Funny Bones – Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras

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Author & Illustrator: Duncan Tonatiuh

Genre: Historical Nonfiction

Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers, New York, NY

Awards: Pura Belpre Award 2015

Themes: Calaveras, Value of life and death, Politics, History, Creating, Art

Summary: Every year in November there is a holiday to celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed away. To contribute more into this day, Don Lupe Posada, crafted calaveras characters out of various art forms like lithography or engraving. A terrible flood made Don Lupe Posada and his wife move from the village into a city. His artwork became more popular and had a large influence politically, especially during the Mexican Revolution. This story tells the life and history during Don Lupe Posada’s life as expressed through words and powerful images.

Response: How might you use this book in the social studies, science or mathematics curriculum? Write about a specific activity you might do that relates to the content of this book.

This book could easily be incorporated during a social studies lesson at any age because of the historical information provided. The students could learn more about the life of Don Lupe, research more about the Mexican Revolution, discuss more about Spanish culture, interpret and discuss the political drawings, etc. This story can be used as a lighter read and get basic knowledge from it or dive deeper into the topics to truly gain insight and understanding.

With middle school or high school students, I think that it would be a great lesson to have read this book aloud and make sure everyone can see the political drawings created on the board. Then after researching more about the Mexican Revolution (or other current political events), having the students create their own political cartoon.


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