Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Are you ready for Day of the Dead?

Why not get in the spirit of Halloween and learn a little something about Latino culture?  Thanks to several opportunities on the Web, you have choices for just how immersed you get in Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

I know, I know, you're probably expecting Smithsonian museum resources.  And I've got 'em, a whole variety of opportunities to either scratch the surface or dive right into the holiday.  First, I started by visiting the Smithsonian Latino Center's Dia de lost Muertos/Day of the Dead Festival home page (  There are so very many ways to learn about the celebration.  A lesson plan by Nancy Green, called "Calaveras on Wheels, " explores the Day of the Dead through the art of Jose Guadalupe Posada.  Take a look here:

But I was most interested in the opportunity to actually visit a Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Festival thanks to Smithsonian's efforts in Second Life.  This virtual world application allows visitors to explore 3-D worlds.  I took some time exploring the Virtual Museum.  Wow!  I can just imagine pulling this up on a SmartBoard and exploring the art, music, culture and festivities in this Virtual Museum.  A link to the Second Life festival is available from the Smithsonian Latino Center page noted above.  You have to have a Second Life account and avatar to participate, but it's a free account.  The festival activities take place October 31-November 2, 2011.  You can download a PDF map of the festival to plan your participation.

Not able to use Second Life at school or don't have enough time to fully participate?  Then you can use an interactive application on the website to learn more about Dia de los Muertos and even build a virtual ofrenda (altar) here:

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