Lesson Plan

Day of the Dead

This will open students eyes to other cultures.
Jessica L.
Classroom teacher
Tennessee Technological University based at RSCC-OR
Oak Ridge, TN
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
My Subjects Math, Science, Social Studies

The learner will be able to compare and contrast the different values and beliefs regarding burial customs from different parts of North America, specifically Mexico and the United States.

North America 3.14

Interpret different texts and primary sources to describe the major components of culture including language, clothing, food, art, beliefs, customs, and music. (C, H)


Social Studies
Grades 3
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Day of the Dead Introduction Video

Activity: Other — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-v4-1wFEzM0&feature=youtu.be

The students will watch a four minute short film on the Day of the Dead. This video will tell the students what it is and what is expected during this celebration, in a fun educational way. This will gain the attention needed in this lesson. During the film, the students will need to take a few notes on notebook paper explaining what they see, feel, or hear watching it. These notes should help them when I ask the following questions after the video:


        1.  What is the Day of the Dead?

        2.  Does it seem fun or scary?

        3. Why do you think people from Mexico   celebrate this holiday?

We will discuss a few students’ answers, but their notes will be taken up to make sure questions were answered.


2 Power Point and Poetry Writing

Activity: Other — Poetry Writing

After students have taken notes on the video, they will watch the day of the dead powerpoint as we discuss the meaning of Day of the Dead.  They will be introduced to the vocabulary and Day of the Dead rituals.  Once the students seem comfortable with what they have learned, we will take them out of their “home group” and put into different groups to write a poem. We will have them write a poem using the poem worksheet listed in the materials section of this lesson plan..  They will be required to write 4 lines in the poem that pertains to Day of the Dead as a group.  They will have to use at least 4 vocabulary words in the poem in the correct context.  Each group will then take their poem to their “home group”  where they will share their poems.  During all of the poetry writing and discussions we will walk around and assess what is being discussed.  The students will use the bottom part of the worksheet to write down what they have learned by listening to each poem from their “home group”.  These sheets will be taken up for a formative assessment.

3 Conclusion

The students will complete a short quiz on Kahoot! that reviews our learning of the lesson, including questions over the new vocabulary definitions, and true/false questions. This is also their summative assessment. The teacher can print an Excel sheet to review the learning from the day and ensure the students are on track with their learning.