Friday, October 23, 2015

Day of the Dead Altars

     Our class will be learning about Day of the Dead on the Week of October 26 – 30, 2015. That week, students will have the choice of either completing their weekly homework packet or putting together a Day of the Dead altar. I give them the option just in case they do not celebrate this or any other holiday. 

     Day of the Dead is a Mexican celebration. Although it is celebrated in many Latin American countries and cities with Spanish speaking communities, it originated in Mexico.
     Day of the Dead celebrates the life of the dead with foods, drinks, celebrations, and activities that the dead enjoyed during their lives. 
     During Day of the Dead, families decorate an altar. The altar is decorated with many objects and/or special artifacts. These objects or artifacts remember the person being honored.    

     An altar contains photographs of the deceased that is being remembered. Next to the photo, they place their favorite foods and decorate with papel picado. They also include candles, marigold flowers, pan de muerto, sugar skulls, and skeletons.
     Your students can also take part in this beautiful Latin American tradition while creating their very own Day of the Dead, shoe box altar to remember a dearly departed family member, friend, or pet.
     The purpose of this activity is so that your students can talk to their families and learn about their ancestors.

**All of these altars were created by my 2nd grade students from last year.**
Remind your students that:

An altar is a space used to place all the wonderful things that remind you of those who have passed. It consists of pictures, candles, flowers, treats, and of course yummy foods. They are considered offerings to the dead who come to visit us on this one magical day.

To make your own Day of the Dead Shoebox Altar you need:
–Shoe-box of any size
–Paper or wrapping paper to cover your box
–Pictures of passed loved ones
–Items loved ones enjoyed -remember anything counts as an offering
–Candle (LED please)
–Tissue for flowers- optional, but flowers play a big part in the decor of an altar. You can also use fake flowers.

To build your altar:
1- Wrap you box in paper. It’s nice to use bright colors perhaps even colors your loved ones liked.
2-Place your pictures. It’s best to adhere them to the inside wall of the box. We used Popsicle sticks to create frames. It was a nice touch to decorate.
3. Place any other decor. We used wooden crosses, religious saint pictures and lots of hearts and gems.
4. Add other treats and foods. Anything from chocolates to chips to real food.

5. Lastly add some non-lit candles and make some tissue paper flores, flowers.
I hope you and your students enjoy this fun activity. 

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