Día de Muertos

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Link to a post with Spanish videos and activities about Day of the Dead
It takes place on 1 and 2 November, and it's one of the most famous celebrations in the world.
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!
1 Organize your lesson with a KWL chart

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!

A KWL chart to organize information about Day of the Dead
2 A fun (yes, fun!) worksheet about Day of the Dead

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.

Instructions to use a Day of the Dead worksheet in class. It includes a link to El latido de mi corazón, one of the songs from Coco
Vocabulary about Day of the Dead
An activity to label the different elements in an ofrenda of Día de Muertos
3 A full lesson (video and activities) about Mexico and Day of the Dead

Cedina is a young girl from Mexico City who currently lives in Madrid.
In this full lesson (video and activities), we interviewed her to see how different Madrid and Mexico City are, and to learn about Día de Muertos.

De México DF a Madrid will teach your students how to build an altar for Day of the Dead. The perfect ending will be to build one or more in class.
If you'd like to add some authentic food to the ofrenda, take a look at Cocina fácil: el guacamole.

4 Cultural comparison: Halloween and Day of the Dead

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.

An organizer to compare Day of the Dead and Halloween

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