If you can’t tell, I love the Day of the Dead. I didn’t learn about the history of the day of the dead until I was in college, and it really blew my mind. I try to share this amazing holiday’s history with my students every year. This year my 4th, 6th, and 8th grades explored art projects themed around the day of the dead.
Last year I struggled with finding the words and guiding discussion around this holiday and still having time to work on our project! In college I was told that my projects should be multicultural but should always be respectful. Since I did not grow up with this holiday, I try to be as knowledgeable and factual as I can. This year I found some great videos that do an amazing job of explaining what the Day of the Dead is all about. They help me to present this project in a respectful way and it’s a lot more fun than watching the art teacher jib jab for 10 minutes!
Here are a few of the videos I have found:
This video thoroughly explains the Day of the Dead from the perspective of someone who has experienced this holiday. Here’s a quote from Mayitzin’s YouTube page: ” The day of the Death is another excuse for the Mexicans to remember the past and miss it some times; to wonder and wish for a comfortable future; but most of all to share and celebrate their lives with the people they love the most, and it doesn’t matter if they are physically present or not.”
This is an 18 minute clip from a BBC documentary on feasts. In this documentary the narrator visits a parades, dresses like La Catrina and interviews people who are celebrating in their homes. If you have the time to show this in your classroom, it is a great aide. I don’t have the time, so I attached it to my website for my students to watch on their time if they are interested in learning more.
This short film is a CGI students academy award gold medal winner.My students absolutely LOVE this video. even though it’s only 3 minutes long with no speaking, it perfectly captures the feeling of the Day of the Dead. I show this to my younger classes, by my older kids love it too.
How have you become more culturally aware in your classroom? Is there anything you have changed or included in your classroom to make your classroom more multicultural?