Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd in southern and central Mexico and around the world. The day is set aside to celebrate, reunite and remember the dead and features skeletons, altars and skull decor. Altars with food offerings, flowers and gifts adorn the homes of the people celebrating this holiday with parties and family gatherings
The Day of the Dead allows you to take a look inside a different culture and incorporate some immersive activities designed to further your students’ knowledge of world history and culture. Depending on the age of your students and what you have been studying, Dia de los Muertos allows you to discuss how grief and mourning are celebrated in different cultures and how Mexico differs from the US customs we are most familiar with.
Dia de los Muertos Classroom Activities & Games
The holiday also allows you to incorporate lessons about the country of Mexico itself, the Spanish language and even explore some of the art and science related to the holiday. If you have students or families who celebrate the holiday, then including it in your teaching lineup ensures that these individuals don’t feel overlooked or left out. There are several ways to incorporate the Day of the Dead into your classroom activities, once you’ve given some background and the basics, including:
Spanish Language Activities
Depending on the age of your group and if they have had any Spanish classes, you can incorporate the language by using song, poetry or simple Spanish language games and labeling activities. More advanced classes can pick up some extra vocabulary that relates to the holiday and learn more about the impact Dia de los Muertos has had on Mexico’s culture.
Sugar Skull Activities
Learning about sugar skulls and their role in Day of the Dead celebrations makes it easy to incorporate the skulls themselves into an art project. Whether you make sugar skull masks, create colorful 3D art or actually make the traditional candy skulls in class, art is a natural extension of the lesson.
Take advantage of the fun and vibrant skeletons displayed so prominently on the Day of the Dead and incorporate them into an anatomy lesson about bones and the human body for science. From skeleton puzzles to labeling and assembly activities, hands-on can make learning about the skeletal system fun.
More Celebrations & Seasons Ideas for the Classroom
If you’re looking for more inspiration to bring other cultures and celebrations into your classroom, head over to the Celebrations & Themes specialty shop to find all the decor and arts & crafts supplies you need to make it happen! Also be sure to visit the Autumn blog tag page to find more ideas for Fall activities and classroom decor.