Clairbourn Students Celebrated the Rich and Diverse Culture and Traditions of Dia de Los Muertos!

Jeanette Zamora
Clairbourn offers an enriching and robust language program and for the past few weeks students learned about the Dia De Los Muertos.

Our lower school students in Mrs. Rubio’s kindergarten to fifth grade classes started this unit by listening to Dia de los Muertos stories, and making flash cards of vocabulary such as pan de muerto (bread of the dead) and galleta (cookies). Students also learned new words through songs, explored the colorful Hispanic culture, and created papel picado (cut paper) to decorate their classroom. At the end of the learning journey, Lower School students got to taste the pan de muerto and decorate the skeleton cookies while calling out each color in Spanish! A third grader said, “This pan de muerto is too good! Can I have some more?”

Middle School students in Mrs. Drazic’s class read the book Tumba which takes place in Mexico during the celebration of Dia de los Muertos. Students engaged with the literature through listening, reading, writing and speaking activities, such as recording a scary ghost story and illustrating a storyboard of a traditional ‘calavera’ poem. Students also learned about the Mexican Revolution and they enjoyed drawing parallels between the colonial influence of Spain in Mexico and that of the U.S. colonial past. Students learned about the significance of calaveras (skulls), esqueletos (skeletons) and cempasúchil (marigold flowers) as they constructed an altar in the classroom using paper flowers and papel picado banners they made, and added personal elements like stuffed animals, and our favorite, Mexican candies. The best part was having Lower School students visiting the middle school altar they built!

It is wonderful to see students make their own cultural connections while learning about this tradition. At Clairbourn, we continue to celebrate the rich culture of diverse traditions!

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