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PBS Learning Makes Teaching Halloween Origins Simple

During the week of Halloween it can often times be hard containing the excitement of the spooky time of year. Kids may have already been digging into some Halloween candy and are already in the spirit. Teachers can turn this time into a learning experience and PBS Learning Media has made it a bit easier with a short educational video on “Día de los Muertos,” the origin of Halloween.

Students can learn about the cultural aspect of Halloween, rather than making it all about costumes and candy. According to the video, Mexico’s Día del los Muertos is a three-day event that coincides with All Saints Day and All Souls day. The holiday is a celebration of the dead rather than an excuse to eat candy, though, candy is a pretty sweet plus for the holiday.

Students can also learn how to celebrate life and students can even learn how to be thankful, which serves as a great transition to the month of November and Thanksgiving holiday. How? Well, according to the video, the Day of the Dead began 3,000 years ago as Aztecs used the day as a way to give thanks for their harvest.

When it comes to Halloween, it can also be challenging to teach about it in the classroom but with educational supplements such as the video the aspects of a holiday can be both fun and educational.

Students who have suffered a loss can learn the importance of honoring their loved-ones and embracing the holiday over all. What’s more interesting about the video is it poses a question towards the end of the video.

“How would you honor the memory of someone who has passed away?”

This can easily turn into a short or long response exercise or “Schema Activator,” to start your morning. When it comes to the holidays sometimes videos can be quite educational. 

View the video here.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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