Día de los Muertos High School Spanish Classroom Activity

Posted on October 10, 2013

Get a free Día de los Muertos activity for your Spanish classroom!

Meet our amigo Rosben Olivera from D.F., Mexico. Rosben.pngRosben is one of the contributors to High School Spanish App that provides us with language rich, culturally relevant and authentic materials to use with students. He has lived, taught and wrote about Día de los Muertos (and many other cultural topics) from his perspective as a Mexican.

We asked Rosben for a fresh take on Día de los Muertos.  Feel free to use this text in class the week of Halloween & Día de los muertos. Get the full text and comprehension questions on our Free Spanish Resources page – you’ll just need to register as a user on this site to access it.

This text is written mainly in the present and past tenses, and is full of great new vocabulary centered around Día de los muertos. We’ve built in some comprehension questions as well so that it’s a perfect mini lesson or warm-up activity for this iconic holiday.

Looking for a full Día de los Muertos lesson plan?


 I have used this activity in my class and you are welcome to use it too.  Here it is all lined out for you!

1. A brief lluvia de ideas about ¿Qué es día de los muertos? (to test their prevoius knowlege).  This also serves as a vocabulary builder and provides great scaffolding for the next paso in this mini-lesson.

2. We go over the vocabulary that was brought up in spanish and I have pictures that I assign to each new word.  An example of new vocabulary might be: calacas, calaveras, cempasuchil, ciclo de la vida, disfraz, dulces, ofrenda, pan de muertos, tumbas…

3. I personally love to tie in the art work of Diego Rivera and show his great expressions of this festivity. They are so colorful, bright and beautiful.  This also almost always leads to a discussion en español about diverse family traditions, thoughts about death, and how this holiday is a celebration to remember our beloved familiares fallecidos.

4. We read Rosben’s article together, going over vocabulary and asking about any personal connections to this celebration.

5. We can squeeze in this great video on YouTube in Spanish from Mis Cositas.

6.  Discuss the comprehension questions below after the video:

Preguntas de comprensión y/o conversación:

  1. ¿Quién celebra el día de los muertos? ¿Por qué se celebra?
  2. ¿Cómo se celebra?
  3. ¿Cómo son las imágenes de la muerte (las calacas y las calaveras)?
  4. ¿Qué es una ofrenda? ¿Para qué se ponen las ofrendas?
  5. ¿Qué hace la gente en el cementerio?
  6. ¿Si tú celebraras día de los muertos en tu familia, a quién recordarías y qué pondrías en la ofrenda?

Depending on how much time you have, there are various extensions to this lesson.  I would love to hear what resources you use for this celebration or your ideas for extensions to this plan.  Please post your ideas on the blog – we would love to hear from you!

p.s. Have you checked out the comprehension section the the High School Spanish App?  This is where our authentic materials are stored. Have fun with Día de los Muertos this year!

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