Tag Archives: teachingtraditions

Noche de Muertos 101 ~ Day of the Dead

Noche de muertos  300x199 Noche de Muertos 101 ~ Day of the Dead

“Noche de Muertos” is a Mexican tradition celebrated primarily on the 1st and 2nd of November of each year. The day of the dead celebration has become very popular around the world, perhaps because of its colorful papel picado, fun calaveritas de azúcar and beautiful ofrendas. Although this is a great way to introduce the festivity to little ones and young students, it is important to understand and respect this tradition. Then, it will be truly cherished and awaited each year by generations to come. For more than 600 years, indigenous groups in Mexico have been performing different types of rituals to honor, interact and relate to life after death. Indigenous Mexico accepts death as part of a lifecycle without beginning or end. It is believed that the souls of the dead return for a visit to celebrate a family reunion. Families gather a few days before to prepare for the arrival of their loved ones. This can be at home, the cemetery or both. The items prepared and gathered are the food, drinks, and personal items the deceased loved. Also, personal items and tools are gathered for their journey back. The offering is an expression of love and acceptance of the cycle of life.

I believe that what is truly important to understand is that these two days are an opportunity to be with family and the community. A Maya professor states: “We celebrate togetherness with our dearly departed”.

Lasy year, I had the privilege of spending Noche de Muertos in Michoacan state. Here is a short video of the Tzintzuntzan’s procession. It was magical!


Great Resources:

Elementos imprescindibles para recibir a las ánimas

Noche de Muertos en Michoacan

A day of the Dead Story: Those Good Old November Days 

Day of the Dead: Celebration, History and Origins

For the niños

Two of my favorite storybook for Día de los Muertos!

Screenshot 2014 09 29 15.45.52 300x231 Noche de Muertos 101 ~ Day of the Dead
Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead
By Judy Goldman
Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead Noche de Muertos 101 ~ Day of the Dead

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Screenshot 2014 10 06 15.58.45 Noche de Muertos 101 ~ Day of the Dead
Yo Recuerdo a Abuelito
Un cuento del Día de los Muertos
By Janice Levy
I Remember Abuelito: A Day of the Dead Story / Yo Recuerdo a Abuelito: Un Cuento del Día de los Muertos (Spanish and English Edition) Noche de Muertos 101 ~ Day of the Dead

Looking for Printable Activities to teach Día de los Muertos?

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Teaching about el Día de Acción de Gracias

Teaching about el Día de Acción de Gracias can be very exciting but challenging if your students or yourself didn’t grow up celebrating this holiday. My first time celebrating El Día de Acción de Gracias was as an adult and I didn’t know too much about the history related to Thanksgiving. Quickly I learned to love this holiday. For me, El Día de Acción de Gracias is all about sharing a special meal and evening with family, friends, even people that we don’t know, and reflecting about the beautiful things we all have in our lives. Whether you grew up celebrating it or you are just learning more about this holiday, make sure that you say “Gracias” todos los dias.

EN CASA you can practice with your children to give “Gracias” and to think about their gratitude each day. This activity will give you a glimpse into the hearts of your family members while also giving you the opportunity to share your sentiments with them. Learn more about our Gracias challenge…

EN LA ESCUELA I try to incorporate reading, writing and math while learning about this holiday. I have created a Día de Accion de Gracias” Thanksgiving Activity Bundle you might enjoy. It contains 30-pages of math, letter and other cognitive printables. Crafts and Resources too! If you are a Monarca member download for free the bundle or you can always get it at my TpT store.

thanksbundle Teaching about el Día de Acción de Gracias

If you are looking for a few more ideas keep reading!

Vocabulario Básico ~ Basic Vocabulary

blog thanks voca Teaching about el Día de Acción de Gracias
There are many words to learn, but not worry, once you know them you can use them during dinner with your family or while you’re having lunch with your students. Always consider the age group of your students or children when introducing new vocabulary. I like to introduce no more than 8 new words per lesson.

Algunos Cuentos ~ Some Storybooks

 Teaching about el Día de Acción de Gracias Teaching about el Día de Acción de Gracias Teaching about el Día de Acción de Gracias Teaching about el Día de Acción de Gracias
 Teaching about el Día de Acción de Gracias
 Teaching about el Día de Acción de Gracias Teaching about el Día de Acción de Gracias Teaching about el Día de Acción de Gracias Teaching about el Día de Acción de Gracias
 Teaching about el Día de Acción de Gracias
 Teaching about el Día de Acción de GraciasThese books are some of my favorite! Make sure to check your local library since most of these books I was able to find them there.

Algunos Canciones ~ Some Songs

It is difficult to find Thanksgiving songs in Spanish but here is one that is perfect for this holiday. You can find his music at Amazon or Itunes.blog thanks song1 Teaching about el Día de Acción de Gracias

Another cute song to sing with your young ones is Día de Acción de Gracias by Music with Sara. I love the lyrics, they are simple and the song’s pace is also perfect to sing-along in class.

Más Ideas ~ More Ideas

Our friends at Spanish Playground have lots of great ideas and crafts for Thanksgiving, including a FREE mini-coloring book from us. Make sure to check them!

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¡Gracias por tu atención!

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Día de los Muertos 2015 events

Día de Muertos is a culturally rich celebration all people can enjoy and learn about.

Here is a list of places that are celebrating, so that you don’t miss it. Feel free to comment about an event. We will make sure to add it to our list.

PHOENIX
Día de lo Muertos PHX. Cultural Coalition
http://diadelosmuertosphx.com/
Location: Steele Indian School Park
Admission: Ticketed
For Kids: All Ages
2015 Dates: Sunday October 25 | 1-6 pm
Día de Muertos Celebration at Desert Botanical Garden
https://www.dbg.org/events/dia-de-los-muertos-celebration
Location: Desert Botanical Garden
Admission: Ticketed
For Kids: All Ages
2015 Dates: October 31- November 1st | 10-5 pm

AUSTIN
Lawndale Art Center 28th Annual Día de los  Muertos Series
http://houmuse.com/explore/events/28th-annual-dia-de-los-muertos/
Location: Houston Museum District
Admission: Ticketed
For Kids: All Ages
2015 Dates: October 19- November 7 | 10-5 pm

HOUSTON
Lawndale Art Center 28th Annual Día de los  Muertos Series
http://houmuse.com/explore/events/28th-annual-dia-de-los-muertos/
Location: Houston Museum District
Admission: Ticketed
For Kids: All Ages
2015 Dates: October 19- November 7 | 10-5 pm

LOS ANGELES
Día de Muertos Event List
http://www.latourist.com/index.php?page=dia-de-los-muertos
L.A. Tourist has an awesome and very detail list of the many día de muertos events around L.A.

SAN FRANCISCO
SOMArts’ annual Day of the Dead
http://www.somarts.org/exhibitions/day-of-the-dead/
Location: 934 Brannan Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Admission: Ticketed
For Kids: All Ages
2015 Dates: October 9- November 9 | 10-5 pm

NEW YORK
Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders presents Day of the Dead October
www.manoamano.us
Location:  St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery (131 E 10th St, New York)
Admission: Free
For Kids: All Ages
2015 Date: October 31 | 12-6 pm

SEATTLE
Dia de Muertos: A Mexican Celebration to Remember Our Departed
www.diademuertosenseattle.org
Location:  305 Harrison Street, Seattle,WA
Admission: Free
For Kids: All Ages
2015 Date: October 31 -Nov 1st| 11-6 pm

Looking for books, music or Día de los Muertos printables? I have some ideas for you!

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New Year’s Resolution Activities for Preschoolers. Niños, Let’s Set Little and Big Achievements for 2015!

Monarca Language wishes you a full year of new adventures! This is a great time to start thoughtful and exciting resolutions with your children. After all, children love starting new projects. It is important that we support the progress, not just the end results. Enjoy the little or big achievements your child makes along the way!

Let’s think of New Year’s resolution activities for preschoolers this new year.

New Year resolutions are not only for adults or personal aspirations. Resolutions can be made by children, by the family together or even at school. Self-discipline and self-esteem can be strengthened by learning the importance of practice and progress.  Ask your child or class if they would be interested in achieving a family or group goal. Perhaps reading more books, practicing a sport or an art. Even better, practicing more Spanish each day!  We have found interesting articles and activities for you to explore this idea. We would love to hear about any 2015 resolutions you and your little ones make together.

Making New Year’s Resolutions with Your Child
By Laura Lewis Brown

Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for Kids
By American Academy of Pediatrics 

Actividades con los Niños para Fin de Año
Por Dariela Cruz 

20 RESOLUCIONES DE AÑO NUEVO SANAS PARA NIÑOS
By American Academy of Pediatrics

ESTE 2016… FREE PRINTABLE

300fcd12 7aae 4cdd b68e dd940ec46d6c New Years Resolution Activities for Preschoolers. Niños, Lets Set Little and Big Achievements for 2015!

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It’s almost Thanksgiving Day, Let’s Teach Children to Express Gratitude

¡Gracias! Thank you! Thanksgiving Day let’s teach children to express gratitude.

photo 44 225x300 Its almost Thanksgiving Day, Lets Teach Children to Express Gratitude

Let’s Teach Children to Express Gratitude.

As children we were all told to say those words to express gratitude for someone’s kindness.  Raising polite and grateful little humans has always been the job of the adults.  Of course, children copy what they see and hear, particularly from their parents.  When was the last time you were able to reflect on your gratitude?  What are you thankful for this year?  Today?

When November hits the calendar, many families start making plans for Thanksgiving Day.  What’s for dinner?  Who are we inviting to share it with us?  What do we need to buy for the groceries?  Will our favorite football team be playing a game on TV?  We are often in a rush to do the holiday “right” that we bypass the true sentiment of the holiday.  Since the focus becomes so much on the success of the Thanksgiving Day feast, it may be easier and more meaningful to focus on the things and people we are thankful for as soon as the month of November hits the calendar.

This November, challenge your family members to think about their gratitude each day of the month.  This is a fun and easy task for each family member because age is not a barrier for this activity.  All you need are a pencil, small pieces of paper and a container such as a mason jar, an empty pail or a big manila envelope.  Ask each family member to write down something they feel thankful for, and help the little ones write down their thoughts, too.  The young ones can also draw a quick picture and you can write down their explanation of the drawing.  Do this each day, and place the pieces of paper in the container your family chooses to use.

Do this each day of the month, and on Thanksgiving Day during dinner take the Container of Thankfulness and share the sentiments in it.  It will be uplifting to hear all of the beautiful words each of your family members has shared for the month.  Whether someone is thankful for relatives, a toy, or an event that occurred on a particular day, it will be a delight to relive those thoughts together.  Moreover, it will build a habit in your children.  Your children will learn that regardless of how tough things may seem on a particular day we all have plenty for which we should be grateful.

I encourage you to try this small activity with your family.  Expressing and feeling gratitude is what brings humanity together.  This activity will give you a glimpse into the hearts of your family members while also giving you the opportunity to share your sentiments with them.

There is so much to give thanks for each day.  Reflect and have fun.

~By Diana P. a “mamá latina”

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