Does death make life more meaningful?
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Lesson Plans

Does death make life more meaningful?

In this lesson students will investigate humanist attitudes towards death, including the consequences of their absence of belief in an afterlife on the way they live their lives. They will explore whether we should be scared of death and learn how humanists believe that the absence of an afterlife makes life more meaningful, and makes it all the more important to make the most of the one life we know we have. They will also discuss the different senses in which humanists believe something of us does survive our death. Finally they will learn what happens at a humanist funeral and use what they have learned to write their own poem or eulogy. Download


Does death make life more meaningful?



Death metaphors

If death were a ......., what would it be? Download

Humanist funeral extracts

Can students find key humanist attitudes towards death in a selection of statements from humanist funerals? Download

Humanist poems

A selection of humanist poems and quotes about death to inspire students to write their own poem or eulogy for a funeral. Download

Humanist responses: death

Fill in the speech bubbles with how humanists might respond to statements and questions about death. Download

The River of Life

Using Bertrand Russell's quote comparing human lives to rivers, students explore what they might contribute to the sea of humanity Download


What should we think about death?

(Age 11+) A short animation about a humanist attitude towards death. Watch


(Age 11+) Humanists answer the question: 'Is this the only life we have?' Watch

Humanist Perspectives

Celebrations and ceremonies

What do humanists celebrate and how do they mark important events in their lives? Download


Why do humanists believe this life is the only one we know we have, and what does that mean for how they choose to live their lives? Download

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