How it's done: Bring Día de Muertos to Life

(Image credit: Kena Pinedo)

Who: Kena Pinedo, Third Grade Teacher

Where: Romoland School District, CA

What: Using Flipgrid to Bring Día de Muertos to Life

For the past four years, we have studied Día de Muertos. We study the vocabulary, watch short films and dive into the culture. Students create Ofrendas (altar-like tributes to late family members, pets, celebrities) at home and then share with the class. Parents were invited to admire them on display as my Trunk-or-Treat décor, but were always curious about the background stories of the honored Ofrenda subjects. I had already implemented Flipgrid for students to use when explaining their math problems, as well as various STEAM projects. Our third grade team decided to have the students create Flipgrid videos explaining what they had learned and represented about their individual. We displayed their QR codes on the projects so that all the parents could enjoy their presentations.

Positive Results

Flipgrid really engaged students and gave those too nervous to speak in front of the class the ability to share their projects. We create first draft videos and students give each other feedback about how to improve their videos. This gives them experience accepting constructive criticism and learning how to revise. In the age of "Youtube famous," students are always excited to share what they have created and their parents love getting to see their child in action.

The Biggest Challenge

The challenge we do have is that students have to use their Chromebooks, and computers aren't as flexible or mobile as smaller devices. Sometimes students have to get creative with their angles and shots. The sound is also magnified when all students are working on Flipgrid inside the classroom. It can get pretty noisy. Recently, the district increased its internet bandwidth so now students are able to spread out all over the school to create their video.

What's the cost

Flipgrid is free for us. Romoland School District is a very technology forward district, with 1:1 technology. They are constantly encouraging teachers to be innovative and use technology in the classroom. The students just use the cameras on their provided Chromebooks.

Pro Tip

It does take some practice. We have been working on Flipgrid since August. We made a time limit of 2:30 to encourage students to get straight to the point. Students have gotten better at speaking and now rehearse what they are going to say so it is more fluent. If you are holding an event, let parents and friends/family know in advance to download the Flipgrid QR reader so they are prepared to watch the videos.

Tech Used in the Classroom:





Google Classroom

Sascha Zuger

Sascha has nearly two decades of experience as a freelance journalist writing for national magazines, including The Washington Post, LA Times, Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic Traveler, and others. She writes about education, travel and culinary topics.