice, of course!) What use does something like this have but in my classroom?

5.) A pretty, hand-painted, sliding box. It's actually a set of dominos at the moment, but that can be remedied.
6.) A squirrel, hand-carved by the father of one of my former Tarahumara students.
7.) A miniature watering can made of oxidized copper.

8.) And something for me! You might have heard that Mexico is known for its silversmiths. Here's a great example - this necklace is made with amber and a bit of turquoise. The artisans travel from all over Mexico to come to Creel for Easter. It was hard to choose which one I wanted! Plus, I love wearing jewelry with real stones in the classroom. The children ask what it is, and I tell them a little "cultural story" about the name of the stone, where it is found, and how it was formed. (Hey, an advantage to having a geologist for a dad!) The older ones think it's pretty cool.

I'm off to make some more music materials. You might have guessed, but I am trying to put together my entire music curriculum over this Easter break. Expect more fun materials and downloads, such as Definition Stages for orchestral instrument families!

Un abrazo (a hug),

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Meg,
I have just found your site, it is great, I love all the handmade things you have, it has inspired me to try and put a bit of time aside each day to try and make everything that little more special.
I also have to give you a big thank you for the music downloads, they are exactly what I have been looking for. I have a 20mth old boy who loves music and I wanted to widen the variety he listens too. He especially likes the African music with heavy drum beats, he is bopping around the living room as I type!
I have some great Japanese tracks, two brothers who give a modern twist on the traditional shimasen, if you would like a copy please let me know how I can send them to you.
All the best,
Jo (Montessori mom and in training 3-6 program)