Don't you just love Día de los Muertos? It's such a colorful holiday - filled with color, delicious goodies, great music, and cultural richness. I look at it as Halloween's good twin, and a way to keep on having fun for a couple of extra days.
I started each of my classes today with a brief explanation of the two holidays - what they have in common and how they are different. I then showed an adorable little animated video that does not have particularly strong educational value, but it is entertaining and beautiful. And it shows the message that I take from the holiday - It's not about being afraid of death or about being sad for those we've lost, but rather about celebrating their life and understanding that death is just another phase of our existence.
There is no dialog in the video - neither in English nor in Spanish. Students can just watch and soak in the images and the ideas without any stress.
I played it completely straight with my students today. I told them it was a short video and that I required their attention, that I had not made a worksheet or an activity to go with it, I just wanted them to watch and enjoy. They responded well and gave it their attention.
We also put up an ofrenda at school - but I will save that story for later as I'm tired now.