Day Of The Dead Activities For Students
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Why is it Called the Day of the Dead? History Behind Día de los Muertos.
Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, occurs from October 31 to November 2. It is observed in Mexico and various Latin American nations across the United States. Día de los Muertos is a joyful commemoration of life that pays tribute to departed family and friends. It’s a time when the spirits of loved ones are warmly welcomed back into our world.
Roots of the Celebration of Day of the Dead Activities
The traditions and customs of the Day of the Dead have deep historical roots. These practices and symbols span thousands of years. Due to its significance, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced it as a public holiday in 2008. Since then, it has been added to their Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.
Día de los Muertos originated more than 2,500 years ago with the Aztec civilization. Unlike viewing death as a time of sorrow, the Aztecs celebrated it as an integral part of the natural life cycle. To transfer the rich history of this important celebration to the next generation, it is included in lesson plans. This event is celebrated in schools with many fun-filled Day of the Dead Activities.
Day of the Dead Activities for Students
Now, let’s dive into the festive spirit and discover some festive activities for your students. We tried to compile some easy and entertaining Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead Activities for Students. These activities can be enjoyed both at school and at home.
Day of the Dead Classroom Activities for Students
Add these exciting activities to your lesson plan and make your class interesting for your students.
1. Dive Into the History
Create a vibrant Muertos Display in your classroom to immerse students in the rich culture of the Day of the Dead. Transform a corner or bulletin board into an interactive space adorned with papel picado, marigold flowers, and Calavera skull cutouts.
Encourage students to contribute by making their papel picado or drawing pictures of loved ones they want to honor. Display books and resources about the Day of the Dead to educate and spark curiosity. This captivating display fosters the significance of this tradition among students.
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2. Writing Prompts
Writing prompts inspire and encourage students’ creativity and writing skills. They provide topics or starting points for writing, ranging from simple questions to thought-provoking scenarios.
These prompts can be used in the classroom or at home to engage students in writing exercises, allowing them to explore different genres and develop their storytelling abilities. They are valuable resources that spark inspiration and make the writing process enjoyable for students.
3. Poetry Exercises
Poetry exercises are fun activities that allow students to explore the beauty of language, express emotions, and play with words. They encourage experimentation with different poetic forms and techniques, including haikus and rhyming couplets.
Poetry exercises engage students’ imagination, enhance vocabulary, and improve communication skills. They help students discover their poetic voice and appreciate the power of words by writing about personal experiences and abstract concepts.
4. Trying a Sugar Skull Craft
This creative activity allows students to immerse themselves in the vibrant and colorful traditions of the Day of the Dead. Sugar skulls can be decorative skull-shaped candies that are associated with this Mexican holiday. By making their sugar skull crafts, students can learn about its symbolism.
They can decorate the skulls with bright colors, intricate patterns, and personalized designs. They can use various art materials like paint, markers, and glitter. It is an opportunity for them to keenly observe the cultural and historical aspects of the event. They also can display their unique creativity to celebrate this special occasion.
5. Making Catrina Dolls
Making Catrina dolls is a wonderful hands-on activity that introduces students to the iconic symbol of the day. Catrina dolls are elegant and beautifully decorated figures representing a stylish skeleton lady. During the crafting process, students can use various materials. Clay, paper mache, or even recycled materials can be utilized during this creativity.
They can paint them vibrant colors and add intricate details like flowers, jewelry, and fancy attire. It will bring these dolls to life. This activity allows them to understand the connection between life and death in Mexican traditions. It’s a visually appealing project that celebrates the spirit of Día de los Muertos warmly.
Some Other Day of the Dead in Class Art Activity Ideas for Students
6. Creating a Mural With Muertos Symbols and Colors
7. Coloring Calaveras
8. Painting Faces With Calavera Makeup
9. Día De Muertos Lanterns Paints
10. Making Day of the Dead Skull Decoration Coloring Page
11. Share Day of the Dead Coloring Pages
12. Make Day of the Dead Picture Frames
Day of the Dead Outdoor Activities for Students
Break the Walls of Class Boundaries and Cheer up Outside with exciting Outdoor Day of the Dead Activities for Students. Scroll down and unleash the limitless fun during this Dia de los Muertos, Mexican holiday.
13- Decorating the graves or ofrendas
Decorating graves or ofrendas is an important tradition during Día de los Muertos. Students will take time to clean and decorate the resting places of their loved ones. After that, they decorate them with colorful flowers, candles, and meaningful objects. This act of remembrance and honor allows them to show love and respect for the deceased.
They may also create ofrendas with their families. They can arrange altars filled with favorite foods to cherish the belongings of the departed. Students can take photographs too to capture these beautiful displays forever. It will serve as a way to welcome the spirits back to the realm of the living.
14. Attend La Danza de los Viejitos
During the Day of the Dead, a special celebration called La Danza de los Viejitos takes place. It provides engaging activities for students. This traditional Mexican dance involves students dressing up as little old men. They will perform joyful movements to have fun. The dance is filled with energy and excitement, capturing the essence of the holiday.
Students can learn about Mexican culture and traditions while participating in this activity. It offers them a chance to express their creativity. They can immerse themselves in the vibrant spirit of the Day of the Dead. Engaging in La Danza de los Viejitos can be a fun and educational experience for students during this festive time.
15. Participate in Community Parade
Students have an exciting opportunity to participate in a community parade during Dia de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday. They can join their classmates and community members to showcase colorful costumes, elaborate face paintings, and create beautiful floats or carry banners that represent the holiday spirit.
In the community parade, students share the festive atmosphere by carrying symbols and patterns to honor their loved ones. This engagement fosters a sense of unity, embraces Day of the Dead traditions, and strengthens community bonds. Participating in the parade allows students to actively take part in cultural celebrations and feel a sense of belonging.
16. Buying Veladora Candles
Buying Veladora candles is a meaningful Day of the Dead activity for students. Veladora candles are traditional candles used during Day of the Dead celebrations. Students can visit local stores or markets to purchase these candles. These candles hold great significance as they are believed to guide the spirits of the deceased on their journey back to the world of the living.
These candles are also a sign of honor and remembrance of their loved ones. They can light these candles at home or the gravesites. It will create a warm and peaceful ambiance. This activity allows students to pay tribute to their ancestors and know the spiritual aspects of the Day.
17. Visiting the Burial Sites of Loved Ones
Visiting the burial sites of loved ones is a meaningful and personal way to honor and remember them. Students can visit cemeteries or memorial sites where their loved ones are buried. They can bring flowers, candles, and other mementos to place at the gravesites as a sign of respect.
This act allows students to connect with their roots and reflect on the lives of their loved ones. They can offer prayers, share stories, and find comfort in the presence of their ancestors. By visiting these sites, they can keep the spirit of their loved ones alive and cherish the bond they shared.
18. Dress Up for the Day
Dressing up for the occasion is an exciting part of the Day of the Dead activities for students. Students can wear traditional Mexican attire or dress up in costumes representing the spirits and symbols of the holiday. They can paint their faces with vibrant skull designs, known as “Calaveras.
They also can adorn themselves with colorful accessories like flowers, ribbons, and feathers. This act of dressing up allows students to fully immerse themselves in the festive spirit of the Day. It showcases their creativity and serves as a visual representation of their participation. By dressing up, students can feel and share in the joyous atmosphere with their peers.
19. Watching Videos
Watching videos about Día de los Muertos is an informative and engaging Day of the Dead Activity. These videos let them learn about the significance and traditions of the holiday. They can watch documentaries, animated films, or educational videos. It will explain the cultural aspects, history, and symbolism of Día de los Muertos. They can explore the meaning behind the altar decorations and the traditional foods. By watching these videos, students gain a deeper understanding of the holiday and its cultural significance. It allows them to appreciate and respect the traditions of Día de los Muertos even more. It also provides a visual and interactive learning experience for students of all ages.
20. Dancing to Traditional Mexican Music
Dancing to traditional Mexican music is a joyful and lively activity during Día de los Muertos celebrations. Students can participate in dances such as the La Danza de los Viejitos, which is a traditional folk dance. This dance involves wearing colorful costumes and mimicking the movements of elderly people. It is a fun way for students to embrace Mexican culture and immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere.
Dancing to traditional Mexican music not only allows students to appreciate the rich musical heritage of Mexico but also encourages them to express themselves creatively through movement. It brings a sense of unity and celebration as students join together in rhythmic steps and enjoy the vibrant sounds of the music. Dancing to traditional Mexican music adds a lively and authentic touch to the Day of the Dead activities for students.
21. Dancing to Traditional Mexican Music
It is a joyful and lively activity during Día de los Muertos celebrations. Students can take part in dances such as the La Danza de los Viejitos, which is a traditional folk dance. This dance involves wearing colorful costumes and mimicking the movements of elderly people.
It is a fun way for students to explore Mexican culture and be involved in the festive atmosphere. It will allow students to appreciate the rich musical heritage of Mexico creatively. It brings a sense of unity and celebration as students join together in rhythmic steps. They enjoy the vibrant sounds of the music and feel pleased with their peers.
22. Performance of Traditional Calavera Poem
A performance of a traditional Calavera poem is a captivating activity during Día de los Muertos celebrations. Students can take part in reciting or acting out these humorous poems. Poems are usually composed in rhyming verses and touch on various aspects of life and death.
Students can showcase their creativity by creating their poems. They also can perform on existing ones. It brings a sense of playfulness and laughter. Students engage in the rhythmic recitation and humorous portrayal of characters. A performance of a traditional Calavera poem adds a unique element to the Day of the Dead activities.
23. Make Marigold Flowers
Marigolds, also known as “cempasúchil,” hold significant symbolism in Mexican culture. These symbols are commonly used to honor and remember loved ones who have passed away. Students can use simple materials like colored paper, scissors, and glue to craft vibrant marigold flowers. They can cut out petal shapes, layer them together, and attach a circular center to create shapes.
This hands-on activity allows students to explore their artistic abilities. They also learn about the cultural importance of marigolds in their traditions. These flowers can be displayed as decorative elements or used to honor their loved ones. Making these flowers adds a personal touch and a splash of color to the Day of the Dead activities for students.
24. Bake Bread of the Dead
Baking Bread of the Dead is a delightful activity for students to take part in. It is also known as the “Pan de Muerto” Activity. This traditional sweet bread holds a special significance in Mexican culture. It is shaped like a round loaf with bone-like decorations on top, symbolizing the cycle of life and death. Students can follow a simple recipe that includes ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs, and yeast. They mix the dough, knead it until it becomes smooth, and let it rise.
Once the dough has risen, they shape it into a round loaf with crossed bone shapes on top. After baking it in the oven, the delicious aroma of freshly baked Bread of the Dead fills the air. It lets students learn about Mexican traditions but also gives them the joy of a tasty treat. Baking Bread adds a flavorful element to the Day of the Dead activities for students.
25. Create an Altar
Creating an altar is a wonderful way to honor and remember loved ones. Students can take part in this meaningful activity by gathering special items. They can start by placing a table or a designated space where the altar will be created. On the altar, they can arrange photographs of the departed. They also can place stalls of their favorite foods, drinks, and personal belongings.
Marigold flowers, candles, and incense can be added for a beautiful and fragrant display. Students can also include decorative paper banners and traditional sugar skulls. Each item on the altar represents a connection to the departed. Creating an altar is a heartfelt tribute that helps keep the spirit of their loved ones alive.
In conclusion, the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is a unique and meaningful celebration. It offers an opportunity to learn about Mexican culture. These activities are a way to honor those we have lost along the way. These traditional activities may include decorating altars, making crafts, writing prompts, and more.
Music, dance, drama ideas, or fun classroom games can be good teaching resources for students. In addition, Mexican culture during Día de los Muertos; food recipes represent its customs. Plus, students can explore emotions associated with grief, loss, and death in a safe space. Ultimately these activities will help bring meaning into your Day of the Dead celebrations.