Kitchen Humanities: Pan de los Muertos

Pan de los Muertos Visual Aid


In this 6th grade humanities lesson, students prepare Pan de los Muertos and practice measuring precisely.


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify measuring tools from the ESY Toolbox
  • Recognize the need for precision when baking


During this lesson, students will:

  • Select the correct measuring tools
  • Follow the recipe to completion


For the Chef Meeting

  • Pan de los Muertos recipe
  • Ingredients and tools for demonstration
  • Visual aid

Ingredients for the Pan de los Muertos

  • Flour
  • Amaranth flour
  • Baking powder
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Orange zest (optional)
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Vegetable oil
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Butter


  • Sheet pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Wooden spoons
  • Measuring beaker
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Zester


  • Stove
  • Oven

For the Altar

  • Table
  • Tablecloth
  • Construction paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Graphite pencils or pens

Before You Begin

  • Collect all the tools and ingredients, and then distribute them to the tables
  • Gather supplies for the Chef Meeting
  • Create the visual aid
  • Copy the Pan de los Muertos recipe to hand out
  • Set up a Day of the Dead altar
  • Cut up construction paper for the remembrances


At the Chef Meeting

  1. Welcome students and introduce Pan de los Muertos as a sweet bread traditionally made on or around Day of the Dead.
  2. Invite students to share what they know about the holiday.
  3. Explain that they will be participating in a Day of the Dead tradition by making Pan de los Muertos to honor somebody who has passed away.
  4. Introduce the amaranth flour and remind students that they harvested, threshed, and winnowed amaranth in the garden. 
  5. Explain to students that when baking, precision is important.
  6. Tell students that they will be shaping their bread in a way that honors or symbolizes the person they are remembering.  While the bread is baking, students will have an opportunity to write a remembrance for that person and place it on Day of the Dead altar.
  7. Ask students to wash their hands and join their table group.

At the Table

  1. Meet with the table groups to review the recipe, check-in, and assign jobs.
  2. Review measuring tools (measuring beaker, measuring cups, and measuring spoons) and the different measuring increments (i.e., 1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon, ½ teaspoon). Explain how to measure precisely.
  3. Prepare the recipe and set the table.
  4. While the bread is baking, invite students to write a remembrance and then place it on the altar.
  5. Eat
  6. Clean up.
  7. While the students are eating, invite them to share whom they made the bread for, what shape they chose, and why.

At the Closing Circle

Ask students to share who they would bring back from the dead and why.




Download: Pan de los Muertos Recipe

Download: Pan de los Muertos Altar

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