As Keira mentioned in her Sobre Octubre post, one of our themes for this month is Día de los Muertos. Charla, Alice, Kalyn, and I will all be sharing different resources you can use to teach about this celebration in your classroom. We’ve accumulated a number of posts on the topic over the past couple of years. You can check them all out by clicking on the Día de los Muertos button in the right hand sidebar of the blog’s home page. As we mention frequently on the blog, while we are strong advocates for multicultural education, we believe that it must be done in a way that goes beyond heroes and holidays. In our Día de los Muertos Curriculum Guide we’ve created lesson plans and activities that focus on teaching both cultural content and literacy skills in such a way that students will engage with the concept of Día de los Muertos on more than a superficial level.
Each year we try and add something new to our Día de los Muertos materials. This year we’re adding a complementary set of materials that focuses on activities that can support ELL students in the classroom (but, in my experience, are just great strategies that engage all students). We’re sharing this complementary guide at a professional development workshop on Saturday. I’ll share a link to all of those materials next Wednesday. For now, I thought I’d give you a preview of one of my favorite activities for teaching vocabulary: the cognitive content dictionary (CCD) chart. This isn’t specific to Día de los Muertos or any other topic, so it can be used to teach vocabulary for any subject area. If you plan on teaching about various cultural celebrations throughout the year, it can be a great way to connect the various celebrations through a shared vocabulary lesson. It can be especially helpful as a way to review vocabulary that comes up throughout various units, such as celebration, culture, tradition, etc. It’s a strategy that comes from Project GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design). I know we’ve mentioned it on the blog before, but if GLAD is new to you, here’s more information taken from the Project GLAD website: Continue reading