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


Science, Social Studies, Chemistry, Biology

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

We Need to Change How We Bury the Dead

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  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
    • 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.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: History
      • D2.His.5.6-8 Explain how and why perspectives of people have changed over time.
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