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Before undertaking a gravestone rubbing project proper preparation is
absolutely necessary. Do you have permission to rub? Many states and /or
cemeteries do not allow it. Have you checked the conditions of the stones ?
Can you teach students how to choose an appropriate stone for rubbing? Many
stones are not "healthy" enough for rubbing and damage can occur. Do you
know how to safely remove minor dirt, lichens, bird poop? What is it you
expect the students to learn from this activity? Given the deteriorating
condition (due to nature, vandalism, lawnmowers, etc.) is rubbing
gravestones the best way to teach what it is you want students to learn?
There are other art activities that can be done.
These are just some of the questions that must be addressed. I've been a
trustee for the Association for Gravestone Studies and have run many
gravestone rubbing workshops at their national conferences for years. I've
also presented numerous gravestone/cemetery workshops for teachers. If
anyone is interested in any of my activities i'd be glad to share info and
Now if you still want to take your class rubbing (I love it, been doing
it for more than 30 years now) please check out the Association's web site
http://www.gravestonestudies.org for a full explanation on gravestone
rubbing and other interesting and useful information. The Vermont Old
Cemetery Association has developed a cemetery guide for teachers which is
Impress upon your students that gravestone carving may be considered
the first colonial American sculpture, and as such graveyards are outdoor
museums. But museums where you can actually get up close to experience the
work. If you are interested in the sources for the iconography, symbolism,
carvers, etc. I can recommend books and articles.
Gosh, I could go on forever, better stop now. Contact me at
wckdstpm if you'd like more info.
Brattleboro Area Middle School
Brattleboro, VT 05301
> From: Tmcnorf
> Reply-To: "ArtsEdNet Talk" <artsednet>
> Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 22:27:58 EDT
> To: "ArtsEdNet Talk" <artsednet>
> Subject: gravestone rubbings
> what is best for kids to use for gravestone rubbings? i have seen some really
> nice ones and want to try it with a group of kids. 12-18 yr olds. i have
> used crayon with no good luck. i am looking to do this real cheap.
> newsprint too flimsy?
> any ideas will be appreciated. thanks.
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