After a lot of frontloading about Dia de los Muertos, we got started with a skeleton template. I printed it and blew it up to A3 size and made templates from cardboard. Then each child got some thin cardboard (white on one side) of their own and traced/cut their own skeleton.
Keeping track of all the pieces was difficult-- I made sure the kids wrote their intials on the back of every bone in case they go missing and I also gave envelopes to keep everything in. They still lost a ton of them, but they're easy enough to remake.
The bones are held together with paper brads at the joints for movement. Next, I brought out fabric, yarn, and manned my glue gun-- and let the kids go to town. They had a blast and really buzzed off each others' energy and ideas. The details they came up with (tiny purses and hats, skeleton dogs with leashes...) were unbelievable.
For the base, I had my friends in DT (Design Tech- -don't call it woodshop!) cut some wood blocks and drill dowels in the middle. The skeleton spines are glued to the dowel.
Once the project was complete, the students wrote hilarious biographies from their skellies point of view (their name, how they died, what they miss about being alive, what they're doing now, etc) and they were displayed with the skeletons.
At the school assembly, each child got to dance around with their skellies while Dem Bones played in the background. :)