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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
    • 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: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics Within Ecosystems
      • MS-LS2-5. Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
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