Classroom printables, activities & worksheets

The Day of the Dead

Get ready for the Day of the Dead with teacher-created Día de Los Muertos resources ready for your elementary classroom! Mark the fall holiday with printables, writing activities and more.

What Is the Day of the Dead?

Are you just learning about the Día de Los Muertos yourself? Although Mexican Americans have celebrated the Day of the Dead for hundreds of years here in America, many others are just learning about this centuries-old tradition. Our teacher team has pulled together some of the most important things for teachers to know to help educate your students on all things Day of the Dead. Known as el Día de Los Muertos in Spanish, the Day of the Dead is a fall holiday that originates in Mexico where families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives once a year. The centuries-old holiday is traditionally observed around Halloween and can also be called All Souls Day. Many Mexican-Americans celebrate the Day of the Dead by leaving offerings on their loved ones’ graves or creating altars called ofrendas in their homes with candles and marigolds. Celebrations of el Día de Los Muertos may also include brightly colored Calaveras or sugar skulls, which are used to honor those who have passed on.

When Is the Day of the Dead?

The Day of the Dead is traditionally celebrated November 1 into November 2. In 2022, Dia de Los Muertos will be marked on a Tuesday into a Wednesday.

How Do You Teach About the Day of the Dead?

Teaching your students about Day of the Dead with Día de los Muertos activities is a great way to foster empathy in the classroom as well as educating students about the Mexican tradition. Some ways to celebrate include:

Día de Los Muertos Facts for Kids

Looking for a few facts about Día de Los Muertos to share with your class this year to introduce them to this Mexican holiday? Here are some must-shares for your class to help them better understand what the day is all about.
  1. The Day of the Dead is not the same as Halloween. Although the holidays are celebrated in close proximity to one another, they have different origins and different means of being celebrated.
  2. Although it is called the Day of the Dead, Día de Los Muertos is not a solemn day of mourning. Instead, the holiday is truly celebrated with festive activities that vary from region to region in Mexico. Mexican American families who celebrate likewise may carry on different traditions passed down through generations.
  3. The origins of this holiday are believed to date back thousands of years to the Aztecs and Mayans.
  4. The marigold is the traditional flower of Día de Los Muertos, and you will see the colorful yellow blooms at many celebrations.

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