Teaching Students About Mortal Coil – A Vital Lesson for K-12 Students

Teachers hold an immense responsibility in molding the future generation. Alongside traditional academic subjects, it is equally important to educate students about life’s existential queries and awareness of their mortality or the “mortal coil,” as Shakespeare aptly put it.

Discussing such topics with K-12 students might seem daunting but approached creatively, it can be a great way to foster curiosity, empathy, and resilience in them. Here are some valuable tips on incorporating lessons about life and mortality into your teaching approach.

1. Begin with age-appropriate literature: Select stories that address themes of change, resilience, and loss to initiate discussions around mortality. Young children may benefit from picture books like “The Fall of Freddie the Leaf” by Leo Buscaglia, while older students can appreciate novels like “Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson.

2. Use creative writing prompts: Encourage students to explore their thoughts and feelings about life and death through journaling or creative writing activities. Ask questions that spark introspection, such as “What does it mean to live a fulfilling life?” or “How do you cope with the loss of a loved one?”

3. Develop empathy through roleplay: Roleplaying scenarios can teach students about different cultural practices surrounding death rituals or coping mechanisms used by people during challenging times. Simultaneously, such exercises encourage empathy and understanding of diverse perspectives.

4. Integrate cross-curricular connections: Find opportunities to discuss the mortal coil across various subjects. For example, analyzing a historical event may involve discussing the impact of lives lost during wars, natural disasters, or pandemics. In a science lesson about ecosystems, discussing how animals face mortality in their life cycles can provoke deeper conversations on natural processes and impermanence.

5. Encourage philosophical discussions: Pose open-ended questions for classroom debates related to morality, legacy, and personal values. This exercise can help students to identify and refine their beliefs, enhancing critical thinking and reasoning skills throughout their K-12 education.

6. Invite guest speakers: Professionals such as grief counselors, hospice workers, or religious leaders can offer significant insights into coping with loss, different belief systems, and the meaning of life. Their expertise can contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the topic for students.

Addressing the complexities surrounding mortality might not be straightforward, but it is undoubtedly essential. Using these methods in a sensitive and considerate manner paves the way for students to develop emotional intelligence and resilience that will serve them well throughout their lives.

Choose your Reaction!