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Dramatic Day of the Dead Designs

Join in the festivities of Mexico’s most famous holiday El dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). Enjoy the surprise of the bright colors coupled with deep black in these holiday designs!

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Students find information and pictures about observing the Day of the Dead at the end of October. The festivities originated in Mexico and are now celebrated in Hispanic communities in many countries. Special decorations are displayed and activities take place for several days.
    2. Students choose their favorite aspects of this intriguing and popular holiday. Sketch ideas with Crayola Colored Pencils on paper. Draw the most important image the largest.
    3. Finish the drawing by using Crayola Color Explosion™ Paper with the color-reveal markers. Many celebrations happen at night, so take advantage of the dark background! Add symbols of the parts of the holiday that are most interesting to you. Add highlights with Crayola Glitter Glue.
    4. Create a setting for everyone in the class to display their creations. Write signs in both English and Spanish. Join the celebration!
  • 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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