RACHEL KOURY, Carrie Robledo
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lower Primary, Upper Primary
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

Education Standards

K-5 Day of the Dead Library Lesson

K-5 Day of the Dead Library Lesson


K-5 Day of the Dead Library lesson featuring the book "Gustavo the Shy Ghost" by Flavia Z. Drago

K-5 Day of the Dead Library Lesson


Subject: Reading/Social StudiesTopic: Halloween/Day of the Dead
Teacher: Rachel KouryDate:  October 20, 2021

Grade:  Third

Standard Course of Study Common Core Standard Objective:CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.7  Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)3.C.1.1 Compare languages, foods and traditions of various groups living in local and regional communities.Essential Question:   Why is learning about multicultural holidays important?Student Objectives: I will compare and contrast Halloween and Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead).I will explain  how the illustrations in Gustavo the Shy Ghost contribute to the setting of the story.


ActivityDescription of Activities and SettingMaterials and Time
I.  Focus and Review (Establish prior knowledge)Pick up the covered book and tell students that our book we are going to read today is covered.  (Start with the library slide on tv.)Then reveal the book of the day (Make a big production of revealing it and holding it up so all students can see. Tell them you want them to really look at the cover and really think about what holiday could be the setting of this story when you uncover the book of the day. Ask them to put their thumb up when they know the holiday. Then ask the students with their thumbs up to tell you what holiday is the setting for this story when you count to three.  Of course students will say Halloween.  Ask at least 3 students why they thought it was Halloween.  Then say “No, it is not Halloween.” Then say something “Like, I can understand why you said that because this holiday does have some similarities to Halloween. This holiday happens on November 1st and 2nd.  Show slide and ask - Has anyone ever heard of Dias de los Muertos?   Expect some students to mention Coco.  If they don’t, lead them to figure it out by saying something like a few years ago Disney made a movie with this holiday as the setting.  Ask how many have seen it.  Then show 1:02 seconds of the movie trailer so they can make a connection between the holiday and the movie. Then state the objectivesbook of the day covered, slides Video Clips3 to 4 minutes depending on responses
II.  Statement (Inform student of objectives and the Essential Question.)Show and read the slide with objectives  and the Essential Question.1 minute
III.  Teacher Input (Present tasks, information, and guidance)Now tell students we are going to learn more about The Day of the Day of the Dead so we can describe the similarities and differences between it and Halloween. Some students may celebrate it so you can ask them to help explain it. * Go back to the slide with the Day of the Dead definition for the links.
  • Start with the Brain Pop Clip. Hold up 2 fingers and ask students to look for 2 facts about The Day of the Dead. Then show 2 minutes and stop right when it says-”But it is really a family holiday.” Then hold up 2 fingers and say you need them to give your 2 facts.  Pick students from different tables to share.
  • Hold up 3 fingers  and say you need them to look for 3 more facts this time as they listen to an article from Pebble Go. Then share each heading of the article on Pebble Go.
  • Do the same thing you did last time except hold up 3 fingers.
  • Next tell them you are going to share with them a young girl’s story about how she celebrates the day of the dead and this time hold up a hand and tell them to listen for 5 more facts about The Day of the Dead.
  • Hold up your hand and say this time we are going to do something a little different. Tell them you are going to say 123 Turn and talk and then they are going to talk to their partner or classmates at their table about the 5 facts they learned from listening to Lydia’s story. Tell them when you say 123 Turn and Talk time is over they will stop sharing their facts and that you will pick a few tables to share the facts they discussed.
10 minutes
IV.  Guided Practice (Elicit performance, provide assessment and feedback)Tell students  since we know about both holidays it is time to compare/contrast Halloween with the Day of the Dead.Tell them we are going to use a double bubble map to help us show the similarities and differences.  Call on students to give you facts about each holiday and type it in as they say it.Hold up the book and tell them that it only mentions the Day of the Dead once in the middle of the story.  Ask the question, How can we infer that it is that holiday in the beginning? Expect them to say the pictures or illustrations.  Explain how the illustrator (Flavia Z. Drago), who lives in Mexico, drew illustrations that help you understand the setting of the story is during the Day of the Dead.  Tell them that now they know more information about this holiday they are going to be focusing on the illustrations and eyespy illustrations that help them infer the setting is the Day of the Dead.Hold up the book in one hand and your other hand and tell students to give you five things in the illustration on the cover that helps them infer the setting is the Day of the Dead.Then show the video of the book read aloud and tell students to put up a finger to count every time they “eye-spy” something in the illustration that makes them know the setting is the Day of the Dead. Stop the video in 2 or 3 spots (especially the part with the calendar showing November 1st) and call on someone that you saw with fingers up and ask them why they counted it.At the end of the video ask students to raise their hand if they counted between 3 to 6 times and lower them when you give the signal (Start with hands in the air and move them down.)Then ask the students who counted more than 6 times to raise their hand and then give the signal to lower them.Ask students why they think the illustrator set the story about Gustavo during the Day of the Dead holiday.Slide with double bubble (Make sure not in present mode at this point so you can click and write in bubbles.)6 to 9 minutes12 minutes Copy of the bookVideo of the book.
V.  Independent Practice -- Seatwork and Homework (Retention and transfer)Tell students you are going to give their teacher the sugar skulls picture. Explain that they are going to decorate the skull(s) in the style of a Day of the Dead skull with bright colors. Then they are going to write about at least 2 of their favorite facts they learned about the Day of the Dead on the back of the colored in picture. Give them to your teacher and she will send them to the library so we can display them in the library so other students can learn about this holiday.1 to 2 minutessugar skulls pictures on cardstock
VI.  Closure (Plan for maintenance)Show the slide with objectives again and briefly review the objectives.  Focus/discuss the essential question and have several students respond to it.  Then end with the joke of the day. Tell them if they line up quietly you will tell them a second joke of the day.  Then tell students you are looking for tables that are sitting quietly to see which one gets to line up first and be the first one to get one of the cool Day of the Dead bookmarks.2 to 3 minutesjoke bookmarks