Several of our Youth Community Informatics sites are mapping cemeteries. What sounds like small project, or even a gloomy one, soon opens up into far-reaching explorations of history, geography, health, families, technology, mathematics, literacy, and more.
At Iroquois West Middle School, youth started with a story about a primary school’s project to study cemeteries: Learning from graveyards. The “Map Masters” soon expanded this by incorporating technologies of GPS and GIS into their mapping project of the Onarga Cemetery. They have already made many discoveries and are continuing to do more. They’ll also connect with cemetery mapping projects in Cass County and East St. Louis.
One interesting tombstone that we found at the Onarga Cemetery was in the shape of a tree trunk. The name of the person buried there was Emory Gish. According to our reseach on symbolism the tree trunk showed a life cut short. The number of broken branches might symbolize the number of deceased family members buried nearby.
Thanks for the link, Ann. I like the ideas you have there about using social media to do Spanish community service learning.
What a great project! I realize that working in cemeteries may seem odd at first glance, but they are very important parts of our communities. In fact, I recently posted about something similar: http://spanishandillinois.blogspot.com/2009/06/example-of-virtual-volunteering-and.html
I always look forward to your posts. 🙂