October 13, 2004
“We are going to do what?!”
That used to be the first thing out of my eighth-graders’ mouths when I would explain to them that I was going to take them to the cemetery on an all-day field trip. The moans and groans that you would hear, would make you think that this was a “haunted classroom.”
But not anymore. Now it has become a highly anticipated tradition. Older brothers, sisters and friends have told them about the outing, so they no longer think that I am the strangest teacher in the world! In fact, now the older classes that have already gone beg for me to take them back.
The biggest problems now is administration and parents that ask, “Why study about the cemetery?” Going to a local cemetery can have many educational values. The main purpose of this field trip is to encourage an appreciation of the unique historical significance of that place. Nearly every community has an old cemetery of historic and educational value. A study of it can reveal much about the lives of people of the past. Once there you can enjoy the wonderful artwork and architecture of the mausoleums.
A cemetery is a quiet place; much contemplation can take place there. One can learn about the philosophy prevailing and their decoration and epitaphs. Gaze upon the monuments and come to understand the statuary and iconography common upon them.
Of course the students just think, “This is a really cool day!”
Check out these cemetery lesson plans in all subject matters.