Even more since Disney produced Coco, not only an awesome movie but a magnificent way to integrate culture in a fun story for all audiences.
So... how do we celebrate Day of the Dead in our Spanish classes?
Here are some ideas!
Let's start from the beginning.
Spanish 1 & above students will learn what this celebration is about as well as when, where and how it is celebrated.
This full lesson icludes a warm-up activity, a short reading text and several exercises, and a video with real (but easy) interviews, filmed during the celebration of El Da de Muertos.
There's also a self-grading quiz about the video that you can assign your students.
After working on the activities and the video, your students will build a cute photo frame about a Hispanic champion.
There are 20 different people to choose from in the template, and super easy-to-follow instructions that students can read by themselves on FlippedSpanish.
When they finish this craft, students will describe it using what they've learnt in the lesson, and they can also research and describe the person in their photo frame.
Your students will sure have some previous knowledge about Day of the Dead.
They might have covered this celebration in previous years, or -most likely- they've watched Coco.
The Día de los Muertos warm-up is a great starting point to get an idea about what students already know, and what they'd like to learn.
Once we discuss that, we can move to any of the resources listed below to see if we find the answers to those questions students want to learn about.
We'll get back to this warm-up at the end of the lesson, to reflect on what they've learnt and check whether we know the answers to the things we wanted to learn.
We might need to do some further research, which will be an even better way to end the class.
Let's see who finds the answers to the unresolved questions and can share them with the class tomorrow!
We know worksheets are usually not fun, and often seen by students as busy work.
This is not the case.
Not at all.
Why? Because this worksheet has a link to El latido de mi corazón, one of the songs from Coco. Students will watch the videoclip to learn key words about Día de Muertos such as calaverita, flor, papel picado or vela.
Then, they will learn why those objects are used to build an altar, what each of them represents.
The last activity will consist on labelling the elements on an ofrenda.
That image can be used to build your own altar (or altares): just assign some elements to each student so they bring them to class and you can build together your own ofrendas in the classroom.
The materials listed about will teach your students what Day of the Dead is about.
They'll be able to build an ofrenda and explain the meaning of the different objects.
Add some guacamole and music and you have a real Mexican party.
How do we end the lesson?
An altar contest could be a great idea.
Completing the KWL warm-up activity of the first activity listed in this post would also be perfect.
Another suggestion is to compare Halloween and Day of the Dead.
For Halloween ideas, take a look a these resources.
To compare both traditions, use the Halloween y Día de Muertos free warm-up activity, in the Celebraciones section.