• Tate Alvarez

Week 11?!

Hello Hello Hello,

What a wonderful week it has been! All week we have been learning about a special holiday celebrated in Mexico and many places around the United States, Dia de los Muertos. It is typically celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, but I thought we might celebrate it early since we were having a parade today! To learn more about the holiday we read the books Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras, Gustavo the Shy Ghost, Just in Time, Just a Minute, and an informative book called The Day of the Dead.

At the start of the week, I let students know we would be building an altar to honor those in our lives we have lost. We visited the Detroit Institute of Art (virtually) and spent time noticing what we saw on the altars, and what must have been valuable to the people that were being honored and remembered. We also took note of what each of the altars had in common: marigold flower, papel picado, pictures of the loved ones, food/candy/snacks, flowers, candles, and calaveras. 

While reading each of our books, we were on the lookout for all of the traditional decorations we saw at the museum. After reading each day, we created our own decorations to be placed at our altar. My favorite of these was our arches of flowers and butterflies. This was a last-minute project we were able to do on Thursday, after a student noticed we were missing this component for our altar. I let them know, if they could construct it, we could do it. The students divided into 3 groups: The Constructors (Lynn, Dayton, Henry D., Tej), The Decorators (Nora, Gem, Isa, Billie, Calvin, Avi, Henry T.), and the construction designers (Alex and JJ), and all took ownership of creating these arches. (A big thank you to those who brought cardboard boxes for our next project.... we dipped into those supplies a little early for this). 

As Friday approached, all our 1/2s looked so stinking cool in their Halloween costumes! We set up the altar and it was looking absolutely wonderful. We decided that we would honor Shirley Chisholm and Nokomis Josephine-ba Mandamin (Water Walker). We also gave space to anyone who wanted to honor someone as their individual selves. All chose to do this and wrote the names on little pieces of paper, folded them up, and then placed them in our table skull. 

After the parade, we came inside to watch a video I made cooking Pan de Muerto, a traditional bread for the holiday. Ordinarily I would bake it and bring it in to share, but I thought it safer to leave that option up to you at home. I’m providing the video, which has the directions within, but you can also find the recipe using this link. If you decide to make this bread (or choose to celebrate in any way), I’ll be sure to feature pictures/videos in our blog!! 

With this, I’ll leave you with a presentation of Day of the Dead poems made by our 1/2s. 

Have a wonderful weekend!


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