Appreciation of Día de los Muertos

By Ms. Doris Straughn, Spanish Teacher and Leslie Lewis, SBTS
November 04, 2022

Ms. Straughn, one of our talented and engaging Spanish teachers at SCHS, has brought many of her lessons to "life" throughout the hallways of South County. This month, the SCHS entryway was full of colorful streamers, decorative skeletons, and butterflies in celebration of Día de los Muertos, traditionally celebrated November 1st - 2nd. In addition to decorating our school, Ms. Straughn, along with a few other other members of the Spanish department, wore makeup and colorful, ornate dress to participate in the festivities. Ms. Straughn shared her thoughts on introducing Día de los Muertos to her classes which were the following:

Día de los Muertos is truly a celebration of life and the beauty of remembering those who have come before us. During this celebration, the dead sort of become a part of the living world, as families tell stories and reflect on memories of them.

Learning about Día de los Muertos in my classroom can be a valuable learning experience to my students. My students learn to explore the distinct origins of this day and Halloween—where they started, how they are celebrated and for whom they hold great importance. Furthermore, we discuss how and why people perceive the two holidays as the same when, in fact, they are not.  We learn to appreciate Día de los Muertos as the unique, festive and joyful occasion it is.

Last month Ms. Straughn and her students hung colorful posters throughout the school highlighting and offering tribute to many Hispanic Americans, from various countries, who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. 

We value Ms. Straughn's creativity, vision, and hard work as she strives to keep students connected to their learning and opens up opportunities to learn about other cultures.