Using the historic overview of Oakwood Cemetery as your guide, below are three student activities for the classroom. The information for the activities was obtained from the cemetery records of Oakwood Cemetery (Troy Cemetery Association) and the Rensselaer County Historical Society (RCHS) archives. RCHS can be reached via the web at: www.rchsonline.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone or 518-272-7232.
When visiting a cemetery please apply these guidelines to your visit:
Students should be respectful of the cemetery. These are, after all, hallowed grounds. Be cognizant that a burial may be going on nearby, and keep voices to an appropriate level. Despite the fact that rural cemeteries are park-like settings, they are not playgrounds.
Students or chaperones should never climb or sit on the gravestones. Along with being disrespectful to the person buried in the grave beneath, gravestones are extremely heavy and can tip over on a person, potentially causing a serious injury.
Please do not allow gravestone rubbings. The stones are fragile, both from age and from the consequences of acid rain. Bring a digital camera to record information and to photograph interesting cemetery stone shapes, icons or epitaphs.
Recommend that students wear sturdy shoes or sneakers. Wet grass, uneven ground and chuckholes are not conducive to students wearing flip flops. Rural cemeteries tend to be near woods, and many deer and wildlife roam through cemeteries. Remind students to check for ticks when they return home.
Supplies needed: Clipboards, pencils, survey sheets, digital camera(s) if possible