Academics: IB Spanish Project
Updated: Nov 29, 2019
This month, grade 11 students taking IB Spanish celebrated the Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday that celebrates life and death. Although this holiday originated in Mexico, it is celebrated all over Latin America with colourful skulls and skeletons.
One of the core values of the IB program is to develop cultural understanding. Students began their class by watching the film Coco, which tells the story of a young boy named Miguel who is accidentally transported to the Land of the Dead. After watching the film students were asked to write a short report about their impressions of the film, encouraging them to think critically about what they had learned, and the impact of that on their understanding of this Mexican tradition. Sugar skulls or Calavera were also painted by the students. This tradition originated from the 18th and 19th centuries, where the word calavera was used to describe humorous poems, that were written on tombstones that poked fun at the living.
The students also baked Pan de Muerto (otherwise known as Bread of the Dead), which is a key element in the Day of the Dead Altar. The sweet bread represents an offering made to a departed loved one. While the bread is being eaten, it is believed that the spirit who was offered the bread returns and is nourished by the essence of the bread.
This educational experience gave these students the opportunity to experience another culture from the classroom.