Day of the Dead
Grades K–12, 45 Minutes
Integrates with studies of
- Mexico and Mexican people today and in the past
- Customs from around the world
- Spanish language
- Visual arts interdisciplinary connections
On the Day of the Dead, November 1 and 2, Mexicans celebrate death as a part of life. Visit an ofrenda or altar to explore the elements of this festival through artifacts. Download templates and instructions to make a take-home craft. Choose at the time of reservation either calacas (skull masks) or cempasúchils (paper flowers). This presentation encourages student participation, including discussion. The class takes place in the Encounters with the Americas galleries and is also available in Spanish. The class is 45 minutes.
"We have done the self-guided tour in the past, and incorporating the program into our day was a wonderful choice for us! The students were engaged and excited. The presenter was great and thoughtfully interacted with the students. It tied directly to our curriculum and the students learned a lot beyond what we had been able to cover in class."
--4th Grade, Lynch Elementary School, Winchester, MA
- Day of the Dead/El Día de los Muertos Information Sheet
- Day of the Dead/El Día de los Muertos brochure
- Day of the Dead/El Día de los Muertos brochure (Spanish)
- Day of the Dead Make a Skull Mask Activity
- Day of the Dead Papel Picado (Cut Paper Banner) Activity
- Day of the Dead Cempsúchil Flower Activity
Teacher-Recommended Media Links for K-12 Education
- Harvard Professor Davíd Carrasco talks (10/18/10) to K-12 educators about teaching Day of the Dead.
- Harvard Professor Davíd Carrasco talks Day of the Dead altars in front of the permanent altar.
- A video interview with Mizael Sanchez, the artist who made the Peabody's permanent altar.
Interactive Altar Post-Visit Student Activity
A close-looking activity using an interactive 360° image.