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by Erica Fischer on Nov 2, 2010

Celebrate “Día de los muertos” with Your Class

¡Feliz Día de los muertos! Depending on your situation, you may or may not have the resources or desire to plan a big celebration, yet bringing a culture to life through studying its holidays is an exciting diversion from the typical school day. Here is a simple, innocent way to introduce Día de los muertos with a classic kids game.

How to Play:

This game follows the straight-forward structure of Musical Chairs. Split your class into two groups so that you’ll have one group walking around a line of chairs while you lead the other group in chanting the poem provided at the end of this post. Make sure you have one less chair then the number of students walking.

When you and your students reach the end of the poem, the walkers have to sit down as fast as they can in a chair. One student will be left without a chair. The left-out student is called the Huesuda and will join the group that chants the poem.

Remove a chair from the line and continue to play until only two students are left. These are your two winners; they out-ran the Calca! You can then rotate groups. To make this more challenging, you can signal your students to stop chanting in the middle of the poem, requiring your walkers to sit on a moments notice.

Your students will love playing this game. This activity will engage children in this much-anticipated annual celebration as they read the poem and participate in the culture and traditions of Día de los muertos!

Chant this poem with students as you play the game:

La Calaca en el Jardín

“Todos a correr
que llega la Calaca
y lleva al que no esté
sentado en su butaca
y ya tiemblan las almas.
La flaca se divierte
y ríe haciendo palmas,
la flaca se divierte
y ríe haciendo palmas.

Hay que estar atento,
prestar mucha atención
y tomar asiento
si corta la canción.
Pobre la Huesuda
con tanta carcajada olvidó a qué vino
y no se llevó nada”
-Leonardo Antivero


Elementary in Spanish
Erica Fischer
Erica is the founder and CEO of Calico Spanish. Her passion for teaching her own children to speak Spanish led her to create Calico Spanish. Our mission is to give all children the opportunity to learn to speak real Spanish for life.

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