I have been talking with students in My Saturday classes at the the art gallery, my projects at Dazzle and in my after school program about the Mexican holiday of "Dead of the Dead" The emphasis in this holiday is that the dead are to be remembered as they were living and images of skeletons are shown as bright and cheerful not creepy and scary as we are used to seeing them at Halloween.
I made sugar skulls which was my first effort at them and I realized that the mixture of confectioners sugar to water can be difficult. I also realized that there is more then one recipe and some recipe use granulated sugar and meringue and other use only confectioners sugar and water.
we looked at images from a calender I have that shows paper mache sculptures of day of the dead figures from an show at an art museum in Houston. I have a xerox copy kit that you cut out and assemble pieces for your own Day of the Dead altar" some of the students made this kit.
We tried our hand at paper cutting which is hard for early elementary students unless they do a snow flake cut. and looked at books that show Mexican folk art Crafts.