Grade: all
Subject: Language

#2336. Dia de los Muertos

Language, level: all
Posted Wed May 14 18:28:25 PDT 2008 by Kristy Kenderes (Kristy Kenderes).
Temple City High School, Temple City, CA, USA
Materials Required: Big room like library, table for altar
Activity Time: 55 minutes or more or less
Concepts Taught: Mexican Cultural Holiday

Lesson Title:
Dia de los Muertos

Results Focus:
Students participate in a Day of the Dead ceremony.

Unit Big Ideas Appropriate to this Lesson
Day of the Dead is culturally relevant to a huge holiday in Mexico and students will experience it first hand.

Essential Questions Appropriate to this lesson
What will you share about a deceased relative or friend?

Students will take part in sharing stories about deceased relatives along with other students from the school and leave gifts at the altar for them.

Academic Content Standards Addressed
1.3- Facilitating learning experiences that promote autonomy, interaction, and choice.

Unit Knowledge & Skills Objectives:
By the end of this lesson students will have experienced first hand what Day of the Dead is like for the Mexican people and hopefully will have shared about someone in their own life that had passed away.

Student Assessment strategies
Students will write a reflection paper describing their experience and what they've learned.

"Hook" Background, Prior Knowledge:
Since this lesson is very connected to their personal lives and the lives of their friends, students will be very engaged. Students love to talk about and share their experiences with others.
55 minutes

Teacher-Led Instruction/Guided Practice:
Before going down to the library for this event I had students individually pre-write what they would share so that they would be prepared about what to talk about. However, many of the other students from other classes didn't have anything pre-written and just by hearing their peers talk students were compelled to get up and share from the heart.

Differentiation of Instruction

GATE/High Achievers,

At Grade Level,

Below Grade Level,

ELL Differentiated Content-
What tasks will
students be asked Activities-
to do that are
appropriate to their Products-
individual ability

Teaching &

For this activity since it was culturally relevant, I had students do their pre-write in English instead of Spanish because the goal was for them to speak from the heart in a cultural context and with a topic like this I wanted to make sure the students used English so the experience would be more authentic and deep.

Resources needed
Library Media Center to host all students, the altar for students to lay their gifts, and a microphone so students could be heard amongst the crowd.

I will have students write a reflection paper the next day telling me their thoughts on their experiences.

Post Lesson Reflection/Assessment
For this particular lesson there will be no assessment, just the reflection paper afterwards.

Next Steps Because this is a one day cultural event with a reflection paper to follow there are no additional steps to take.