topic three – life and death
This topic attempts to provide non-threatening approaches to the
subject of death. A need has been expressed for an opportunity to
overcome the widespread reluctance to talk about this subject. It
is only possible here to offer some ideas and then leave it to you
to see how you and the class wish to develop the direction in which
the activities lead. The reason for including this topic under the
heading of Respect Life is that it can be our experiences
and/or attitudes towards death that formulate the value that we
put on life. These are often formed unconsciously through fear of
the unknown, personal bereavement and for many other reasons. Such
issues may be raised helpfully by creating an atmosphere in which
death can be talked about in a natural way.
The activities are examples of ways in which this difficult topic
could be approached. They are not placed in any particular order.
activity one - Cycle of life
a) as a class activity:
Prepare a flip chart with six pages headed Birth, Childhood,
Youth, Adulthood, Old Age, Death. Taking each page in turn,
ask the class what comes to their minds when they think of that
particular stage of life. It might help for the class to talk in
pairs for a couple of minutes when you start on each new page.
Each person could write down his/her ideas in one or two words
which you could then collect up, copying them onto the flip chart
as you read them out to the class, thus making the contributions
b) as a group activity:
Give all the groups six papers with the headings suggested for
the flip chart and ask them to write or illustrate the ideas associated
with each stage.