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Looking for engaging and meaningful read-aloud activities for Hispanic Heritage Month or to celebrate Día de Los Muertos? This picture book companion is just what you need! This resource includes 21 print-and-go reading activities that pair perfectly with the picture book Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh. 

⭐️SAVE 20% with BUNDLES! This book companion is available in 2 different BUNDLES.⭐️

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras is a fascinating biography that relates the pivotal moments of Lupe’s life and explains the different artistic processes he used. Not only is this a great read-aloud for National Hispanic Heritage Month or for Día de Los Muertos, but it is also a great option for classes studying political cartoons or art history.

The included reading activities are best for students in 3rd–5th grades and focus on applying crucial reading skills, digging deeper into the text, and critical thinking. Quick and easy setup, plus clear student directions, make these activities perfect for centers or substitute days, too!

Students will dig into characterization, identify story elements, determine the theme, sequence events from the story, determine how the setting affects the plot and character development, write a literary Calavera poem or short story, and so much more! 

⭐This Resource Includes:⭐

  • K-W-L Chart – Before reading the story, students will write down everything they already know about Día de Los Muertos and brainstorm ideas of what they want to know about the holiday. Then, after reading the book, students will add the details of what they learned.
  • Agree / Disagree Pre-reading Activity Before reading the story, students will agree or disagree with the statements. After reading, they will fill in page numbers of where they found information related to each statement, mark whether or not their initial thoughts were correct, and reflect on what they discovered.
  • Vocabulary Study – Students will define and illustrate the words taken from the story. (Answer key included)
  • Vocabulary Word Search – Students will find the words from the story hidden in the puzzle. (Answer key included)
  • Reader Response Questions– Students will respond to short-answer questions.
  • Story Elements Graphic Organizer – Students will fill in the boxes with words and pictures to represent the story elements.
  • Sequencing – Students will write a sentence and draw a picture to show the correct order of events in the story.
  • Characterization Graphic Organizers
    • Character Traits
    • Character Summary
    • Character Change
  • Setting Influences the Plot – Students will focus on how the setting influences the plot and character development.
  • Making Connections Students will choose an event from the story and make connections.
  • Sensory Details – Students will choose an event from the story and describe it from the character’s perspective using all five senses with sensory and figurative language.
  • Theme – Students will answer the questions to determine the theme of the story and provide text evidence.
  • Story vs Author’s Note– Students will compare and contrast the Author’s note and the text using the graphic organizer.
  • Wait… There’s More! – Students will create another page for the end of the book that includes a few sentences and colorful illustrations similar to those used in the story.
  • Literary Calaveras – Students will choose one of Posada’s Calaveras and write a poem or short story to go along with the picture.
    • Calavera Picture Cards – 6 cards to a page
    • Student Handout 
    • Example 
  • Acrostic Poem Students will write an acrostic poem to share information about the Day of the Dead.
  • Calaveras on Instagram– Students will create two Instagram posts for modern-day Calaveras using Posada’s drawings of Calaveras as inspiration.
  • Biography Report – Students will research further into the life of José Posada to learn more about his life, inspiration, and artwork.
  • Día de Los Muertos Research Report  – Students will explore more about the holiday Día de Los Muertos.
  • BONUS FREEBIE! – Día de Los Muertos 35 Page Coloring Book

The included activities were designed to encourage students to use higher-level thinking skills, require students to provide text evidence to support their thinking, and challenge them to provide their own opinions and/or perspectives.

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