Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a ritual that is celebrated in Mexico and certain parts of the United States, including Arizona!! It occurs around the same time as Halloween but is completely separate. During this Holiday, family and friends of the deceased celebrate their life. Instead of fearing death, they embrace it. Today, people decorate wooden skulls masks called Calacas and dance in honor of the deceased relatives. Sugar Skulls are also made and eaten by a relative or friend. The decorations from this ritual are bright and often glittery, so I encourage my students to do the same. The first step to this project is to draw a skull (BIG) on thick white paper with pencil. Remind students to draw big but bot too much detail, because it is hard to get in those little spaces with the oil pastels. Next, we use a black oil pastel to outline the image and features on the skull. Next, students are asked to color EVERYTHING, and to really press hard. They must color everything and press hard because afterwards, they will paint over it with black tempera paint and if there is paper showing or they did not press hard enough, the paint will stick to the paper and not scratch off. After they are finished coloring, they can paint over their picture with black tempera paint and when it is dry they can begin to scratch it off to leave a cool effect. they can choose to scratch off in a pattern or the whole thing!!!