Dia de los Muertos
Ms. Meyers, Ms. Dordoni and Ms. dos Santos along with the help of IB coordinator Eve Kingsbury and fellow 6th grade teachers, outdid themselves with an amazing inter-disciplinary celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican celebration of life that combines Catholic and Aztec beliefs. The students were told the story of Dia de los Muertos and then watched a silent movie on the celebration to gain further insight in to the day and its festivities. Next they were placed in groups and assigned a famous, deceased Spanish speaking person that they researched and created an alter for. Art teachers, Ms. MacPherson and Ms. Conrad, were instrumental in helping the children create the alters which paid tribute to the famous person’s life. The artistic themes of focal points, 3D effects and clustering were apparent through out the students’ work. Cempazuchitl, marigolds, are seen on many of the alters as they are the symbolic flower of death.
In health class Ms. Cahill taught the students the skeletal system; the use of skeletons is an Aztec tradition that shows they’re not afraid of death but rather embrace it as a natural part of life. Mr. Saliguero and Mr. Fischetti played a game in Phys. Ed. called Ulama. Mr. Ezzo taught the students a song called “Dia de los Muertos” in music class that they sang during their processional through the school. The students got to taste pandulce (also known as pan de muertos) a traditional sweet bread. The project culminated with the students sharing information about their famous person; students asked and answered in Spanish the person’s name, date of birth, place of birth and age.