Día de los muertos: A Round-up for Teachers

by | Oct 28, 2016

Inside: Day of the dead activities, crafts, videos, and lesson plans for the Spanish classroom.

This year I’m working on Day of the Dead lesson plans, and wanted to share my research with you!

I used to be unsure of how to treat holidays. I wanted to include culture, but teaching low-frequency words like “Christmas tree,” “candle,” or “skeleton” seemed a poor use of time. Now I’m discovering part of the reason comprehensible input is magic: I can use any theme or topic to give my students whole, living language.

Thankfully, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. There are TONS of resources out there, in Spanish and English, and these are my favorites!

My Top Picks for Day of the Dead Activities



I was already planning on using this sweet short film when I came across some amazing resources from Williamson CI & TPRS for doing a MovieTalk. Click here to access a PPT with text and screenshots, activities, and online games. There are also great embedded readings on customs in various countries as well. This is my favorite resource I’ve come across so far, and it’s free!

I will also be pulling resouces from Kara Jacobs and Elena Lopez. They collaborated to create a huge packet of readings and activities. I love how you get rich, interesting language, not just a list of holiday vocabulary.

This is a really beautiful look into Mexican culture as well:


Websites, Infographics, and Information in Spanish:


Great information and summary of what happens in different Latin American countries for Día de los muertos. (I found this through Mis Cositas.)

Authentic resource for an interview with Cecilia Sandover in Ecuador.

A gif about altars.

Vocabulary for ofrendas in this great infographic from Xoximilco blog:



Another good infographic I saw at Mis Clases Locas:


The Book of Life:


I can’t work in the movie this year, but here are some resources anyway.

A basic guide with questions from Kara Jacobs, and a free guide for novices from Mis Clases Locas.

Additional Videos:


Short films for MovieTalk:




Informational videos in Spanish:







Again, resources from Kara Jacobs and Elena Lopez are great for La Santa Cecilia.


Papel picado:


Flor de Cempasuchil:



Como hacer una Catrina:



Day of the Dead Makeup:


More links:

Making an ofrenda with Sra. Cruz and 4 other ideas.

Free color-by-number Calavera from Spanish Playground.

Free printable for papel picado.

List of links from SpanglishBaby for younger students.

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Día de los muertos: A collection of resources for tecahers

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