Día de Muertos Odes

Sequence of activities:

Introduction (5-10 minutes) 

  • Discussion about the Day of the Dead in Mexican culture: Read about it here (adults take 5 minutes and read over this alone or with your child). Have a five-minute discussion about what it means culturally for families to celebrate this holiday. 
  • Reference the movie Coco. In Coco the main character Miguel travels to meet his ancestors much like what is celebrated in Día de Muertos. He wants to honor his grandfather by playing the guitar. Keep this in mind. 
  • Is there someone who passed away you would like to honor? Who and why? (Have kiddos write down their answers.)
    • Example: Jessica’s grandmother passed away, she wants to honor her to make her proud. 
  • For the more silly kiddos is there an object or thing you love but lost? 
    • Example:  Shawn lost his favorite football to the neighbor’s tree.
  • What would you say to this person or thing you lost? 
    • Examples: Shawn would say, “I loved how all my friends drew pictures on you.”  Jessica would say, “Grandma, I loved the way you always smelled like hot cocoa and reminded me to not be ashamed to laugh.” 
    • Note at least three things to expand on later in writing prompt. 
  • If you can travel to meet your lost loved one or thing like Miguel in Coco how would you choose to honor them/it? 

Ode Writing prompt (20-30 minutes) 

  • An ode is a type of poem or song that is focused on something or someone that is praiseworthy. The word ode comes from the Greek - aeidein - which means to sing or chant. Odes can show thankfulness
  • Worksheet
    • See worksheet for instructions on how to write your poem
  • Read aloud and edit

Color mask (10 minutes/optional) 

  • Color mask. 
    • Cut out shape of skull and inside of eyes. 
    • Glue a popsicle stick to back of mask.
    • Decorate with glitter, feathers, flowers. 
  • Share poem with mask! (5 minutes) 



Write an ode poem; have a good time

Education Level: 




Time Frame: 

1 hour (add additional time if you would like to create a sugar skull mask)

Prior Knowledge/Skills: 

Knowledge of similes, metaphors, and adjectives. 

Required Materials: 

Paper, pen/pencil, printer for PDF (if you would like to use the worksheet or color sugar skulls), coloring utensils. 

Additional Materials: