Celebrating the Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos)

4 min read

| By Gale Staff |

Curate Your Day of the Dead Lesson Plan

Introducing the Day of the Dead (or Dia de Los Muertos) to your students can be a unique way for them to learn about the rich cultural traditions of Mexico. Dancing, food, music, and community characterize this special holiday, and your students will have plenty to research and explore regarding the celebration’s history and traditions.

Luckily, you won’t have to pull together your lesson plans alone. Gale In Context does the work for you! With extensive, subject-specific resources and activity ideas, teachers need only guide students to Gale In Context tools. Day of the Dead lessons can easily extend outside the classroom. In addition to decorating, school or public librarians can easily incorporate learning activities and games within the library space. Whatever your goal, Gale In Context: High School, Middle School, and Elementary will save you time and help empower students of all ages to engage in their own Day of the Dead research.

Start Your Research Off Strong

Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday, usually held on November 1 and November 2. While the annual date and macabre themes undoubtedly suggest a connection with U.S. Halloween, the two are not linked. Day of the Dead is an annual holiday to honor family members who have passed away. Families create special alters representing their loved ones; it’s a day of celebration and remembering instead of mourning. Community members gather together with food, music, and drink to remember those they have lost.

Expand Cultural Awareness in the Classroom

U.S. teachers may not be familiar with the Mexican tradition, or they may not feel comfortable teaching a subject that is intimately connected to another country. Avoiding cultural appropriation while encouraging an informed, global perspective can be a difficult line to walk. Gale In Context‘s Day of the Dead content helps inform both teachers and students in a culturally sensitive way. Gale In Context not only features reliable primary and secondary resources, but it also contains helpful guiding questions built into the research. Educators can choose to create assignments based on these probing questions, or they can simply encourage students to consider them while reading.

Find the Content You Need

Gale In Context resources are organized in a way that’s easy for K-12 students of all ages to use. Each topic begins with an accessible, summary paragraph, which allows students to familiarize themselves quickly before probing deeper. Gale In Context also provides a comprehensive guide to your chosen topic, so students can explore information in a way that is meaningful to them. Maybe you have students who are more inclined to the historical context of the Day of the Dead? Or you have students who identify with the recent loss of a family member who might wish to explore the family traditions in more depth. Or there may be those who simply enjoy the Day of the Dead’s artistic and culinary traditions. Teachers can feel confident that students will be able to navigate the Gale In Context platform and find accurate information no matter the direction they choose.

Understand the Past and Stay Up to Date on Today’s Topics

Day of the Dead traditions can trace their roots to the Aztec people, who used skulls to commemorate those who had passed away. When the Spanish arrived in the sixteenth century, the Catholic Church repackaged those indigenous rituals around their own holidays, which eventually became the Day of the Dead celebrations of today. Culture is a living, breathing part of life, and it’s important that your students are accessing up-to-date and accurate information. Gale In Context is actively updated, so your students are always getting the most reliable information available.

Gale In Context Goes Beyond the Screen

Gale In Context also provides teachers with supplemental tip sheets. What’s more, educators and librarians can find these resources in both English and Spanish. Gale In Context tip sheets are categorized for different age groups, helping instructors easily customize their lesson plans to meet their student’s needs. These tip sheets are user-friendly, providing step-by-step instructions and images. Educators and librarians can tap into hands-on, age-appropriate activity ideas as well. For example, high school students can create their own ofrenda (or alter) for their family; encourage your class to share and present their work.

Gale In Context makes the internet’s endless content more manageable and ensures that students find credible, age-appropriate content. With Gale In Context, students can quickly understand a topic and feel confident before diving into a project. Whether you’re creating a Day of the Dead lesson plan for a classroom or in a library space, Gale In Context is the only tool you need.

Not a Gale In Context subscriber? Learn more about the resources for elementary, middle school, and high school students >>

Leave a Comment