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You may choose one of these topics for your Día de los Muertos project, or consult with me if you have an idea that is not present.  Whatever topic you pick, you need to do any necessary research and produce a creative product to represent what you’ve studied.  Your topic will help you decide what direction you want to take your project, and after choosing a topic, I will meet with you to provide you with direction and focus.  Any written papers that you do should be typed and double-spaced, with 12-point font.  After completing your project or paper, you will give a class presentation to share your project and topical knowledge with your classmates.  These projects may be completed individually, or in groups of two.   

Temas:

Z An altar dedicated to a deceased relative or friend, as people living in Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries do for Día de los Muertos.  This altar should be made on poster board, but you may choose to put things on a table or box in front of your altar.  Pictures, flowers, food, favorite things of your deceased person, etc. might be included on your altar.  In preparation for making your altar, you need to take time to consider the person you’re dedicating your altar to: what things they liked, what they enjoyed doing, their favorite foods, their personality, things they did frequently, and other pertinent information.  Based on such information, you should write a short bio about the person you have chosen to honor.  This bio should be typed and double-spaced, with 12-point font.  This bio will help you in designing and completing your altar.  After turning in your project, you will present your altar to the class.  During your presentation, you should tell the class about the person your altar is dedicated to and the significance of the materials you put on your altar, as well as any other pertinent information.  If you work with a partner on this project, you should dedicate it to two deceased persons and write two bios.   

Z Food:  You may make sugar skulls, Pan de Muerto (Dead Bread), or some other food related to Día de los Muertos.  For this project, you should have a series of pictures, or a videotape, showing you making your food and cleaning up afterwards.  In addition to this, you should make sure to include the recipe for what you make; explain the significance of your food; talk about what it was like to make your food; give your commentary about your food, and that of anyone who sampled it; mention how it compares with what we have in the U.S. at that time of year, and discuss any other pertinent information that you find.  During your presentation, if you plan to bring in your food, please bring enough for everyone to sample.  Bringing food to class is optional, however.  

Z Calaveras (Skulls) or skeletons:  Create two ornate skulls and/or skeletons, as they do in Mexico for Día de los Muertos.  As part of your project, you should discuss the significance of skulls and skeletons to the Spanish American people at this time of year.  Be sure to explain what they do with skulls and skeletons and if the tradition is still followed – if it is falling out of practice mention why.  In addition to this, you need to explain the significance of the skulls or skeletons that you have made: why are they decorated as they are; would such skulls or skeletons appear in Spanish America during Día de los Muertos and why or why not.  Also, explain how you went about creating your skulls and/or skeletons; why you chose that methodology; and what you think about the calavera tradition in Spanish America.  Finally, compare the skulls and skeletons of the Spanish world to the ones that appear in the U.S. at the same time of year. 

Z Día de los Muertos poster, Power Point, collage, float, paper, etc:  Explain what Día de los muertos is; where it is celebrated; how it is celebrated; why it is celebrated; how long it has been a tradition and if it continues to be; how it compares to our Halloween/All Souls Day here in the US; your reaction to the celebration; any other pertinent information you find.