Dia de Los Muertos

Day of the Dead, A Hispanic Tradition

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Doering, A. (2006). Day of the Dead: A Celebration of Life and Death (pp. 4-23). Mankato, Minnesota: Capstone Press.
This read aloud is planned for fifth graders. "Day of the Dead: A Celebration of Life and Death" is a non-fictional fact book about Day of the Dead. The book focuses on traditions such as what the holiday is, Food, Preparing the Altar, and more!

I believe this book helps students understand other traditions that happen outside of the United States. The pictures are big and the information is important so students understand the meaning behind the holiday. This book invites readers to get to know and perhaps be part of their own celebration or activity!
CGI Student Academy Award Gold Medal Winner Short Film HD: "Dia De Los Muertos" from Whoo Kazoo

About the Author and Brief Description

Amanda Doering is a native of Minnesota and she loves writing. She has been the author for more than 15 children's books. She typically writes for children because she feels it is very rewarding. She also loves writing because she loves to help children read and feels she can learn something along the way as well. She was nominated for the (2005-2006) Mocking Bird Award.


The photographs were taken by various photographers.

This Mexican holiday is celebrated November 1st and 2nd every year. The ceremony is to honor family or friends who have passed away. The holiday is not scary, Mexicans believe that death is part of life and the holiday is part of their culture. Customs include a variety of Aztec and Christian traditions. When preparing the altar people will bring food, flowers, and pictures.This holiday is celebrated during the Christian Holiday All Saints Day.

3 Strengths

I think 3 key strengths the book offers are traditions, family, and history. These 3 themes are talked about often in this book.

For traditions this is a book all about it. This is an annual holiday that people celebrate every year in Mexico. On (page 7) it is talked about how Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated every November 1st and 2nd.

For family this book focuses on bringing family and friends together to celebrate the life of a loved one. For example in the book on (pages 10-11) it talks about putting pictures of the loved one down. On (page 14-15) people are gathered in the cemetery and will pray together.

The tradition is an old one that dates back thousands of years to the Aztecs. In the book on (page 8-9) it explains that the Aztecs did not believe that when people died they were gone forever. Spanish settlers came along in the 1500's and wanted the natives to become Christians but they wanted to keep their tradition. So as time went on it became somewhat of a blend of both.

Doering, A. (2006). Day of the Dead: A Celebration of Life and Death (pp. 4-23). Mankato, Minnesota: Capstone Press.


Vocabulary and Questions


Aztecs- Indian people who lived in Mexico before Spanish people settled there.
In Aztec music drums are often used so for this vocabulary word I will have students lightly tap their hands on their desks when they here this word.


Spirit- The part of a person that is believed to control thoughts and feelings; the spirit is also called the soul.
I was thinking I would have students lightly and slowly do a waving upward motion to symbolize the spirit being with them during the celebration.

Questions - Beginning

1.) Have you heard about Day of the Dead before? If so where?
2.) Why do you think Day of the Dead would be a celebrated holiday?


3.) Why do you think people leave pictures, and food for loved ones who have passed away?


4.) Can you see the difference between Day of the Dead and Halloween?
5.) Do you think it is important for families and friends to come together during this time? Why?