You’re a bilingual teacher, and as the month of November ticks closer you know you need to teach Día de los Muertos activities. Cultural units are very important in a bilingual program, as you’re not just teaching biliteracy but also biculturalism.
But how are you supposed to teach Día de los Muertos, exactly?
You have all of the teacher’s manuals for reading and writing and arithmetic. But for cultural units? And especially Díade los Muertos Activities? You’ve got a whole lot of nothing.
You feel frustrated because you want to do your job well and you believe in the cultural education aspect of being a bilingual teacher. You just don’t have the resources to feel successful nor do you have the time to research and create them.
I completely understand because I’ve been there.
My Experience with Día de los Muertos Activities
My first year of teaching 4th grade in a bilingual program, I was handed a binder of Día de los Muertos activities. You might not thinking, “That’s good!” And I thought so too. Except the binder was 90% repeats of the same calaveras coloring sheet. The only things of substance in there were too babyish, plus they’d already done them in previous years. So I was back to square one.
I came to understand that despite studying Día de los Muertos for at least the previous four years, my students didn’t really understand the meaning behind the holiday. They could sing and dance the Tumbas song and they loves to eat sugar skulls, but that’s where it ended.
So I set out to create Día de los Muertos activities that 1) honored the meaning of the holiday 2) were at an academic level appropriate for upper elementary students and 3) were available in both English and Spanish.
Your Día de los Muertos Activities Solution
If you’re lost and frustrated on trying to teach Día de los Muertos in your bilingual 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade class, I have the easy solution for you.
My reading passages help students answer 4 critical questions:
- What is Día de los Muertos?
- How do people celebrate Día de los Muertos?
- What are the decorations and food like?
- Who is La Catrina?
Each reading passage has color photographs that engage your students and brings the content to life.
Not only are they engaging for your students, but they couldn’t be easier for you. You can choose from a simple print-and-go pdf or you can assign the digital version via Google Slides. Plus each reading passage has 5 comprehension questions so you can easily assess your students’ understanding of the material.
Benefits of the Día de los Muertos reading passages:
- Designed to be culturally sensitive
- Create a welcoming and inclusive learning environment in your classroom
- Convenient ready-to-use passages
When you use these reading passages, your students will:
- Read four passages about how Día de los Muertos is celebrated
- Learn about food, decorations, and other traditions
- Answer 4 multiple choice questions per passage
- Respond to 1 open ended question per passage
- Make connections with the real, full-color photographs
How can you use these Día de los Muertos reading passages?
While there are many ways you could use these Día de los Muertos reading passages in your classroom, I would suggest:
- Reading them together with the whole class
- Using them in small groups
- Incorporating them into your ELD or SLD block
You can also take the reading passages a step further by making some of the crafts and food mentioned in the reading!
When you’re ready to say goodbye to the frustration of not having the materials you need for your Día de los Muertos cultural unit, be sure to shop my reading passages! Click the links for English, Spanish, or the bilingual bundle with both or click the image below.