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Dia de los Muertos Sugar Skulls

Sugar Skulls are confections made in remembrance of lost loved ones. Use Crayola® Chalk, Glitter Glue, and dark paper to make symbolic sugar skulls for a Mexican Day of the Dead celebration.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Share images of the sugar skulls used in observances Mexico's Day of the Dead celebrations to the class. Obtain authentic sugar skulls, if possible. Observe their details and bright, colorful ornamentation. Ask students why Mexico celebrates this multi-day holiday? What other countries have similar holidays? What do these holidays have in common?
    2. Students use Crayola Colored Drawing Chalk to draw a large skull on black paper.
    3. Students decorate the skull with Crayola Washable Glitter Glue. Use Crayola School Glue to attach sequins, metallic paper, or other recycled shiny craft items. Dry.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts independently and proficiently.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of their ideas.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

    VA: Describe ways in which the principles and subject matter of other disciplines taught in the school are interrelated with the visual arts.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: El dia de los muertos / The Day of the Dead by Bob Barner; Day of the Dead by Tony Johnston; I Remember Abuelito: A Day of the Dead Story by Janice Levy

    Students draw a map of North American, including the outline of each country. Included are names of each country and capital cities. In Mexico, students can include sketches of symbols of Day of the Dead.

    Invite an expert on Mexican history to visit with the class and explain the holiday Day of the Dead. Prio to the visit, students compose questions for the visitor and find samples of folk art decorations that are part of the celebration to display during the visit. After the conclusion of the interview, students post learning to a class blog.

    Students investigate information about the foods, flowers, masks, and other festivities that take place during the Day of the Dead celebration. Students use this research to organize a class Day of the Dead celebration. If possible, students research recipes and prepare authentic Mexican foods to be included in the celebration.

    Research authentic Mexican music, such as a Mariachi band. With the assistance of the music and/or physical education teachers, students learn dances traditional to Mexico.


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