In just a few weeks, many families will be celebrating Día de los Muertos, an extremely popular holiday in Mexico. Usually, this holiday is not discussed or celebrated in public schools. But since Day of the Dead is becoming increasingly in vogue here in the states, here are some fun activities to keep your kids busy…and learning!
AZCentral.com has a short Teacher Packet with a really great bibliography. The packet is best suited for younger children, and includes coloring pages and some simple activities.
For a more comprehensive unit with 63 pages of activities, vocabulary, etc., that is geared for third year (intermediate) Spanish students, check out Mis Cositas’ themed unit.
If you are looking for a VERY detailed and serious lesson plan for second-graders, take a look at this treasure for teachers. A good, meaty lesson!
• Felt Banner—This looks like so much fun! Break out all those felt scraps and follow the Crafty Chica’s directions for creating your own felt Día de los Muertos banner.
• MexicanSugarSkull.com is the most comprehensive website with detailed instructions for making your own skulls—chocolate (!), sugar, and more. They also sell kits and molds. (I love this site!)
• Shrine on a Stick —Another fun and easy craft from the Crafty Chica. (What can I say? She is the Día de los Muertos diva!) Watch the video for easy step-by-step instructions, as well as ways to modify the craft into other decorative ideas.
COLORING & ACTIVITY PAGES
• Author/Illustrator Yuyi Morales also has a few excellent activities that can be used in conjunction with one of her Trickster books, and there is also a link to a downloadable Teacher’s Guide.
• About.com has a great download for making your own miniature photo frames and banners.
• Celebrate-day-of-the-dead.com—For the more serious artists! This site sells an instant downloadable sugar skull coloring book.
• Los esqueletos —Super cute video that teaches counting in Spanish! Listen for the singer’s Castillian accent.
• Global Wonders —Their short animated video shares what the holiday is all about.
• Día de los Muertos: Young People’s Ofrenda —This is a beautiful short video about a collaborative project of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and El Colegio charter school.
• Viva Calacas —Parents and children both will love this short video from art director and designer Ritxi Ostáriz.