Friday, October 14, 2011

El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

When I first pitched this idea to my 5th - 8th graders the general reaction was "That's creepy!" until I explained to them what the Day of the Dead was really all about. It's a Mexican and Mexican-American celebration of dead ancestors. Despite the morbid subject matter, this holiday is celebrated joyfully, and though it occurs at the same time as Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day, the mood of The Day of the Dead is much lighter, with the emphasis on celebrating and honoring the lives of the deceased, rather than fearing evil or malevolent spirits.

As an educator I believe in teaching my students about other cultures beyond our community. Where we live is rural Iowa and when I was a kid diversity was more like being any other nationality but German or any other religion but Catholic. That is changing these days. We have a growing Hispanic population in Carroll as well as families from India and the African continent. I like diversity- it makes you think - about a lot of different things.

So this is our take on the sugar skulls. Enjoy!

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