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topic three – life and death

general approach

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 anonymous.

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.

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