Day of the Dead Reading Comprehension Activities

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Help students learn about the history and traditions of the Mexican festival El Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) while building important reading skills with this no-prep packet of reading passages, comprehension questions, and Day of the Dead activities.

El Día de los Muertos (or the Day of the Dead), on November 1st, is a cherished celebration that originated in Mexico but is now observed in various parts of the world. It showcases Mexico’s deep connection with the concept of death and the belief in life beyond the physical world. El Día de los Muertos is a time to honor and remember loved ones who have passed away in a joyous way.

This reading comprehension packet, suitable for middle school and high school grades, includes ready-to-use printables and worksheets for meaningful reading activities that helps students learn about this important Mexican festival.

What's Included

  • 4 printable reading passages on the origins and traditions of El Día de los Muertos
  • Reading comprehension questions, paired reading prompts, and accompanying activities
  • Ready-to-use worksheets and templates for each activity

Activities in This Packet

Introduction: El Día de los Muertos

The reading passage provides an introduction to this Mexican holiday and includes information about its cultural significance. Students answer comprehension questions and compare the festival to Chuseok, a major harvest festival celebrated in South Korea.

El Día de los Muertos: Ancient Origins

Students can learn about the Aztec and Mayan origins of the Day of the Dead via the reading passage and paired reading prompts. Students then have the opportunity to design or describe an elaborate burial site, based on what they learned about the Mayans and Aztecs.

El Día de los Muertos: Pan de Muerto & Sugar Skulls

From the reading passage, students will learn about two traditional food items enjoyed during the Day of the Dead: Pan de Muerto and Sugar Skulls. Using what they learn from the passage, students will draw, label, and describe family members preparing to celebrate El Día de los Muertos.

El Día de los Muertos: Ofrendas

Students will use the reading passage, paired reading prompts, and activities to learn about the importance and traditions of the Ofrenda, including the use of photographs, candles, and papel picado.

El Día de los Muertos: Social Media Imagery

A fun activity to help consolidate learning, students create social media-inspired imagery and captions to summarise what they’ve learned from the reading passages and activities.

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About the author

Ashley Valentine


About Ashley

Ashley is a high school English teacher and instructional coach. Ashley has been teaching in New York State as a proud public educator since 2010. She has a Bachelor of… Read more

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