Dia de los Muertos: A Cultural Lesson

Art encompasses a variety of cultural influences and I love to share this connection with my students! Several students were so excited when I introduced Dia de los Muertos, a holiday that traditionally started in Mexico, as our Big Idea! Students that celebrated this holiday or knew about it shared information with the class about their personal experiences with this holiday or wanted to share what they knew about Dia de los Muertos.  A few also shared that it reminded them of the movie, The Book of Life. The connections between their world and art became closer and closer and this lesson proved to be very interesting to them! 


After our discussion, I showed the short film, "Dia De Los Muertos" by Whoo Kazoo on YouTube Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCQnUuq-TEE


The video portrays a young girl visiting her mother at the cemetery but shows students a variety of celebrations that happen during Dia de los Muertos! It has no words which helps allow the students to create a story within their imagination.  By the end of the story, students have several visuals associated with Dia de los Muertos including sugar skulls.  The young girls memories with her mother who had passed were fun and exciting and shared the essence of this holiday which is remembering loved ones and celebrating their memory.

I connected this lesson with the Studio Habits: Express and Understand Community. In addition, the students were asked to share what they learned or express a feeling within their art work.  This way they can have voice and choice and show you what they learned! 

I love how my students ran with the ideal of Dia de los Muertos and interpreted in the way they saw fit!