Day of the Dead Game
Need a creative bulletin board for November? Imagine these creative sugar skulls in your hallway along with one of the two included writing prompts. This Day of the Dead art lesson is perfect for classroom teachers wanting to learn how to paint with markers. Step-by-step picture directions are given for how to transfer the template to drawing paper. However, if you’re short on time, you can simply have your students design directly onto the template using colored pencils, crayons, or markers. The included PowerPoint presentation with close-up, detailed photos will guide them from start to finish.
Are you going to be absent and need a last minute art lesson for the substitute? Or do you need something for students during indoor recess? Fill up your art sub plan folder with no-prep, fuss-free art projects. Once your students know how to play the game, they’re easy to leave with a sub! Create a small sub tub in your room with drawing paper and markers. And leave copies of the game in a labeled folder inside the tub along with some dice. This works well for both classroom and art teachers alike.
Are you trying to foster more independence in your classroom? This Day of the Dead art game makes for the best and most productive early finisher activity for your students. You can set up a choice-based art center where students select an activity amongst different ones. Print out the game board and directions back to back, file them in labeled folders, and let them pick what they’d like to create. This is similar to a directed drawing activity in which students are guided through the art process.
If you’re a teacher looking for a differentiated art lesson that boosts independent thinking, problem-solving, and skill-acquisition, this will do the trick.
- First, trace the skull onto another sheet of heavy white drawing paper.
- Next, roll the die to select an eye from the first column.
- Roll the die again to choose a nose and once more to pick a mouth.
- Then, roll twice to decide which two decorations you’ll be drawing from the fourth column.
- Lastly, roll twice again to pick two decorations from the fifth column.
- Design your skull using symmetry, placing some design elements on opposites sides of the face.
- Using washable markers, outline everything.
- Dip a small brush in water and carefully smudge it in the marker lines to paint in the shapes. Allow each area to dry slightly before moving on to a neighboring area of the design. If you’re short on time, design directly onto the print out from page 4 and color with dry media such as markers, crayons, and colored pencils.
- Once dry, outline all the designs, thin lines, and details using permanent black marker.
- Lastly, cut it out.
I’ve included three ways students can generate their design. The first is the game board where students roll the die to select their parts. The second is a “you pick” board. Both of these are printables. And lastly, for teachers needing engaging lessons during distance learning, I’ve added digital spinner wheels!
First, print out the Day of the Dead game and picture directions back-to-back. Then give your students dice and watch them have fun creating their own art project independently. If you have access to a smartboard or projector, use the accompanying PowerPoint presentation. It will guide the students during each part of the art project.
Once completed, have students use the self-assessment rubrics to evaluate their artwork based on craftsmanship, creativity, following directions, work habits, project goals, and clean up. And then have them complete the “Big Ideas” sheet so they can connect the creation process to their learning.
If you are substituting or need a fast finisher activity, use the included coloring page.
I also have the Spanish translation of this Dia de los Meuertos game here.
Art Sub Plans Video
- 4th – 8th Grade
Main Learning Objective
- Students will be able to design a sugar skull inspired by Day of the Dead using floral motifs
- Drawing Paper
- Permanent Markers
You Will Receive
- 12-Page, Non-Editable PDF (Day of the Dead Game)
- 9-Page Non-Editable PowerPoint Presentation
- Dice Game
- Choice-Based Drawing Version of the Game
- Step-by-Step Picture Tutorial and Directions
- 2 Writing Prompts
- 2 Coloring Pages
- Helpful Tips and Tricks
- Design Practice Drawing Page
- Paperless Google Drive digital resource for students (also for use in Google Classroom, Schoology, Canvas, Seesaw, Microsoft OneDrive, Teams, and anywhere else you can share a link to a file…link on the bottom of page 2)
- Digital Spinner Wheels in the download as well as on Google Slides and YouTube (links on the bottom of page 3)
Excellent sub plan activity. Great addition to Roll A Masterpiece library. Super resource to start a variety of Day of the Dead activities that immediately engage students of all ages. – Amy V.
I used this resource as a fun way to celebrate Halloween/Dia De Los Muertos. We watched a video on the holiday, students talked about their own experiences, and then they created their own sugar skull. It was fun, interactive, and allowed students to be creative. I will definitely continue using the resource in years to come! – Tara C.
I feel great being able to leave quality sub plans when I have to be out! Not a wasted day! – Tina M.
My students had a blast playing the game but what I wasn’t prepared for was some of the conversations it started. They shared memories of people who had died in their family and it really sparked some great discussions. – Ms. Meny