¡Feliz viernes a todos!
Whether you’re joining for the first time or you stop by frequently, thanks for checking out my post this week! In light of the upcoming celebrations of Día de los Muertos, I wanted to highlight one small detail involved in the holiday that sometimes gets overlooked: the Monarch migration! These butterflies fly south for the winter, sometimes over 100 miles per day as they migrate from the United States to southern Mexico. The Monarch Butterflies are a small detail among many in the celebration of Día de los Muertos; however, this detail is of particular importance because many people believe the butterflies migrating are the souls of their ancestors returning to celebrate the holiday with them.
In recognition of this belief, this week’s World Wide Web post brings you a few different resources – all of which are available on the same website! The first resource is a Teacher’s Guide to teaching about the Monarch Butterfly. The guide explains the background of the Monarch migration and the cultural importance of the migration. It includes many activities for the classroom, such as a slideshow (available in English and Spanish) that explains many aspects of the traditional celebration of Día de los Muertos, topics for discussion in the classroom, and research ideas for students. There is also a Resource list with links to more information on how the celebrations of Día de los Muertos take place and some of the foods that are made in preparation. It would be great to make Pan de los Muertos for a classroom cultural celebration! Aside from the Teacher’s Guide emphasized here, the website includes a great deal of information about Monarch Butterflies in general, including updated maps on the butterflies’ travels and news of their progress. The section titled Kids includes many resources for students to interact with, such as charts about the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly and the importance of its migration. It would be a great resource to work with in the classroom to highlight themes of tradition, migration, and the benefits of cross-country movement. While the butterflies are just one aspect in the grand celebration of Día de los Muertos, they hold a great deal of cultural significance! They also, of course, offer a unique opportunity to integrate the natural sciences with social studies. Alice will post more about the Monarch Butterflies on Monday, so be looking out for her post. I hope these resources can bring some fun to you and your students as you gear up for the celebration of Día de los Muertos!
With warmest wishes,
Image: Photo of Monarchs migrating. Reprinted from Flickr user Bryan Puckett under CC ©.