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5. Discussion: Death and Culture

Instructions for this discussion board:

Through the reading, lecture, and videos this week, we have covered a number of different topics and ideas related to death. In her TedTalk entitled “Life that doesn’t end with death”, Kelli Swazey touched the surface on the way that different cultures approach death and death-related rituals (such as funerals). In this week’s discussion forum, it is your turn to do a little research on the topic of death and culture and share what you learned with your discussion board group!

Before you participate in this discussion board, please complete the following tasks:

1. Read and watch the content above on death, dying, and bereavement.

2. Watch the video above in which Kelli Swazey discusses culture and death.

3. Do some searching and find a specific example of how a different culture (other than the “typical” American culture) approaches the topic of death. You can do this in a number of ways, including searching for a video or online article or even talking to someone you know who identifies with a specific cultural group. Gather enough information to be able to describe the cultural group (this may be an ethnicity, nationality, or some other distinguishing feature) and to describe the way that they approach death. This may include beliefs about what happens after death or a specific ritual, such as a funeral.

In your initial post (DUE Thursday, 6/25 by 11:59PM):

1. Locate the discussion forum, “Week 6 Discussion: Death and Culture”(see instructions for finding your group discussion board below). Create a thread and in your initial post, describe the information that you found in step 3 listed above. Be sure to include the specific cultural group, how you found your information, and the describe you learned about their approach to death. Teach us what you learned! Include adequate details and examples. How are the examples you found similar or different to the topics that we discussed this week? Be sure to link your responses back to the course material! Your experiences are a valuable reference point, but your post must also reflect what you have learned in this course. Posts with no reference to course content will lose points.

You must also provice at least two thoughtful, respectful responses to your peers (DUE Friday, 6/26 by 11:59PM). This is your opportunity to discuss, so there are not strict guidelines for what you must include in your response. However, responses must ADD TO THE DISCUSSION. “I agree!” or “Cool idea!” or “That’s dumb!” will not earn you points. Things that may prompt discussion are comments that include ideas like the reasons for similarities/differences between posts, the potential real-world application of your classmates’ ideas, and links to other course content (including lectures and videos).

Please remember that late posts will not earn any credit, so be sure to be mindful of the course deadlines and to make sure that your post showed up in the discussion and that it is in the correct forum. This is your responsibility.

Be sure to note that your responses are due FRIDAY! Friday is the last day of our semester and all work must be completed by the end of the day.

Here is some general information about discussion board requirements:

Each discussion consists of three posts as follows:

1. Your original post in response to the instructor’s thread/post. (Due Thursday)

2. Response posts to two of your peers. (Due FRIDAY)


1. At the bottom of the course menu to your left, expand the My Groups area as shown below and click on Group Discussion Board (TIP: click both arrows to fully expand the area.)

2. Click the discussion forum titled Week 6 Discussion: Death and Culture.

3. Participate in the discussion thread for your group. You will find instructions in the thread!


Your discussion participation is graded using the rubric below. This rubric also shows on your Group discussion board page. Don’t forget to use it to maximize your contribution!


Unacceptable 0 Points

Emerging 4 – 6 Points

Good 7 – 8 Points

Excellent 9 – 10 Points

Original Post

10 points possible

(Due Thursday)

No post within the allotted timeframe

Post is less than 100 words; argumentation is weak with scant or no course references; multiple typos and/or poor sentence structure

Post is between 100 and 149 words; argument is moderately articulated but course references are not strong; writing is not well constructed; some typos or awkward sentence structure (doesn’t look proof-read)

Post is at least 150 words; it reflects a thoughtful/ creative/ insightful argument; includes direct course reference; writing is coherent and organized with good grammatical structure


Unacceptable 0 Points

Emerging 1 point per post

Good 2 points per post

Excellent 3 points per post

2 Peer Responses

3 points possible per response


No responses posted; post is rude or inappropriate

Post is less than 30 words; post is either merely supportive or merely antagonistic without support for agreement or disagreement

Post is between 30 – 49 words; response is not well constructed, i.e., “totally, I agree” without supporting reasons; repeats original post instead of building upon it

YOU MUST ADD SOMETHING TO THE DISCUSSION (not repeat); Post is at least 50 words; it is respectful and thoughtful; it builds on the original post; does NOT say the same thing the posts right above it say; it’s well written


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