I'm sure we all agree that learning by doing is one of the best educational strategies.
So if you want your students to learn about El Día de Muertos, making an ofrenda is clearly the thing to do.
It sounds simple.
But hold your horses!
If you decide to build an ofrenda, there are 2 risks you need to get ready for:
1 Students may be sad if they talk about dear ones who passed away.
2 Instructions may not be clear and the class can become messy when students are confused.
Let's see how we tackle those risks using Hacemos una ofrenda.
1 Build ofrendas about Hispanic champions
By the end of ¿Qué es el Día de Muertos? your students will have a photo frame about a Hispanic champion, decorated for the Day of the Dead.
They'll now build an ofrenda for that champion.
Making ofrendas about famous Hispanic figures is how we avoid possible sad feelings among our students.
When we keep the topic far from personal experiences, everybody feels safe.
The lesson includes two examples of two different ofrendas: one about Kobe Bryant (the warm-up) the other about Colombian artist Fernando Botero (the reading).
Those examples will help students make their own ofrendas about the person they built the photo frame about, or they can pick one from a provided list (25 people to choose from).
2 Clear instructions to build and describe an ofrenda
The lesson explains step by step how to build an ofrenda.
The video and the activities will show your students the meaning of each main element, and where they should be placed.
They will hear real people talking about the ofrendas they build.
Taking that information into account, and using the examples about Botero and Kobe Bryant, students will have a clear idea of how to build and describe their own ofrendas.
The instructions of the Actividad posterior, and the rubric included in the lesson, will help you organize the activity in a stress-free way.
By the end of the lesson, your classroom will be filled with beautiful ofrendas about several Hispanic champions.
Your students will build them with purpose: they'll know the meaning of each element and where they go.
They'll explain who the ofrenda is for, and why they've built it that way.
And they won't forget what they've learnt as the lesson comes to an end.
Because when we use these strategies, we're promoting learning that sticks.