Day of the Dead in the classroom


I did one of my first Day of the Dead art workshops of the season last week. It was so much fun! Sometimes I forget how amazing it is to teach art to children.

Some of you may be thinking, really? Are you trying to pull my leg?

No, I'm being totally serious.

There is something about creating art and working with children who have uninhibited creativity. They are very free, unafraid to take risks--they really lose themselves in their art! All that energy is contagious.

Sadly, adults aren't like that at first. It really takes a while for people to let go of themselves.

Anyhow, I was reminded of this fact this week. I taught a simple Day of the Dead art lesson to a group of awesome third graders, one of which was my son Cyan. I shared a brief history on how they celebrate this day in Mexico, we read a really cool children's book about the subject (which really made me have a thought--more on this later) and then we got to work creating our own sugar skulls with oil pastels. My son's amazing teacher even let us listen to the Lila Downs Pandora station, so we could really get the whole Dia de los Muertos vibe going.

The kids drew, colored, were very inquisitive and I got the chance to road test my Day of the Dead Activity pages that I posted about a couple weeks ago. They loved all of the cool shapes. The punk rocker was a fave, so was the large sugar skull. As a thank you, the teacher gave me some really pretty jade-ite skull earrings. So sweet.


Each one was so unique!

Love the bright blue around the eyes.

Markers on the Sugar Skull template looked like so much fun, I wanted to join in!

The punk rocker was in high demand.

Working hard at creating art.

The school girl calavera coloring sheet.
The teacher hung all of our creations on the classroom wall and it looked amazing!

Everyone used the same template yet they all came out very distinct and colorful.

Still wondering what to do with your students on Day of the Dead? Grab your Day of the Dead Activity book or come back on November 2nd when I'll have a really cool Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera calavera collage for you to share with your classroom!

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