Red Trunk Project

sample Oaxaca trunk

Sample Lessons: Molinillo

Support materials:

Mini Docs:
1) The craft of creating a molinillo.
2) How chocolate is grown.
3) How chocolate is made.

  • Shake the artifact, rattle it, twist it, listen to the sounds it makes. Hold it upright and downward. Which is which? How is it used? What is it? Why would a stick have concentric circles loosely fit around one end? How does the form of the object affect its function? Would it work the same if it didn’t have the concentric circles? Does form follow function? Do the carved designs make a difference in the use of the object? Would it matter to the person using the object? How and why might designs matter? Students write a storyboard for how this object is made. Think about the roles that decorations on a utilitarian object might play. (NYS Arts 1; Literacy. W. 3.1)
  • Compare the two versions of this artifact. How do they differ? Do the differences in overall form make a difference in the function? How do the raw materials differ? How might students explain the contrasting techniques for making this artifact? Why do students think this occurs? Are there other examples of regional differences on the same objects in the Trunk? E.g. Huipiles may have the same shape but look at the designs. Can students think of something similar in their own lives?   (NYS SS 3.1; 3.3; 3.4; 3.5; 3.6; SS Practices A, D)
  • Show students a wooden dowel, as thick a diameter as you can fine. How do you think these artifacts were made? What other raw material might it be made from? What other kitchen utensils are made of wood? Why might wood be better for different cooking activities?   (NYS SS 3.3; SS Practices A, D)
  • See if students can find implements like this one from other parts of the world. What are they made from? What foods are prepared with them? How are they similar? Are the hand motions for using them the same? Why?  (NYS SS 3.5; 3.6)
  • Have students create a miniature molinillo with a pencil or other small, round stick. On the eraser end, have students tightly wrap rubber bands or pipe cleaners. Students should wrap enough to give the pencil some weight in the same way that the concentric circles do. Try spinning the pencil. Does it need more weight to feel as if it could be a mixer? What might they add to give the weight? E.g. washers, carpenter’s metal nuts. What is the function of the weight on one end of the molinillo? (NYS Arts 1, 2)

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Red Trunk Project

Red Trunk Project

Red Trunk Project

Red Trunk Project®

Red Trunk Project