Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Little Salt and A Piece of Lime - A Childhood Experience Becomes A Classroom Lesson

I have wanted to have copper polishing on the shelf for the past two years. I finally found all of the materials for two trays - one for grinding salt crystals and the other for the actual copper polishing. I was very happy with how everything looked as I was completing a material list my afternoon assistant Cristina gave me.

Cristina and her siblings spent their childhood summers at her grandmother's home in Colombia. One of her chores was polishing a large copper skillet. As she presented the initial lesson to the children (which seemed appropriate as the work came from her memory not mine and I needed to learn how to do it as much as the children did) she told them how she would use a piece of lime to "write" her name on the bottom of the skillet or leave a message for her brother. She would not polish around her little note so that it stood out and was easily seen by those it was left for. The children were captivated by her story and by her hands as she moved from grinding the salt to squeezing the lime.

I put the photos into a set for you to view at Flickr. Enjoy.

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Hint: The children seem to really enjoy polishing pennies


P.S. Montessori said...

I am insanely envious of this lesson/materials! Do you have any reccomendations for finding beautiful, but inexpensive practical life materials? I have to buy all practical life materials myself (no reimbursements), and my thrifting adventures have been coming up bust lately. Any other ideas?

Susan Y. Dyer said...

I live in Boston and I must admit I stop at the thrifts here a few nights a week. I find things and then over the months I piece them together. I don't get reimbursed either. Thank you for noticing the work I put into preparing a tray. I spend a lot of time looking for just the right things.

Oh...another source that I use for my grammar boxes are old game pieces. These I find also at the thrift in some .99 board game. I look for games that have player pieces that I can put in my phonetic object box.

The thing about Thrift stores though is that you will have a few good trips finding just the right things and the next few months nothing. Hang in there and look for small things. Good luck.

Susan Dyer