As much as I love the traditions and art of Dia de los Muertos, I’ve never really been around or involved in any legitimate celebrations. I read about it. Watch movies about it. Make art with my students about it. But I’ve never had an opportunity to see it and be a part of it in real life. All that changed on Sunday.
I found out about a Dia de los Muertos festival happening in Charlotte. It was held at the Levine Museum of the New South and it was great! There were T O N S of people there so we didn’t get to do everything. But we looked, and read, and observed, and listened to everything we could.
Before we even walked in the door, we were greeted by La Catrina! Photo op!
They had an altar competition and there were many entries. They were all big and bright and heartfelt.
I loved all the symbolism found in the altars. They even inspired my daughter to make one to her cat and her great grandmother that both recently passed away.
We made sugar skulls and played games and colored calaveras. We bought some pan de Muertos too but that was eaten pretty quickly!
One of my favorite parts was when the music started and we were able to watch the singers and dancers from the balconies of the second floor.
After a long day at the festival, I went back to my first love (French everything) and ate crepes and macarons in Romare Bearden Park. It was a perfect day and I enjoyed spending it with family, learning about a different culture together. ❤️
This little third grade Dia de Los Muertos project was enjoyed by my third graders and by me, too!
I love Crayola Color Sticks – they can be a nice alternative to oil pastels when you don’t need to blend colors and don’t want the awful fingerprints all over the nice pictures. No need to sharpen, peel, or wash off and they keep working even when they break. 👍🏼
I found the idea here and we made it our own. Thanks, Ms. Kristen!
We used paint only to made the skeleton. While that was drying, we glued the squares for the border. The second class we added the facial details and flowers with the color sticks. Voila!
Ps – I love how commonplace Day of the Dead has become. The kids totally get the idea behind it and love sharing their own memories of lost loved ones with their class. The symbolism is meaningful, colorful, and fun and I think one of the most important lessons we learn in life is to remember our history, be grateful that it happened, and celebrate the good times instead of hanging onto the sad.
First graders are getting in on the Dia de Los Muertos fun with their monarch paintings. We drew with sharpies, colored with crayon, and will be painting next week with watercolors!
Instead of a directed drawing, I decided to just show them quickly how I draw a butterfly and then let them go for it.
A couple of the classes have painted their flowers this week and they are so pretty.
My third graders are learning to write cursive and I thought this project would be absolutely perfect to go along with their new writing skills. I found this project on The Kessler School’s Artsonia page. This is my example, step by step and I’ll be sharing my students’ as they finish!
We are finishing up our Cursive Calaveras and they look phenomenal! We decided to add the colorful border and the monarch butterflies in honor of Dia de Los Muertos.
Fourth graders have been discussing El Dia de Los Muertos. After looking at lots of examples of sugar skulls, we created our own. We used markers for our skulls and cut them out and glued them to a piece of construction paper. Then we painted a colorful frame around them!
Fifth graders are going to turn themselves into calaveras for Dia de Los Muertos. We are starting this week so I’ll post pictures when we are finished. Here’s my example, step by step.
After I took my photo with Photobooth, I cropped it in pretty close, edited it to make it much brighter and then printed it out as a 5×7.
Draw on the colorful decorations. They usually include circles or flowers around the eyes and the holes on the nose like a skull.
After gluing my face into my journal, I used painted paper to make flowers to go around my face. Another option would be a black top hat with a flower in it.
The last step is to use a sharpie – I used a metallic gold because my page was a dark brown – and add lots of designs, kind of like zentangles.
Here are some student examples. I love how they are turning out. Some of them are also learning the valuable lesson of *less is more*.
This is a little late but I found this fantastic project over at Paintbrush Rocket’s blog and fell in love. It’s bright and festive and involves cut paper… Maybe I am more of a fan of Matisse than I realized. Anyway…
I’ll get some pictures of the student’s work soon. 🙂
So I told you I was in love with Dia De Los Muertos…
I decided to be a catrina for my friend’s Halloween party. It was so much fun to dress up like this and do the make up. I just used some face paint I found at Walmart and some liquid eye liner! Fun times! 🙂
One of my newest joys is teaching about Dia De Los Muertos or “Day of the Dead.” It is such a meaningful and colorful day with so much artistic influence in the celebrations. I am in love with sugar skulls and catrinas and yarn paintings!
My school has started a Spanish Club this year and the kids are learning to speak but they are also learning lots about the culture. Next week we will be painting faces and hopefully making some small art projects to go along with learning about the holiday. The bottom picture has four examples of the face painting they will get to choose from at the next meeting!
I’ve started talking about it with my first graders this week and we are making some calaveras. Here are some of the results. I’ll add more as we finish!