For the 1st time, I decided to use Day of the Dead in my lesson planning for 3rd and 4th grade. The idea of "memory" and "identity" are two enduring themes that are used in our curriculum, and I thought it fit in well. My 4th graders painted a simple landscape, and I encouraged them to make it "eerie without being scary". To just kind of set the scene. Before we broke out the paint though, we traced a few skeletons with glue, so that when we painted over, there was a ghosty resist effect. After the painting, we used cray-pas or paint (depending on which class was behaving that day) and added details to the skeletons that reflected the identities of people that are loved or important to the students. Some found it hard not to go "halloween" but most did well with the idea. Also, with my school having a population with family in Mexico, I found that those students who are usually shy were glad to have a topic about which they could contribute and be the "experts". I even had one student bring in Sugar Skulls.