During Day of the Dead festivities, it is tradition for Mexican families to gather, share food and celebrate the lives of loved ones that have died. These celebrations include decorating altars with various forms of calaveras to represent departed loved ones. It is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, though Oct. 31 and November 6th are also celebrated in some places. This holiday coincides with All Saints’ or All Souls’ Day on the Catholic calendar. The holiday includes both Catholic and Indigenous elements.
Calaveras or skulls are often made from clay, papier-mâché (like the 3D item featured here), or sugar. When they are made of sugar they are known as alfeñiques. In addition to calaveras, papel picado, candles, flowers, photographs, and favorite foods of the departed are frequently placed on Day of the Dead altars.
Calavera Activity Guide
Teacher-Made Calavera Lesson Plan- 5th Grade Social Studies pt.1
Teacher-Made Calavera Lesson Plan- 5th Grade Social Studies pt.2