One of our favorite things to do in Fall is a Día de los muertos activity! This holiday highlights both similarities and differences between cultures, and it’s colorful and interesting to our Spanish students. I could spend a whole week exploring this holiday and it’s significance, but unfortunately, my district is pretty strict with timelines for our curriculum. So this post has a suggestion for a short way to acknowledge Día de los muertos without getting totally off track!
1. Create a Short Webquest
If you want a quick Día de los muertos activity, and your students don’t have any prior knowledge, create a short webquest. Structure it so that you provide any or all of the following:
-website(s) where you want them to find their information
-a worksheet that lists the specific things you want them to find out about (such as the dates, what goes on an altar, specific foods or flowers that are common, etc.)
2. Reflection Questions and/or Class Discussion
This is the time where students can compare and contrast this holiday with something that may be familiar to them. You can ask things like:
-How is death viewed in the 2 cultures?
-What do we do that may be similar or different to remember our loved ones?
-What are some traditions that were interesting to you?
3. End With a Fun Día de los muertos Activity
I like to give them a digital jigsaw puzzle. In it, they must arrange the puzzle pieces to match English to Spanish vocabulary related to Día de los muertos. But it’s easy to make it more complex- you could make the matches one part of sentence finishes another (piece 1 says: “La calavera es” and piece 2 says “un símbolo popular para esta celebración”.
This activity can be assigned in class or for homework, and can be done alone or with others!
4. Need a more advanced Día de los muertos activity?
*Try a writing challenge that students can do in groups about Día de los muertos!
*Display a task card so students to practice speaking about what they know about Día de los muertos!