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Putting It All Together

The following activities will help students discover the history of a cemetery in their community and how it compares to Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Activity 1: Map Mania
1. Using an enlarged copy of Map 2, the site map (the bigger the better), cut the map into 16 square pieces of roughly equal size.
2. Mix, and then have students draw pieces. Instruct them to try to piece the map back together.
3. Discuss as a class the clues they used to put the map back together. What made the task difficult? What made it easy? Would they describe the circulation system in Mount Auburn Cemetery as simple or complex?

Activity 2: Location is Everything
Ask students to identify the location of a local cemetery on a map of their community. Is the cemetery near the center of town, or is it near the edge? Then coordinate with your local library or historical society to arrange for students to see maps that show the location of the cemetery. Ask students to describe what the surrounding area looked like when the cemetery was first created. Why was the cemetery built in that location? Has the area around the cemetery changed substantially since it was founded?

Students may conduct additional research for substantiating evidence at your local town hall, library, or historical society. They might share their findings by writing an essay or article that compares the founding of your local cemetery with the founding of Mount Auburn Cemetery or making an exhibit comparing and contrasting the local cemetery with Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Activity 3: Observing the Landscape
Arrange for students to visit a local landscape, either a cemetery or park, and ask them to:

  • Compare the landscape of their local park or cemetery with that of Mount Auburn Cemetery. In what ways are they similar or different? In what ways is the overall plan similar to or different from Mount Auburn Cemetery?
  • Identify how people of their community use this landscape. How do they seem to feel about it?
  • Assess their emotional reaction to the landscape of their local cemetery and explain why they have that feeling.
Students may describe their experience either by writing about it or creating a graphic representation of it (drawing, painting, photograph, or collage.) Also, consider working with the organization that manages the cemetery to arrange a clean-up or preservation project at the cemetery.

 

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