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El Día de los Muertos: A WebQuest Presenter: Tonya Acome Spanish Teacher Union Springs Middle School
Introduction Many people consider El Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) to be the Mexican version of Halloween. Is it? Or is this a misconception? Through this WebQuest, you will come up with an answer to this question and learn what the Day of the Dead is and how it is celebrated. Fasten your seatbelts! Are you ready for the ride?
Task First, you will discover what the Day of the Dead is and how it is celebrated. Questions you will answer are: • What is the Day of the Dead and where is it celebrated? • When is the Day of the Dead celebrated? • What is the history behind the Day of the Dead? What is its origin? • What are some of the traditions associated with the holiday? • What is an “ofrenda” and what is its significance? • What are some of the foods associated with the holiday? • What is the Mexican view of death?
Task Continued Next, you will compare the Day of the Dead and Halloween. How are they similar? How are they different? Finally, you will arrive at a conclusion: Is the Day of the Dead the Mexican version of Halloween or do you think that this is a misconception? Are there more similarities than differences between the holidays or vice versa?
Process • You will be given a copy of a worksheet called “El Día de los Muertos.” This worksheet is where you will record your answers to the questions asked of you in the Task Section of this WebQuest. • Visit the websites listed in the Resources Section to answer the questions on the worksheet and to gain an understanding of El Día de los Muertos. • Be sure to watch the video clips on the “Día de los Muertos” website. They will enable you to see the Day of the Dead in action.
Process Continued • Draw a Venn Diagram on a sheet of paper. Use this Venn Diagram, the information found in the websites provided, and your knowledge of Halloween to compare and contrast the Day of the Dead and Halloween. • Once you have viewed the websites and have completed the worksheet and Venn Diagram, it is time for you to arrive at a conclusion: Is the Day of the Dead the Mexican version of Halloween or do you think that this a misconception? Are there more similarities than differences between the holidays or vice versa? You will answer these questions by writing a well-developed paragraph (about half a page) that includes appropriate details from the information you found in the websites provided.
Resources • What do Mexicans celebrate on the “Day of the Dead?” Check out this website to learn about the history and traditions of the Day of the Dead. • Día de los Muertos Be sure to check out the various links on this website and watch the video clips in the Video section. You will learn a great deal of information here. • La Ofrenda Click here to find out what an “ofrenda” is, what it is for, and what it includes. • Day of the Dead This link will bring you to Fact Monster and gives a great overview of the holiday. Pay special attention to the last section called “Tone of the Holiday.” This is where you where you will find out how the holiday compares to Halloween. • Day of the Dead Honors the Deceased Click here to discover some of the differences between the Day of the Dead and Halloween.
Evaluation Your worksheet, Venn Diagram, and paragraph will be graded using the following rubric:
Conclusion ¡Felicitaciones! Congratulations! You have completed your exploration of the Day of the Dead! You can now consider yourself an expert on this Mexican cultural tradition. You should have the following things ready to turn in: • A completed Día de los Muertos Worksheet • A Venn Diagram comparing Halloween and the Day of the Dead • A paragraph stating your view on whether the Day of the Dead is the Mexican version of Halloween or whether this is a misconception