Oaxaca, Mexico Lesson Plans


Geography and Climate




People and Ethnic Groups

Oaxaca Culture
Day of the Dead Celebration

Flora and Fauna


Create a Travel Brochure


Oaxaca Culture
Day of the Dead Celebration


  • To learn about the significance of the Day of the Dead celebration and how it is celebrated.
  • To compare the Mexican celebration to holidays such as Halloween.

Suggested Resources/Materials:

  • Paper and pencil
  • Watercolors or tempera paints
  • Colored markers
  • Chart or heavy duty paper
  • Fruits, vegetables and flowers
  • Web sites  (See Links below)

The lesson:

Before beginning the study of The Day of the Dead celebration, have the students complete a KWHL Chart. K= What Do We Know; W= What Do We Want To Know; H= How Do We Find Out; L= What We Learned). This activity can be done as en entire class or in small groups. If done in small groups, the groups will share their charts with the class as a whole.


  • What is the Day of the Dead and when is it celebrated? How is it connected to All Souls Day?
  • Much effort goes into preparing for this holiday. Why is this an important day for Mexicans?
  • How do the families celebrate? What are some of the traditional foods prepared?
  • Even though each family’s "offrenda" (altar) is different, what items are traditionally included?
  • The Catholic Church had in the past tried to downplay this holiday. What role do they currently play in The Day of the Dead?
  • How is Halloween influencing traditional celebrations?
  • Does your country have any holidays that are celebrated only by you?

suggested activities:

  • Pick a deceased public figure and create an offrenda using as many traditional items as you can.
  • Have students pick a favorite deceased relative or friend and either draw or create an offrenda or for them.
  • Create a mural depicting the different elements that make up the Day of the Dead celebration.


In addition to paper and pencil tests, teachers could use individual or small group projects, oral reports, mental maps or structured overviews for assessment.  

Vocabulary Search (search box)

Oaxaca web site links


Home   Lesson Plans   Oaxaca Lesson Plans