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Remembering important people on the Day of the Dead.

Encourage students to learn more about historic figures-or remember lost loved ones--with this Day of the Dead project from Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Their Lives and Ideas--24 Activities (Chicago Review Press, ages 9 and up), written by Carol Sabbeth and available through Independent Publishers Group at 800-888-4741.

Day of Dead Ofrenda

Admirers of Kahlo and Rivera still make memorials to them on the Day of the Dead. Celebrate Nov. 2 by making a little ofrenda to honor someone you miss, or someone you admire, such as a famous artist or a relative who died before you were born. The purpose is to remember the wonderful things the person did, and to celebrate his or her life. Maybe you'd like to honor someone you admire from history, such as Abraham Lincoln, Marie Curie, or Martin Luther King Jr. On Nov. 2, display your ofrenda in a special place.

Materials: Photograph of the person you wish to honor; construction paper; scissors; glue stick; a 2-by-2-foot piece of cloth; tabletop for display; items that represent the person's individuality, such as a type of hat he or she wore or a favorite book or musical instrument; favorite foods or treats your chosen person enjoyed; a shoebox with lid; flowers.

1. Fold the construction paper in half to create the shape of a greeting card.

2. Glue a portrait of your subject on the cover of the card. When setting up your ofrenda, you'll stand the card up, on edge, to display it. For example, if you are honoring Abraham Lincoln, use a photocopy of a drawing or photograph of him.

3. Gather other images or objects that relate to your subject. Perhaps the person is known for something he or she said. If so, write the quote on another small piece of paper and mount it on the construction paper as you did with the portrait. For Lincoln, you might write down a sentence from the Gettysburg Address. Perhaps you have pictures of something your subject did, or something that suggests where he or she lived. A photo of a log cabin would be a fitting image for Lincoln.

4. What other symbols might suggest your subject? Perhaps he or she wore a certain costume. Find a picture or make a replica of an object that relates to your subject. For Lincoln, you might make a small top hat out of black construction paper.

5. Think of what type of food your subject enjoyed or, if you don't know the person, imagine what foods might have been his or her favorites. Prepare a favorite dish. Or fill a plate with fruit, candy or other treats.

6. On Nov. 2, display your memorial. Begin by setting up the base of the ofrenda. Set a lidded shoe box on a table or wherever you'd like to display your memorial.

7. Drape the shoe box with a cloth that covers part of the tabletop, too. The cloth should cover at least an 18-by- 18-inch section of the table. The box will create a raised platform under the cloth.

8. Arrange your selected items on the covered platform in a pleasing way. Place the photo on top of the box. Surround it with the other items you gathered. Add flowers, too. Marigolds are the traditional flower for ofrenda. Perhaps your subject liked other flowers as well.

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Title Annotation:Grades 3-6
Publication:Curriculum Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2005
Words:559
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