Day of the Dead Chapel and Classes

Day of the Dead was very special this year. I had so many resources at my disposal.  Every class was different and I had all of my resources open in case a class “steered” itself in one direction or another. I wanted to make sure I had a place to “reflect” on the day and put all my resources so I have them for next year, and also so that others would also have access to them if you need them for 2018. Many of these resources I have accumulated over the years, and other resources I have discovered on the iFLT/CI/TPRS Facebook Page.


These photos were fantastic for picture talks.  Paul (my fiancé) found the resource for me. I love the vibrant colors and how we could make easy comparisons to Halloween since it was just the day before!

This is one of my favorite cartoons. We did a Movie Talk with it in one class and another class asked to watch it because they remembered it from the year before.

In my adult class, as everyone arrived and got their food (we had a fiesta) I had this playing in the background. In previous years I have shown the first 6 minutes to my classes as an introduction to the Day of the Dead. I wish it had more Spanish but I still think it is incredible! Mary Overton found it for our classes years ago!

I was absent the 3rd of November so students watched the first half of The Book of Life, and they completed half of this amazing Movie Guide (gracias, Allison).

In one of my classes we looked at various infographics. This one, this one, and this one. We chatted about what we did to celebrate Halloween. I pulled up pictures of the student’s Instagrams and photos of my family Trick or Treating. Then students completed a Double Bubble comparing and contrasting Halloween and Day of the Dead.

My favorite thing I integrated into my classes was from a blog post that Señora Broussard shared with me. I did the EdPuzzle activity and song in most of my classes. The images were beautiful and the song was SUPER comprehensible! I loved it and so did the kids!

I am lucky to work at a school with such incredible teachers! My colleagues had incredible Day of the Dead celebrations in their own classrooms.  During my first period class, we went on a field trip to Teresa York’s classroom where she was prepping for a fiesta with her Spanish 4 and AP classes.

IMG_4255 (1).JPGShe gave us a lesson on some of the food her students had prepared for the party. Then next door, Señora Simon was teaching her Spanish 1 class and they showed us the papel picado they had made and the altar they constructed and told us all about their pan de muertos they prepared IN CLASS the day before! Señora Broussard in Lower school had visitors (an archaeologist and educator from Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies) come and present to her classes about the ways that Day of the Dead is celebrated in Perú, Guatemala, and México. Our school wrote this little article about our day. Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies wrote an article about their visits to schools in New Orleans. You can read that here. 


My favorite part of the day by far was the Chapel service my 8th graders prepared with me in collaboration with Father Michael, our school’s pastor. The service was beautiful.


Each student in 7th and 8th grade prepared a slide which included a photo and paragraph describing what their loved one enjoyed or what they enjoyed doing with them. Some students wrote about a pet that had passed away, others spoke about their grandparents or uncles or aunts. One student wrote about his nephew who passed away when he was only three months old.


8th grade students who have had me for at least 1 year of Spanish, read their slide at the pulpit. Only ONE student seemed nervous to stand up in front of the entire 3rd-8th grade student and teacher body to read about their loved one. Even my students who are reluctant speakers, confidently read in Spanish. I was so impressed.  They were so eager to talk about their “person”. I had several teachers speak to me throughout the day about how beautiful the service was, or how impressed they were with the students. Some said they were moved to tears throughout the service. It really was special and I was so incredibly proud of their hard work. Here is an example of one of their slides:

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They wrote their initial drafts and I did one round of error correction and shared that with them. For NEW students I had them do it IN CLASS and I gave them a model and suggested they write one to two sentences using verbs like : Se llamaba, tenía, le gustaba, etc. For students who had me in previous years, like the one above, they had to do it at home (I ONLY assign output homework to students who I have had for at least one year and who know that I know when they are using a translator. Since I focus so much on the skill of circumlocution I rarely have an issue.)

I can’t wait until next year! I love that I have some of my favorite materials all in one place now! There is a surplus of blogs and ideas about Day of the Dead out there so now, I guess, there is one more!

I hope yours was as special as mine!

Until next time,



La Maestra Loca

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At the football game, chatting in Spanish on Day of the Dead


  1. Hola – I love all these ideas and over the years I have played around with different ones. Curently, I am trying to find a story that I can work with before we learn how to do Day of the dead face painting and it’s proving to be difficult. It wwould be wonderful to find a story that includes Posadas response to society and creating La Catrina.

    Any ideas as to where I can find something that might work??
    Mil gracias – Nicole

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