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Death and Grieving

Additional Core Ties

Adult Roles and Financial Literacy
Strand 6 Standard 6

Authors

CTE LESSON PLANS

Summary

Students will learn about the stages of grief, identify the common physical reactions to grief, and learn how the grieving process applies to many types of losses.


Materials

Additional Resources:

  • My Life, Columbia Tristar Home Video, ISBN 0-8001-2978-4, available at video rental stores.
  • Death Education Resource Book, June M. Brinkman and Tresa F. Quarles, J. Weston Walch, Publisher, P.O. Box 658, Portland, Maine 04104-0658.
  • Check with a community mental health center for referrals to professionals or support groups.
  • The Fall of Fredie the Leaf, Leo Buscaglia, Ph.D., ISBN 0-8050-1064-5.
  • Badger's Parting Gifts, by Susan Varley, ISBN 0-688-11518-7.
  • Final Gifts--Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying, by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley, ISBN 0-553-56139-1.
  • On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, ISBN 0-02-089141-5.
  • Talking about Death--A Dialogue between Parent and Child, by Earl A. Grollman, ISBN 0-8070-2363-9


Instructional Procedures

Vocabulary
Use the vocabulary worksheet (pdf) with students.

Primary Vocabulary

  • Autopsy
  • Bereaved
  • Condolence
  • Coroner
  • Deceased
  • Eulogy
  • Living Will
  • Morgue
  • Mortuary
  • Mourning
  • Obituary
  • Wake
  • Will

Supplementary Vocabulary

  • Epitaph
  • Interment

FCCLA Activity Option

Introduction/Pre-Assessment

  1. Read either the children's book The Fall of Fredie the Leaf, Leo Buscaglia, Ph.D., ISBN 0-8050-1064-5, or
  2. Badger's Parting Gifts, by Susan Varley, ISBN 0-688-11518-7

Process questions:

  1. What was main character in the book?
  2. What was their role in the book?
  3. What impact did they have on the other characters?
  4. What was theme of the book?
  5. What can we learn from this book?

Content Outline, Activities and Teaching Strategies
(All options do not necessarily need to be taught. Select ones to cover standards and objectives and according to your district policies.)

Option 1: Coping with Crisis
Use the Death and Grieving PowerPoint presentation discuss the reactions to death, dying, stages of grief, and common physical reactions to grief. Read the story Where do the Sparrows Go When they Die (pdf) and ask students to tell about a time in their lives when they had grieved. Present the Coping with Crisis teacher information (pdf) to the students.

Option 2: Dealing with Death
Continue with the Death and Grieving PowerPoint. Give students information on how to deal with death - the Dealing with Death discussion guide (pdf). Use the answers to the Death Listening Guide (pdf) as notes for a lecture as you discuss the information.

Option 3: Terms Associated with Death
Have students complete this matching activity (pdf) which covers the terms associated with death then discuss them with the class.

Option 4: Obituary/Eulogy
Using the Obituary/Eulogy assignment sheet (pdf), have each student write a future personal obituary or eulogy. The purpose of this worksheet is to get students thinking about what they are doing with their lives. Are they heading down the pathways that will take them to the destinations they seek?

Option 5: Epitaph
Have students draw a picture of the type of headstone they would like, Including the epitaph by which they would like to be remembered.

Option 6: Guest Speaker
Have someone from a local hospice be a guest speaker to discuss dealing with grief.

Option 7: Video
Show the video clip My Life. This video is about a terminally ill man (Michael Keaton) and reviews the stages of grief, hospice, planning for the future of his family, etc. (Columbia Tristar Home Video, ISBN 0-8001-2978-4, available at video rental stores).

Option 8: Reference Books
You may wish to have students do some outside reading on how to deal with death and dying. Some suggested resource books are:

  • Final Gifts--Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying, by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley, ISBN 0-553-56139-1. Contains many case studies and is easy reading.
  • On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, ISBN 0-02-089141-5. The standard book dealing with the five stages of grief.
  • Talking about Death--A Dialogue between Parent and Child, by Earl A. Grollman, ISBN 0-8070-2363-9.

Option 9: Video Clip
Use PBS's film "In the Mix" show called Dealing With Death with a four sectioned discussion guide found at http://www.pbs.org/inthemix/educators/deathguide.html.

For information about In the Mix, including show descriptions and schedules, visit our home on the World Wide Web at www.IntheMix.org. Dealing With Death carries one-year off-air taping rights and performance rights. Check your local PBS listings for airtimes.

Summary/Evaluation
In the past, people were born and died at home with their families nearby. Most people died in their own beds. Death was considered a natural part of the life cycle. Today most deaths occur in hospitals; the dying are often surrounded by medical personnel instead of family members. Death has become a remote subject that many people avoid discussing. Coping with crisis may is a necessary skill that will be required of all people at various times in their lives.

Videotape copies of the program can be purchased for $69.95 (includes performance rights and a Discussion Guide) plus $5.00 shipping and handling per order, and can be ordered by sending a check or purchase order to: Castle Works Inc., 114 E. 32 Street, Suite 903, New York, NY 10016. There is a discount of $5.00 per tape on orders of any five or more In the Mix titles.


Created: 07/10/2011
Updated: 02/05/2018
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