Grade 2

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos)

Knowledge Constructor, Creative Communicator
day of the dead


The Day of the Dead helps Mexican families celebrate their dead loved ones. The Day of the Dead combines the ancient Aztec custom of celebrating ancestors with All Souls' Day. It is celebrated in Mexico and many Latin American countries on November 1 and 2. Students will learn about the history of this day by researching the topic and then writing a short paragraph that includes copyright free images to share with their teacher. 

Students will:

  • Be able to research the Day of the Dead.
  • Be able to write a paragraph or two on the topic. 
  • Be able to locate images that are copyright free in Google. 

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Day of the Dead: The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated on November 1 and 2 to honor their dead loved ones.

To prepare for this lesson:

  • National Geographic Kids has a great article about the history of this Mexican and Latin American celebration. Read the article Day of the Dead
  • Watch the following videos to learn more about the Day of the Dead. 
  • Use this Google Doc template or create one of your own and make copies for your students. If you are using Google Classroom, use the Make a Copy option to send out copies to your students. 
  • Make sure your students know how to access the document.
  • You will show them how to add images in the Google Document.
    • If using Google Docs, the students can go to Insert on the menu bar and then Search>Search the Web.
    • Teach them how to type keywords to find the images they need. 
  • You should also show them how to resize the images as they will be very large as they are inserted into the document. 
  • If your students are not using Google Docs, you can use public-domain image sites with them. 
    • PhotosforClass
    • Pexels
    • Google Images 
      • Have the students do a search for their images. 
      • Then show them Tools>Usage Rights. Have them choose Creative Commons Licenses

Note: If time, you can show the students the Pixar movie Coco an animated full-motion movie on the traditions of the Day of the Dead. 

See Accommodations Page and Charts on the site in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. The teacher will share a Day of the Dead video with the students.
  2. The teacher will share the National Geographic website with the students and give them time to read the article. 
  3. The students will go to the Google Document and write a short paragraph on what they have learned about the Day of the Dead. 
  4. The students will add one-two images by doing an image search in Google Docs or one of the copyright-free public domain image sites.  
  5. The students will need to resize their images. 
  6. The students will share or turn in their documents to their teacher. 

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • Students will need to write a least 2-3 sentences and add at least one image to complete the assignment. 

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Knowledge Constructor
3a. Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.
3b. Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.

Creative Communicator
6d. Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad 

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL

App, Extension, or Add-on:

Day of the Dead National Geo Article

Google Doc Assignment Template



What is Day of the Dead? Nat Geo video

What is Day of the Dead Frontline video



Students will do more research on Day of the Dead depending on the age of the students. They can use Michigan eLibrary World Book or Encyclopedia Britannica. 

Students will create their own images of Day of the Dead. 

Students will learn more about the area (Mexico and Latin American countries) where the Day of the Dead originated. The teacher will show the students using maps (digital or paper). 

This task card was created by Melissa White, 21Things Project Manager, December 2020.