This holiday involves making offerings in the form of an altar for loved ones who have died. In the altar, offerings are made such as favorite foods of the dead person, toys if it was a child, gifts, cempasuchitl flowers, paper flowers, papel picado (decorative cut-out paper), candles, photos of the person who died, calavera poems which are satirical, letters, other decorative objects, calaveritas (small sugar skulls), and pan de muertos (sugar bread of the dead). It is often confused with Halloween, because it is accustomed that people paint their faces as skulls. Unlike Halloween, this holiday is not about dressing up in different costumes and collecting candy. El Día de los Muertos is a day dedicated to honor those who have died.
This is why in my classes, I decided to teach my students about this holiday. With my students in ESL 1 and Communications, we helped decorate the altar set up by Ms. Sanchez and Ms. Oceguera because we wanted to share about this festive day. We wrote calavera poems which are written for those people who are alive as a way of satire or making fun of government or the person written it for. We also made colorful flowers out of paper and made banners of papel picado from stencils. Overall, the purpose of this lesson was to help my students learn the perspective about death in different cultures. This was meant to also share a little bit of who we are and our own customs as Mexicans.