The foreign language department set up two Day of the Dead altars. This day is typically celebrated in Mexico and other Latin American countries on Oct. 31, Nov. 1, and Nov. 2. The holiday commemorates family members and friends who have passed away. The idea is to decorate the altars with flowers, food, drink, toys/things that were beloved, and incorporate photos of those people. Students taking all levels of Spanish studied different aspects of the holiday. For example, in Spanish III, students compared Halloween with Day of the Dead in an article with a Venn diagram. They also watched parts of the movie “Coco,” and discussed the cultural aspects of the movie and the celebration. They investigated alebrijes, Catrina, and calaveras. The students had the option to bring in photos, decorations, or poems that represent people they have lost. In Spanish IV AP, students read Octavio Paz's essay in Spanish on the nature of Mexican celebrations and their fascination with death. After, they listened to songs, watched videos, and read different articles about how the Day of the Dead is celebrated in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Mexico. In AP exam-style format, the students then gave oral presentations comparing views of death in different parts of the Hispanic-speaking world versus the U.S. At the end of these lessons and discussions, they touched on how the holiday relates to All Saints Day and that the Catholic Church embraces a holiday that venerates souls and their remembrance.



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