Middle school students celebrate Day of the Dead with colorful art projects

By Lydia Goerner | Nov 02, 2017
Photo by: Lydia Goerner Wareham Middle School students show off their colorful skull masks during the Day of the Dead celebration on Thursday.

Wareham Middle School was decorated with colorful skeletons, intricately painted skulls and altars to dead loved ones on Thursday in a celebration of Day of the Dead, a holiday that originated in Mexico and is now celebrated throughout the world.

El Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is dedicated to remembering friends and family who have died. The middle school’s art, music, gym, health and Spanish classes did projects focused on learning about the holiday and doing projects relating to it, which were displayed on Thursday for the whole school to see.

“It’s a different way to do Halloween,” said Amanda Zac, who teaches Spanish at the middle school. “It makes it happier and not so creepy.”

Zac said the Day of the Dead art show is now in its fifth year at the middle school. It connects students from different classes, bringing them together to work on one project.

Students displayed shoebox altars for parents, pets or celebrities who passed away, clay skulls, painted pots and skeletons and large paper flowers.

Sage Kidder, a seventh grade student, made a project in music class centered around Spanish composer Manuel de Falla. She made him a gravestone and represented him with a skeleton.

Students loved the opportunity to present their artwork from the first term, said art teacher Cynthia Gedraitis.

“No matter what they made, they want to show it off,” she said. “It’s great to focus on Mexico for a little bit.”

Gedraitis said the project takes some focus off Halloween and teaches students about a different cultural holiday. She said the theme of honoring ancestors and loved ones who have died is one the kids connected with.

Sage Kidder, a seventh grade student, poses with her skeleton representing Spanish composer Manuel de Falla. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Anthony Beluso, left, and Chase Colon show a display of masks decorated by middle school students. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Ashley Monteiro made a table dedicated to Mexican composer Juventino Rosas for her music class. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Anahya Perez, an eighth grade student, made a paper flower and an altar to the late pop singer Selena in Spanish class. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Nov 02, 2017 15:47

Looks like a lot of fun for the kids. I think it's great.


Being a public school and with the Day of the Dead's association with Western Christianity's Allhallowtide, I'm surprised this takes place without opposition of some kind.  Ya know how some can get about things that smell like a separation of church and state issue.

If you wish to comment, please login.