The Five Stages of Grief activity helps students understand why The Epic of Gilgamesh is still relevant today and how many human experiences are universal, despite differences in time or place.
Students are first introduced to the Five Stages of Grief through a brief but informative handout. They then use the two page worksheet as a guide for identifying when Gilgamesh goes through each stage while providing textual evidence and analysis to support their claim.
This activity can be completed while reading the text (it will work with any translation of the epic) or as an individual / small group activity when students have finished the epic.
Finally, this activity can stand alone as a summative experience or assessment, it can act as a class discussion starter (there is not “one answer” for when Gilgamesh experiences each stage), or it could act as a framework for an essay on the epic. I have used this activity in conjunction with Gilgamesh, The Catcher in the Rye, and the animated film Up. At the end of the unit, students have written comparative analysis essays on grief in two or more of the “texts.”
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