Dia de los Muertos is a time to remember and honor family members who have passed. In Mexico it is a national holiday. Families participate in parades and set up their own offerendas, (offering tables) with food and wine which are adorned with sugar skulls and calacas, (skeletons dressed as loved ones). All to take time to honor loved ones who have passed. Here in the states, we do not take time as a nation to stop and remember all family members who have passed. It is something we do within our own families. Instead... this time of year we dress up in costumes and play tricks and collect treats. Still fun and festive.
I love teaching my students about Day of the Dead. It is one of my favorite times of the year. Halloween... Day of the Dead... I love October! We spend some time comparing and contrasting the two holidays. I made these Sugar Skulls from molds I purchased from... yes... sugarskulls.com! The molds are worth the money. The skulls made with my students were created with Amaco's Cloud Clay. We powdered the molds with a little baby powder first, pressed in the white Cloud Clay. Every student made their own skull, (I bought one mold for each table). Then we used the Cloud Clay in colors to decorate the skulls. I showed my classes many examples of authentic sugar skulls and how they look sitting on offering tables. There are lots of photos on Flickr to borrow for the Smartboard. In fact, I am a member of the group Dia de los Muertos. LOTS of great ideas for Day of the Dead.
Additionally, we painted colorful backgrounds on cardboard, attached a square piece of scrap painted paper in the center with some marigold like flowers cut from more scrap painted paper. Jewels were glued in the eyes for a little sparkle and then the skulls were glued on the cardboard backgrounds with tacky glue. I must do these again this next year. I loved teaching it! Look this fall for a new approach to this favorite!