We started out by talking a little bit about what a cemetery is and what people do at a cemetery. Most of the kids HAD visited a cemetery before, which was great news, but for most of them, it was their first visit to Crown Hill. Then, we talked about what kinds of important information we can learn from gravestones, and how that information can be helpful in learning about a particular person or family. I explained that symbols on gravestones can also tell us a lot about a deceased person's life - perhaps what organizations s/he may have belonged to or what s/he may have done for a living.
I designed some 'cemetery hunt' worksheets for the kids to get them looking more closely at the information on the gravestones, but before we started the search, we discussed cemetery safety and etiquette. I created a simple handout for them listing important rules when visiting a cemetery, and most of these rules can be applied when visiting any cemetery:
If you'd like to hear more details about our program, please feel free to contact me. A program like this could be done in ANY cemetery, and I'd love to see more genealogical and historical societies offer them for children in their areas.
©2015, Emily Kowalski Schroeder