Introduce the slideshow:
The Day of the Dead
holiday honors the memory of loved ones who have died. Look at the photo of the ofrenda (shrine) and list objects that were used to create
questions to guide a pre-reading discussion:
- Looking at this
photo, how do you think Mexicans prepare for the memorial holiday,
the Day of the Dead?
- How do people around the world
honor loved ones who have died?
- What objects help us celebrate this
kind of holiday?
2. Pre-Reading Predictions
Use the clue words and heading hints on this journal page to make predictions.
As you read the slideshow, discuss:
Cultures have different beliefs about death and different
ways of remembering loved ones. As you read the slideshow/book, encourage students
to look closely at each photo and ask questions about how ofrendas
are made, why marigold flowers are gathered, how candles are used,
what traditional foods and drinks are made for the festivities,
and more. Explore the customs and unique ways this annual holiday
slideshow | book
Compare Day of the Dead with Halloween and other Memorial Days.
may or may not have mentioned Halloween, which occurs at the same
time of year. The holiday's historic roots, beliefs, and traditions
have given way in the U.S. and Canada to a celebration of candy
and costumes. Explore the similarities and differences between Halloween
and the Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations; make comparisons to
other customs and traditions for other memorial events from around
the world. Compare and contrast core beliefs, main activities, foods,
clothing, and other items that help people celebrate during these
Discuss seasonal connections:
fall holidays have their early roots in yearly seasonal changes
and final harvests. People stockpiled food for cold winter months
when the sun set early and rose late, and when nature "died"
until its rebirth in the spring. What's happening to plants at this
time of year? How is daylength changing?
Research how other cultures honor the memory of loved ones:
the fact that many cultures have traditions for honoring the dead.
For instance, in Afghanistan, people prepare and eat the favorite
food of the deceased relative once a week for a month after he/she
died. Have students conduct research to learn about other customs.
is a collection of links about the Day of the Dead in Angangueo, and about
corn, tortillas, and the growing season in the monarch overwintering area.
of the Dead
The Day of the Dead at Our School (English | Spanish)
Making Pan de los Muertos with Moreños Family
Visiting a Cemetery on Dia de los Muertos (slideshow)
About Day of the Dead by Estela Romero (English | Spanish)
Corn and the Growing Season: