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Dia De Los Muertos:. Celebrating the Day Of the Dead. Carol Halbmaier LIBM 6371 Program Implementation University of Central Arkansas. Program Set-up. This was a one-time informational program about the Hispanic Holiday Dia De Los Muertos (also known as the Day of the Dead).

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Dia de los muertos

Dia De Los Muertos:

Celebrating the

Day Of the Dead

Carol Halbmaier

LIBM 6371

Program Implementation

University of Central Arkansas

Program set up
Program Set-up

  • This was a one-time informational program about the Hispanic Holiday Dia De Los Muertos (also known as the Day of the Dead).

  • It was held at the Bentonville High School Theater Make-up Room to allow access to mirrors and good lighting.

  • Decorations were added to set the tone for the evening.

Program set up1
Program Set-up

  • Pictures of Sugar Skull paintings were placed on the make-up counters to use for examples and inspiration.

  • White face paint and individual make-up sponges were placed between two stations to allow for partners to share the make-up

Retrieved from


Retrieved from http://media.photobucket.com/image/sugar%20skull/starkissed1/5bdbfa75.jpg?o=29

Retrieved from http://media.photobucket.com/image/sugar%20skull/starkissed1/36d8dd4c.jpg?o=30

Program set up2
Program Set-up

  • Before the students arrived, I set out gift bags at each place. The gift bags also served as their “take-aways” at the end of the program.

  • The gift bags contained:

    • Small jars of 6 different colors of face paint

    • A black eyeliner

    • A paint brush

    • Small bottle of Halloween antibacterial gel (with a skull design!)


  • Upon arrival, students could help themselves to snacks (Chips and Salsa, Sugar Skull cookies, Skeleton Bone Pretzels).

  • There was also a book display containing books about the Day of the Dead and Hispanic celebrations.

Books for book display
Books for Book Display

  • Fiesta! Mexico (2001). Danbury, CT: Grolier Educational .

  • Hollihan, K. (2010). Day of the dead: dia de los muertos. New York, NY: Rosen Publishing Group.

  • Hoobler, D. (1994). The Mexican American Family Album. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

  • Kindersley, B. (1997). Celebrations. New York, NY: DK Publishing.

  • Turck, M. (2004). Mexico and Central America: a fiesta of culture, crafts and activities. Chicago, IL: Chicago Press Review, Inc.

  • Winchester, F. (1996). Hispanic Holidays. Mankato, MN: Bridgest

Getting the info
Getting the Info

  • To begin our program, each student was given an information sheet about the Day of the Dead.

  • We discussed the significance of the holiday and discussed the differences between Dias De Los Muertos and Halloween.

Getting the info1
Getting the Info

  • The students watched a PowerPoint slideshow that explained the Day of the Dead and gave real pictures of the celebration.

Guest speaker
Guest Speaker

  • Jenny Sorey was our guest speaker for the evening.

  • Sorey is a Creative Arts Preschool Consultant and works extensively with the community theater groups doing stage make-up. She instructed the students on how to do a basic skeleton face and then how to add embellishments to create a Sugar Skull face for Day of the Dead celebrations.

Creating our sugar skulls
Creating Our Sugar Skulls

Step One:

Use white make-up to completely cover the face.

Creating our sugar skulls1
Creating our Sugar Skulls

Step Two:

Outline and use face paint to decorate around the eyes.

Creating our sugar skulls2
Creating our Sugar Skulls

Step Three:

Add shading with eyeliners to create a skeleton look.

Creating our sugar skulls3
Creating our Sugar Skulls

Step Four:

Use facepaint or eyeliners to create your own designs.


  • All participants were given an evaluation to complete at the end of the program.

  • Overall, the evaluations were very high- the average rating was a 4.7.

  • The only question that was not answered as a 5 was question number 3 (Would you like more information about Dia De Los Muertos or other Hispanic celebrations?). Several students answered “Somewhat” or “Not at all”.

Self reflection
Self Reflection

  • I was very nervous about implementing a program for older students. After the initial shock, I found that I really enjoyed the high school students! My husband is the Girls Basketball Coach, so several of his players who are taking Spanish showed up for the program. It helped to have a few familiar faces.

  • I was surprised that only girls showed up. I don’t know if including the word “Face Painting” in the promotional materials deterred boys from coming.

  • I’ve known Jenny Sorey for a long time and knew she would be fabulous as a guest speaker. When some members of the Dance Team asked her to help them with their make-up for an upcoming “Black Light Pep Assembly”, I knew she was a hit!

  • It just so happened that the High School Orchestra was having a Spooky Halloween Concert on the same evening (at 7:00). The orchestra members were required to come in spooky make-up, so several of the girls came to the program and went straight to the concert with their Sugar Skull Make-up on.

  • In my Elementary School, we have a Spanish teacher who does a lesson each week with every class. She ended up using my PowerPoint, Information Sheet and Decorations for the 3rd and 4th grade classes at my school.


Sugar Skull. Retrieved October 3, 2011 from http://media.photobucket.com/image/sugar%20skull/starkissed1/5bdbfa75.jpg?o=29


Sugar Skull. Retrieved October 3, 2011 from http://media.photobucket.com/image/sugar%20skull/starkissed1/36d8dd4c.jpg?o=30

Sugar Skull. Retrieved October 3, 2011 from http://media.photobucket.com/image/sugar%20skull/lolynn/Sugar_Skull.jpg?o=186