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The Day of The Dead is coming up in a few days.

My ELL Newcomer class is composed of about two-thirds Spanish-speakers and one-third from countries in other continents, so I figured this simple lesson might work well.

First, I’ll show this video to provide an introduction to the celebration.  Most of my students obviously won’t need it, but others will:


Next, students will work with their peer tutors on figuring out the correct sequence for these sentences, including circling “clue” words (you can download a document including these sentences and the answer key here):

1.Families remember the children who have died by making an altar. They put pictures of the children, candies, and toys on the altar.

2.Families make an altar for adults who have died. They put pictures of the adults on the altar. They also put their favorite things on the altar.

3.After they visit the graves, children paint their faces and wear costumes.

4. On November 1st, families remember children who have died.

5. The Day Of The Dead starts on October 31st.

6. After they make an altar for adults who died, they visit the graves of people who died.

7. At the end of the Day of the Dead, everyone eats and tells stories about people who died.

8. On November 2nd, families remember adults who have died.


Next, students in their small groups will work with peer tutors using mini-whiteboards to create similar sequencing sheets for other holidays they celebrate in their home countries.

Peer tutors will take photos of what they come up, and type them on a Google Doc so I can print them out the next day.  Then, students will work on the sequencing sheets their classmates created.

We’ve done something like this before, so I think it should go relatively smoothly.

In case you want to use different movies with this lesson, or another one you plan for that day, here are some others that might work:

And here’s a great one to show, and then have students write and talk about what they saw:

I’m adding a link to this entire post to The Best Websites For Learning About Halloween.

And I’m adding the last video to The Best Movie Scenes For Halloween.