Tuesday, November 11, 2014

El Día de los Muertos - Painting Faces & Pumpkins

To teach about El día de los muertos, my lesson plans were probably similar to many other Spanish teachers throughout the US and in other countries - video clips, cultural readings, songs, etc.  (Find more information on these activities in previous posts: Videos & reading materials, and 23+ Activities for Day of the Dead and Halloween

Surprised with my student's face paint!
But this year I added a perspective to El día de los Muertos that I've wanted to do for the last two years - face painting! I did a trial run and painted half my face two nights in advance and was pleased to discover it took only approximately 30 minutes from start to finish.  (see photo on right) Then I convinced our other Spanish teacher to join me, and I spent part of my first period plan with paintbrush in hand and her face as my canvas. :-) 

However, the BEST part was when my first class period of student arrived and one of my students also had her face painted for El día de los Muertos.  

I used to think this would be hard to do, but IT IS NOT difficult.  If you want to surprise your students next year for El día de los muertos, this may be what you need.  I have to add that I have supportive administrators who gave me the green light to teach like this for the day!  

Two of my classes did their own version of "face painting" by painting pumpkins to look like calaveras.  Since there were a limited supply of white pumpkins where I bought the pumpkins, students needed to paint the pumpkins with two base coats of white before the decorating began.  I didn't want to take class time for this so I allowed students to come to my class during lunch and after school.  They students came two days in a row during lunch to work on their pumpkins and, even though I really enjoy talking to my colleagues during lunch, it was really enjoyable to have students in my room and chatting as they painted.  

I have a great photo of the students with their finished "calaveras" but I didn't obtain permission from each of them (yet) to post it on my blog.  If I get that permission, I'll be sure to add it to this post.

Both of these activities would be great ideas for Spanish Club.  

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