day of the dead skulls

This month, many of us are talking about Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, with our children and students. This Mexican holiday lends itself to talking about family, food, and of course the rich traditions associated with the Day of the Dead.

There are great online activities for the Day of the Dead. Some of my favorites are a new video and virtual “build an altar” websites. I have also included links to crafts and earlier posts with printable materials, a song, and a Learn Spanish with Pictures activity.

Day of the Dead Reading

This Día de los Muertos reading is a fun way of working on language skills. Find the free download and suggestions using the activity in different ways here: Day of the Dead Spanish Reading Activity.

Use this Day of the Dead Spanish reading activity as a cultural tie-in to Día de los muertos for elementary students.

Day of the Dead Video

This is a lovely video. It is just 3 minutes long, but it incorporates the many elements of the the Day of the Dead celebration and also captures the love and joy associated with the holiday.

Day of the Dead Websites with “Build an Altar” Activities

The Smithsonian Latino Center Día de los Muertos Theater has lots of information in English about the holiday (click the bricks in the wall), a fact sheet, and a glossary. It also has a “build your own altar” that kids will love! You can print the final product. For teachers, there are lesson plans for K-2 and 6-8.

Anatomía de un altar is a wonderful site from with information about the holiday and symbols. Kids can build a virtual altar and print it when they are done.

Day of the Dead Audio

NPR’s Bilingual Short List is a list, in Spanish and English. You are supposed to be guessing what the topic is, but even if you know it is the Day of the Dead, the descriptions are fun to listen to.

Day of the Dead Crafts

These Day of the Dead crafts are easy enough to do in class with young students.

This 3-minute video shows how to make sugar skulls from powdered sugar and sweetened condensed milk.

More Day of the Dead Resources

You can find printable coloring pages and treat boxes by following the links in the post.

This is a photo of a typical Day of the Dead altar with questions help you to speak Spanish with kids.

Los esqueletos is a great song for the Day of the Dead. It also teaches time, counting and lots of common verbs.


Spanish Number Games from PBS
MKB Book Club - Bilingual is Better: The New Face of America