The role of traditions
Many of the ceremonial or traditional aspects of life help people to come to terms with their emotions. The nation is currently marking an important death. Ask students to list the ceremonies or traditions associated with these aspects of life.
Falling in love
(valentines day / engagement / marriage)
Having a family
(baby shower / wetting the baby's head / Christening)
(birthdays /anniversaries / New Years Eve)
(does your school have a tradition?)
How do traditions help?
Working individually pick one event from their list that they have attended. Write a report or draw a cartoon strip to show how they felt at the event and what happened. Then answer these two questions:
 Why was there a tradition or ceremony to mark the event?
(eg birthday shows that you are one year older, you are becoming a grown up)
 How did the event allow people to express their feelings?
(eg birthday presents show happiness and gratitude)
Working in pairs prepare a script for a video message. It will be from students to Prince Charles. It should help him understand how highly his grandmother was thought of. It could include interviews with staff and students.
The Queen Mother was elderly and had been unwell for some time. Her friends felt she had enjoyed a full life. How do peoples' feelings differ from those they felt when Princess Diana died?
Did the events marking the Queen Mother's death do a different job to those for Princess Diana?
Young people and old people have birthday events that may look similar, but how will their feelings differ?
In Britain grieving was more ritualistic in the past. There were set periods of time when certain customs had to be observed:
Marking the Queen Mother's death
- Widows wore all black clothing for one year and drab colours forever after.
- Mourners could not attend social gatherings for months.
- Laughter and enjoyment were discouraged for weeks or months.
- Football grounds around the country fell silent as players in all Premiership and Nationwide games stood in contemplation.
- At Kempton, the scene of one of the Queen Mother's biggest wins as an owner, the jockeys wore black armbands.
- The Queen Mother's ceremonial procession will involve 1,700 servicemen and women.
- The coffin is lying-in-state at Westminster Hall, to allow the public to pay their respects.
- Trevor Gardner, from Washington, in north east England said
he brought his family to Buckingham Palace because "it seemed right that we should".
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