Free Features Charts for Day of the Dead and Halloween

julia day of dead

Are you looking for activities to open a discussion on the similarities and differences of Day of the Dead and Halloween.  I love using semantics feature charts to organize the similarities and differences between two ideas or concepts.  Using the features charts allows me to easily scaffold for the language levels of students (work smarter, not harder!).

Graphic organizers are a “common strategy used to increase the chances that students who are unfamiliar with English will understand lessons sufficiently is to provide scaffolding in the form of visual representation of language…” (August & Shanahan, 2010)

Below you will find examples of the features chart in English and Spanish already populated.  Teachers can remove some or all of the information in the chart depending on the needs of their students.  A teacher might remove the broad feature listed in the center, leaving the students to decide how they might classify the details listed under each holiday.  Another way to level this activity is to remove the details listed under each idea and leave the broad feature allowing students to conduct research on those features either on their own or in groups.

Using the same graphic organizer in different ways allows teachers to conduct the same building background and oracy activities. Teachers can then break students into leveled groups for the “filling in the blanks” section. Finally, students return to whole group to use this common information to debrief and clear up any misconceptions.  Teachers can extend the lesson as they see fit, to include literature, a more formal writing project or to integrate technology like Flipgrid or Google Slides.

You can alter this activity so that it builds on oracy by creating a type of jigsaw activity.  The teacher provides some students (group A) with partially filled in information and other students (group B) with the same organizer but different information filled in.  Pairs (one group A and one group B student) work together to complete their charts.  Scaffolding for language can take place at this point :  I have______________.  What do you have? (Yo tengo ___________. ¿Qué tienes?)

I highly recommend this website as you plan to use this graphic organizer consistently.  The site allows you to insert two ideas you want to compare and contrast then it lists the common features and differences for you!

FREE DOWNLOADS of Semantic Features Chart for Day of the Dead and Halloween:

Completed Table in Spanish

Completed Table in English

Here is a link to another chart for Dia de Independencia and Cinco de mayo.


About Sara

Expert Consultant in Bilingual Education for Multilingual Learners
I have dedicated my time to researching and learning how best to teach reading to Spanish-speaking students. My goal as an independent consultant is to empower teachers to know better and thus to do better.