Tag Archives: la llorona

All the Books…


ImageI have spent the day walking up and down the stairs of my 3 story townhouse, moving books and other things around.  My goal for this year is to get everything where it should be, then to get rid of what is not necessary. I haven’t finished my mission statement yet, but I figured it couldn’t be “to get rid of all of the crap I have hoarded over the years.” But it actually is sort of going to be that… More later.

Right now, I am just corralling all of the things I have in separate areas. After I have done that, I am going to really get to work. The first thing I have done is to organize most of my books. I love books. I have kept books from childhood. I have bought books for projects, for my students to read, and for study. When I am in Mexico, I buy books. I have an Amazon Prime account, so you know I have a problem.

I have gotten a little bit better. I check books out at the library, and listen to books on CD in the car. But, sometimes, even though I am listening to that book, I have to buy it. Either I have to know what is going to happen next, and don’t want to drive around Atlanta one more time… Or I decide that the book is a keeper and I have to own it.

I have a couple of places where my books reside. One is a large armoire that has been in my family for years. It is a pain in the TAIL to move, especially to put together. This is a piece of furniture meant to be disassembled and reassembled for transport, so I don’t know why it is so difficult.

But it is beautiful, and it holds a lot of books. Mostly cookbooks and diet books. I am going to rid myself of many of those. I added one milk crate because there are a couple of gaps. There are knick knacks. I put some file boxes at the bottom. It looks good. Now I have room in other places for more stuff.

One other thing: the doors are not hung properly, and they don’t close. I solved that, finally.have 3 iron finials in the shape of fleur de lis. They are keeping it closed for Imagenow.

The other place I have books is in the closet of my upstairs guestroom. This is where I keep most of my children’s books. I have YA novels I bought to interest my older middle school students in reading. I have my collection of folk tales and all the story books I could find about La Llorona. I have books from my studies in Oaxaca, as well as picture books in Spanish and Mexican indigenous languages.

ImageTwo collections have not realised their potential as of yet. I have both the Magic Tree House and the Time Warp Trio Series, because I had an idea about using them to help my students do research. You would be surprised at how many of my ELL students favor these books. I usually encourage them to read something more age appropriate, but then I thought I might work with it. I was able to stop myself from buying all of the You Wouldn’t Want… Series from England, but only because I had not used the other books yet. The project has not happened yet.

I also have a dream about students researching famous Spanish-speaking people and creating a Day of the Dead shrine about them. I have a large collection of children’s books about people like Frida Kahlo, Antonio Gaudi, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, etc. that I have been keeping for that purpose. It hasn’t happened yet.

Both of those are things I plImagean to remedy this year. Wait and see.

Finally, I have a stair chest in my bathroom with a small collection of childhood favorites, such as my Marguerite Henry classics and my Trixie Belden series. I also have other books in there… And, yes, I have wondered if a bathroom is really a good place to keep books.

So, there you have it. I have come out of the closet about being a book nut. Interestingly enough, the books are back behind closed doors. Oh, I have another small collection of craft books and magazines in my studio downstairs, but they are not ready for prime time yet.


Honk If You’ve Seen La Llorona…


I have been cleaning up my studio and office and re-arranging my wall decoration.  I have all sorts of posters and things up there.  One of the things I came across was this bumper sticker.

la llorona bumper sticker

I know it’s not big, but I cannot currently use my scanner, so I had to go out on the web to get an image.  I have not put the bumper sticker on my car (yet), but I bought it because it is so different.  I bought mine on a visit to Houston, Texas at Casa Ramirez in the Heights.

At the time, I had done a lot of research on La Llorona for one of my lesson plans (here is the blog post) and recognized the illustration from Joe Hayes’ book.  I bought it a while ago on Amazon.com, but the book and the bumper sticker can be found at Cinco Puntos Press, Mr. Hayes’ publisher.  Here is the cover from the book:

la llorona joe hayes bookI believe his story is set in New Mexico.  I thought that it was interesting that the story is available on VHS and DVD.  I wonder if it is narrated by Joe Hayes, showing the pages from the book, or if it is a live performance that has been videotaped.  Oh, the illustrator is Vicki Trego Hill.

I may have to do a La Llorona themed poster for my CafePress Shop.

La Llorona


I often think of ideas a little too late.  Now, for Day of the Dead,  I was right on time (for this year) with the faux sugar skulls we made last week.  During some of my down time, I was looking through one of my many MANY story books I have bought over the past couple of years.  In two of my books, The Day It Snowed Tortillas and Creepy Creatures and Other Cucuys, there were two different stories about La Llorona.  I mentioned her to my students, and they were ready to jump in with information and second-hand accounts. It occurred to me that we could read the stories I had found together.

Then, two things happened:  I hit Google for research and I attended a short session about using Thinking Maps.  I realized that there are more than one account of the Legend of La Llorona and thought that my classes could do some activities using some of the mind maps I now had.  So, tomorrow, I am going to break my classes into groups of two or three and attempt the first activity.

First, we are going to use a Circle Map, which is used to help define a thing or idea. It is used to brainstorm ideas and for showing prior knowledge about a topic.  I have one class of 10 students in particular that this is meant for.  Half of the students in the class are Mexican.  The remaining students are Brazilian (4) and African (1).  I plan on pairing up the Mexicans with the non-Mexicans and having them discuss all that they know or have heard about the Legend of La Llorona.  I have some questions to help them with their brainstorming:

  1. Who is La Llorona?
  2. What does she do?
  3. Why does she do this?
  4. What does she look like?
  5. Where does she hang out?
  6. Do you know of any sightings of La Llorona?
  7. Are there any similar stories that you have heard? (This is for students from other cultures)

After we have discussed what they have found out, I plan on having the students watch the video clip I found from Hometown Tales.  I also have an audio clip from NPR about the story and the song of La Llorona.  That is about 10 minutes, barring technical difficulties.  If I have time tonight, I will come up with some “guiding questions” to keep them focused.  I have a couple of other audio and video clips, but I may wait to use those later.  I may also see if I can find a translation of the Spanish lyrics to the song.

Day Two, we will split up again into groups.  I will give each group different versions of the legend that I have found.  They will read them aloud to each other, and then create a Flow Map on chart paper of the plot of the story that they have.  I can even have different classes do different versions.  I will put the different charts up for comparison.  Later, we can use a Double Bubble Map or a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast different stories.

That’s all I have for now.  Other days could include personal accounts, alternate versions of the story where La Llorona is not a killer.

Below is a list of the resources I have found so far on the Internet.

General information:
Wikipedia.com – includes versions of the legend in other Latin American countries.
Handbook of Texas Online
University of Texas resource – great article with illustrations
New Mexico.org
Legends of America – legends,different Southwest versions, and personal accounts
The Many Legends of La Llorona by C. F. Eckhardt
From Ambergris Cay – Belize legends
The Legend of La Llorona – PDF of a great article by Paul Harden.  Also includes Modern Day La Lloronas…

La Llorona.com – this is the website for The Cry, which was a movie made about La Llorona in 2006 or 2007.  Included is a “timeline” of La Llorona, which seems to me to be a little “Blair Witch” -ish. There is a list of Modern Day La Lloronas – or women who have killed their children (lovely!), similar stories from history and other cultures.  I haven’t looked at the interviews and personal accounts yet, but it looks interesting.

Online versions of the story:
The Joe Hayes version
The Lee Paul version
Another version by Robert Paul Medrano
Two short versions from Spooky Southwest
Mexican version from Aleina Domecq translated by Ilan Stavans – border/coyote story
Obiwan’s UFO-Free Paranormal Page – has several versions of the story, including a German version.  Also, an interesting version with a twist – La Llorona’s bargain with the Devil!
Version by Paulette Atencio
Another Version by storyteller Mary Grace – actually, this is very similar to the Lois Lowery leveled reader
Mexico City Style Story – just found this one last night!
The Wheel Council – with counseling notes for discussion

Rudolfo Anaya:
In addition to the children’s book, Maya’s Children: The Legend of La Llorona, Rudolfo Anaya has short novel called The Legend of La LloronaHere is a lesson plan unit on La Llorona based on this book.  There is even a three act opera version that Anaya helped to adapt.

What’s in a Song?: It’s Mourning in America – this is NPR piece about the folk song.  It is pretty awesome!  There is a narrator that sings the song in the background and also explains the legend.  Also available at Western Folk Life.  It runs 3 minutes and 36 seconds.

La Llorona: An Evolving Myth – A special collaboration between National Radio Project and the U-C Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, student producer Beth Hoffman brings us a look at the myth of La Llorona as told in Oakland, California today, and tells how its meaning has grown and changed over time. It runs 29 minutes and may not keep the attention of some students.

Sibelius.com – instrumental version of song La Llorona

The Compulsive Traveler – Lila Downs performs La Llorona.  The version is a little slow – it’s not supposed to be an upbeat song…  The Video has images of the artist singing, superimposed on landscapes.  Is she supposed to be La Llorona?  It’s also over 5 minutes long.

Hometown Tales: The Legend of La Llorona – An interesting short piece about the legend in Santa Fe, NM.  It was not easy to find a version that is not on YouTube, which is blocked by our school’s firewall.  About 6 minutes long.

Children’s Books:
Prietita and The Ghost Woman by Gloria Anzaldua and Maya Christina Gonzalez.  A kinder, gentler Llorona… Includes an MP3 of a little girl reading the story.

The Day it Snowed Tortillas by Joe Hayes and Antonio Castro Lopez- has a short version of the La Llorona story as well as a sighting story. Cinco Puntos Publishing also puts out The Legend of La Llorona, an illustrated solo book of the story and Two Scary Folktales: La Llorona vs El Cucuy on Audio CD.

The Tale of La Llorona by Linda Lowery, Richard Keep, and Janice Lee Porter- from a leveled reading series called On My Own Folklore – Lexile Level is 460.

Maya’s Children: The Story of La Llorona by Rudolfo Anaya and Maria Baca.

My Land Sings: Stories from the Rio Grande by Rudolfo Anaya and Amy Cordova- anthology that includes a version called Lupe and La Llorona.

Mexican Ghost Tales of the Southwest: Stories and Illustrations by Alfred Avila and Kat Avila. This version has La Llorona offing her kids because they keep asking for food…

Little Herman Meets La Llorona by Judith S. Beatty, Edward G. Kraul, and Jose Gomez.

La Llorona: Encounters With the Weeping Woman by Judith S. Beatty

Creepy Creatures and Other Cucuys by Xavier Garza – Has two La Llorona stories – one a legend and one a sighting.