Gravetender Book List

Cover of "A Graveyard Preservation Primer...

Summer’s almost here and that means it’s time to catch up on your reading. What’s on your Book List? I’m currently reading ‘A Graveyard Preservation Primer’  by Lynette Strangstad. Yes, I know…not exactly a can’t-put-it-down thriller novel but still interesting nonetheless. My local library had a copy (surprisingly it wasn’t checked out) and in its pages I’ve come across some great ideas. For those trying to figure out what to do with the kids this summer, check out these suggestions in Chapter 2:

“Graveyards as an Educational Tool”

“Experience has shown that one of the best ways to protect graveyards is to educate the public that frequents them as to their importance and their charm. This applies to the general public, but paticularly to schoolchildren, since introducing a new generation to the significance of gravestones goes far toward having a concerned adult populace in later years.

Field trips make a graveyard “come alive” for children in the best sense of the phrase. Simply including early graveyards among the trips to museums and other cultural resources reinforces the fact that graveyards are among these treasures and are to be treated as the outdoor museums they are. Such trips are also effective in dispelling children’s occasional fear of graveyards, which is often brought on by movies and shared stories.

Varying age groups will require different activities, of course. The few suggestions that follow are intended only to indicate the variety of activities and the various age groups that can be involved.

A scavenger hunt to see who can find, for example, the most stones with cherubs on them

An English lesson in which students seek out the nonstandard spellings of words common prior to about 1790, as well as archaic words or phrases.

A history lesson in which students identify particular historical facts or personages on the stones themselves.

An art lesson where students identify favorite stones; photograph stones; create original artwork using some of the same motifs.

A sociology lesson in which students gather date for a particular decade, using the graveyard as a source.

A geology lesson in which students identify the variety of stones represented.”

These all sound like fun ideas. I’ll be trying them out with Gravetender Toddler when he’s older!

What are you reading this summer?