Title of Lesson: Digging Up Our Past#150

National Standard: 17
How to apply geography ( and history) to interpret the past.

State Standard: 15

Teaching Level: E

- to respect the past
- to learn from cemeteries
-to apply geography and history

prepared data sheets with 4 columns labeled: name/ yr. of birth/ yr. of death/age
clipboards, pencils,large chart paper/marker, outline or sketch maps of cemetery

Procedure: Phase 1
1. Discuss where we put people when they die? (Cemeteries)
2. What tells us who "lives" there. (Markers, gravestones, headstones)
3. For what are headstones useful? (ancestry, cultural bkgrd., settlement info.)
4. Research or discuss different burial customs.
5. Discuss why death was a major part of life in the 1600's to early 1900's (disease, drought, blizzards, hurricanes, accidents, types of medicine available)
Phase 2

1. Visit a cemetery in the area. (Be sure to go over rules of safety and respect)
2. Divide students in teams of 2 (recorder and reader) and give them each an area of the cemetery to cover.
3. Collect data from a number of stones. (names, year of birth, year of death, age)
4. Map the location of the older and larger stones and monuments.

Phase 3
1. Share some of the interesting things they saw - kinds and colors of stones, decorations, shapes of stones. In some areas of the country markers are made of wood.
2. Create simple bar graphs from the data - such as: ages at death, popularity of names, multiple death years
3. Find out what things occurred in a community that may have caused the population to rise and fall, then compare to the graphs. (blizzard , hurricane , influenza epidemic, fire, war)

Are there any correlations among age, size and shape and location of stones and monuments?
Do the children understand the correlation of earthly situations to life and death?

Reflection: How successful was this lesson? Did all students benefit? Were there any surprises? What might you do differently another time? Please note any changes that will make this lesson more effective and useful in the future and pass them along to the NHGA. We appreciate your comments.
Thank you.
The authors. *

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Original file name: 150rtf - converted on Tuesday, 20 October 1998, 20:56

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