For those of you getting ready for El día de los muertos, here’s a project I do with my 1B’s. If you search el día de los muertos on my blog, you’ll find even more resources. Hope you find it useful!
When I teach cultural topics I like for the students to create something from the target culture or from their experience in lessons, that way it wasn’t just a “cultural Friday” type of activity. For el día de los muertos, I have the students create altars or ofrendas in honor of a deceased Hispanic celebrity. It’s great because not only do the students learn about a famous Hispanic they get to experience hands on (to some extent) the process that goes into making an ofrenda for someone who has passed away.
The first thing I have them do is research a deceased Hispanic celebrity. Students get a person from a list I have created at random. They then research where the person was from, about their life and why they were famous. After learning about el día de los muertos, I then present the project to them. I show them images of the shoebox ofrendas previous classes have made and explain to them that they will create an ofrenda for the person they studied. Their task is to not only create an ofrenda, but create it in honor of that person- thinking about what items they can place on the altars that really represent their person of study. Here are some examples!
What do they need to make the ofrendas? They need a shoebox and some creativity! Some students buy little scrapbooking stickers, use clay, toys, and images to use on their altar. The flowers they use are usually from a craft store and they some how find battery powered candles to put there too (since I won’t allow the real thing). The final product is what you see in the slideshow, plus they do a small write up of who their person was and why they put what they put on their altar.
Here is my TPT for this project.
Do you do something special to celebrate el día de los muertos?
El día de los muertos is in just a few short weeks! I do this mini-unit with my 1B’s and they love it because they get to do so many neat activities.
To get things started I created a webquest for the students to do online. The site I use for the quest is great since it gives a great overview of the holiday, has some videos and great images.
Here is the webquest I use- on TPT
I then plan on reviewing the quest with them and showing them a few videos to prompt discussion about what this day is really like and how it is NOT like Halloween. Here are some of the videos I use. These are in English, but I teach level one and finding cultural videos in Spanish they can comprehend at their level is hard to do.
I found a great song on http://www.colby.edu/~bknelson/SLC/ofrendas/teachers.php
I looked for it on youtube and found it! It’s called Ofrendas, by Pedro Guerra. The video is amazing as it has so many visuals you can discuss with your students in the Target Language.
Here is the song – on TPT
Another activity I do is an A/B cultural information gap activity. Similar to what you might use to practice vocabulary, but with culture. Here it is.
I also do this ofrenda project each year! The students love it!
What resources do you use to teach the Day of the Dead? Do you have any good videos in Spanish?
What did I do without Pinterest before it existed??? I found this great visual to spark a conversation about El Pan de Muerto and the celebration of el Día de Los Muertos. I didn’t make a handout for it as I think its a great warm-up and we do those digitally.
Here is the image
Here are some questions:
1. ¿Te gusta el pan?
2. ¿El pan que tú comes tiene alguna forma?
3. ¿Qué significa la forma circular del pan de muertos?
4. ¿Qué significa la cruz de lágrimas?
Have you taught the Day of the Dead? What resources do you use? I’d love to actually make the bread with the students but we are no longer allowed to have food in the classroom 😦 This has been difficult because breaking bread with our students was a great way to spark cultural conversations. Is this a policy at your school? How have you dealt with it?