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Database Provider

Author

Vox

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, Chemistry, Biology

Resource Type

  • Videos, 5 minutes, 51 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global

Format

YouTube Video

We Need to Change How We Bury the Dead

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Synopsis
  • This video outlines the high financial, environmental, and material costs of modern American burial practices. 
  • The video describes four alternative methods for dealing with human remains: cremation, promession, alkaline hydrolysis, and natural burial. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This video is great in exposing the environmental damage of modern American burials. It includes several eye-opening statistics, including numbers on toxic chemicals, concrete use, and land use.

Additional Prerequisites

  • You may have to watch an ad before the video.
  • Be mindful of approaching the subject of death with your students. Be sensitive to students who may have lost a loved one recently.

Differentiation

  • English or science students could watch this video and write a paragraph outlining how they would like their bodies handled after they are deceased.
  • Social studies or geography students could use Google Maps to see how much space cemeteries take up in their neighborhoods. One discussion question to ask: "What else could the space be used for if it weren't used as a cemetery?"
  • Students could also watch this video on biodegradable mushroom fiber coffins.
Scientist Notes
The video spotlights several burial methods and provides a comparative analysis on the methods, the trade-offs, and need to adopt an eco-friendly method to reduce global carbon footprints. This resource is insightful and recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • Social Studies
    • History
      • History 1 (D1): Students understand major eras, major enduring themes, and historic influences in the history of Maine, the United States, and various regions of the world by analyzing interpretations of historical events that are based on different perspectives and evidence from primary and secondary sources.
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