This was a fun, one day activity that I did with first grade this year. They watched a short video about dia de los muertos and learned about the symbols and imagery used in the decorations and alters. We then looked at a plastic skeleton and how the skull is shaped. This was the science part of the lesson. We talked about the eye sockets and there being no nose bone. Students felt their own faces to feel these features.
They then used a basic stencil to trace the shape and drew the decorations. They used markers to color the pictures in. I caught some of these at the beginning when they were just beginning to color, but you get the idea. Sometimes forty minutes just is not enough time.