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Día de los Muertos: Students Create Altar Displays

In this lesson plan, students learn about Day of the Dead altars in Mexico, learn about the traditions associated with the holiday, and produce their own altar displays.

Objectives: Students will be able to understand the cultural significance of Día de los Muertos traditions. Students will be able to define Día de los Muertos and explain how the holiday honors the deceased.

Lesson Key Points: 

  • Día de los Muertos is a holiday in Mexico in which people remember loved ones who have passed away. It is a celebration where people remember, rejoice and celebrate death.
  • Altars are set up to honor the dead. The spirits are believed to visit relatives and feast on the ofrendas displayed on the altars. Many of the things the dead person liked are placed on the altar such as foods, drinks, toys, and games.
  • Components of a traditional ofrenda: Water, salt, calavera (sugar skull), flowers, toys, bread, papel picado, foods, etc.


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