ALEX Learning Activity

  

Virtual Exploration: Visiting Mexico's Day of the Dead Celebration

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Chrissy Roe
System:Hoover City
School:Spain Park High School
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2045
Title:
Virtual Exploration: Visiting Mexico's Day of the Dead Celebration
Digital Tool/Resource:
Experience Mexico's Day of the Dead in 360 produced by CNN
Web Address – URL:
Overview:

This activity offers an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in Mexico´s Day of the Dead celebrations. Through the use of 360-degree videos, students are able to explore on their own as they watch the culture come to life in front of their eyes. Technological requirements are minimal but the awareness gained of Mexico´s products and practices are exponential.

This activity was created as a result of the World Languages COS Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
World Languages
WLAN (2017)
Grade: 7-12
Level I
9) Identify products, practices, and perspectives of the target culture and the native culture.

a. Identify daily routines in the target culture and the native culture.

b. Identify celebrations in the target culture and the native culture.

c. Identify games, stories, songs, and rhymes from the native culture and those from the target culture.

Unpacked Content
Goals:
Comparisons
Modes Of Communication:
presentational
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • identify the difference between the terms products, practices, and perspectives.
  • list items or products important to the target language culture.
  • list actions or practices that are important to the target language culture.
  • recognize why these products and practices are important to the target language culture (perspectives).
  • identify celebrations important to the target language culture.
  • identify products and practices associated with celebrations in the target language culture.
  • recognize games, stories, songs, and rhymes that are significant to the target language culture.
  • identify products, practices, and perspectives that are important to their own personal culture.
Performance Descriptors:
Knowledge:
Student know:
  • how to identify important cultural products, practices, and perspectives that are important within their own personal lives.
  • how to use present tense verbs to describe what people do.
  • how to use adjectives to describe nouns.
Skills:
Students are able to:
Novice Mid Level
  • identify the products, practices, and perspectives that are unique to native culture.
  • identify the products, practices, and perspectives that are unique to the target language culture including celebrations, music, games, and rhymes.
Novice High Level
Students are able to:
  • identify the products, practices, and perspectives that are unique to native culture.
  • identify the products, practices, and perspectives that are unique to the target language culture including celebrations, music, games, and rhymes.
  • compare and contrast native and target culture products, practices and perspectives.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • there are similarities and differences in the characteristics of the target culture and their own.
  • custom and tradition vary within a culture, as well as between cultures.
  • by studying another culture, one can better understand and appreciate their own.
  • other understanding will depend on theme being taught.
World Languages
WLAN (2017)
Grade: 7-12
Level I
11) Identify opportunities to use the target language beyond the classroom environment.

a. Plan real or imaginary travel.

b. Attend or view cultural events in person or virtually.

Unpacked Content
Goals:
Communities
Modes Of Communication:
interpersonal & presentational
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • participate in and plan real or imaginary travel to the target language locations.
  • recognize how to apply for a passport and complete other travel documents.
  • particpate in and explore cultural events in person or virtually.
  • recognize and evaluate tools that make real and/or virtual exploration of the target language possible.
Performance Descriptors:
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • the locations of the target language specific countries.
  • the key attractions within the target language specific countries.
  • the key celebrations within the target language specific countries.
Skills:
Students are able to:
Novice Mid Level
  • access important travel documents and safety information online.
  • use physical and online resources to identify and participate in celebrations within the target language countries.
Novice High Level
Students are able to:
  • access important travel documents and safety information online.
  • use online resources to evaluate hotels and attractions within target language countries.
  • use physical and online resources to identify and participate in celebrations within the target language countries.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • the target language is used around the world every day in many different contexts.
  • the target language can help one better understand the world around them.
  • the study of world languages expands one's opportunities.
  • language is a tool to connect with the world.
  • other understandings will depend on theme being taught.
Learning Objectives:

Students can:

  • Identify products, practices, and perspectives associated with Mexico´s Day of the Dead celebration.
  • Virtually attend a Mexican Day of the Dead celebration.
  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  
Phase:
During/Explore/Explain
Activity:

Divide students into groups and ask them to answer the following 3 questions in their first language (English).

  1. What products or physical items do you associate with the Day of the Dead celebration?
  2. What practices or activities do you think people participate in while celebrating Day of the Dead. 
  3. What is their perspective? Why do think that they celebrate the Day of the Dead in Mexico? 
  4. What is one thing you want to know about the Day of the Dead celebration?

As a whole class, lead the class in a discussion of their answers. Create a master list on the board of answers to these questions. 

Play the 360 video linked above. 360 videos are meant to be interactive allowing students to move the camera up, down, left, and right in order to immerse students in a new environment. Depending on accessible technology, there are various ways to experience this video.

  • Whole class- Play the video on a screen in front of the room. The teacher should scroll the video screen around so that students may experience the entire celebration setting. 
  • Individual devices (Chromebooks & laptops) - Ask students to use earphones so that they can watch the video at their own pace. As they watch, they can move the screen around so that students can view the events around them.
  • App products such as Ipads and cell phones - If available, view this video through the Youtube app. Do not use the web version of Youtube from the link above. The video can be easily searched in the app by typing in 'Mexico's Day of the Dead 360 CNN' in the search bar. Once the video loads, turn the phone or Ipad vertically so that the video displays in full screen. To change the angle, simply raise the phone up and down, or turn to the left and right. This appears to put the students in the center of the celebration. 
  • Virtual Reality headsets - If virtual reality headsets are available, follow the instructions for app-based products. Once the video is displayed full screen in the vertical position, touch the screen. An icon that looks like goggles will appear. Select this icon and the video will split into a VR view. Then, insert the phone or device into the VR headset. 

After watching the video, ask students to work in their groups to make a list of what they learned from the video. Specifically, ask them to create a list of the following things:

  1. What products or physical items did you see in the video that were unique to this celebration? (examples include: cemeteries, papel picado, painted faces)
  2. What practices or activities did you notice the people participating in? (examples include: decorating cemeteries, wearing face paint, playing music)
  3. What is their perspective? Why do they celebrate the Day of the Dead in Mexico? 
  4. Did you find an answer to the one thing you wanted to know about the Day of the Dead celebration?

As a whole class, lead the class in a discussion of their answers. Add their answers to the board next to their original answers. This allows students (and the teacher) to view what knowledge was gained from the lesson.

 

 

 

 

Assessment Strategies:

  • Evaluate students' prior knowledge by asking the first set of questions.
  • Use the responses to the questions asked at the end to determine whether students were able to correctly identify the products, practices, and perspectives of this traditional celebration.

Advanced Preparation:

Before using this lesson, determine how you will show the video. If students are going to use personal devices or phones then they will need to bring headphones. If you are going to show the video to the entire class at one time then everyone can listen at the same time and headphones are not needed.

If students are going to use Ipads or cell phones, ensure that they have the Youtube app installed. (This is a standard, pre-installed app for most phones).

Variation Tips (optional):

  • If time allows, teach students the vocabulary associated with the products (nouns) and practices (verbs) discussed in class. 
  • After completing the activity, ask students to complete a Venn diagram in which they compare and contrast Mexico's Day of the Dead with Halloween in the United States.
Notes or Recommendations (optional):

Notes regarding virtual reality use in the classroom:

  • Virtual reality headsets are becoming increasingly popular in the language classroom. The headsets are generally inexpensive. If students have access to cell phones in class then they can use those in the headsets to view 360 videos in a virtual setting. 
  • In order to view videos in the VR setting, you must use the Youtube app, not the Youtube website.
  • Videos on the Youtube website must be recorded in 360 and must offer the goggle/headset icon.
  • Students who are prone to seizures, motion sickness, or headaches should not use VR headsets. They should watch the video on a laptop or classroom screen.
  • When using VR headsets, choose short videos rather than lengthy ones.
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