Westside Elementary students in Springville took an unusual field trip to the city cemetery to learn more about their area's history.
Teachers called it "A Day to Die For" and used the trip to teach a social studies unit about communities and various city departments.The students also learned about their ancestors by preparing a list of those buried at the cemetery and looking for information about them on the headstones.
"A lot of the kids were frightened of the cemetery, and the visit helped them understand more about its function in the community," said third-grade teacher Diana Williams.
The teachers also used city regulations to show students the proper way to behave when visiting the cemetery.
"The students learned they were not supposed to climb or walk on headstones or to ride bikes or skateboards within the cemetery," she said. "Some of the headstones in the city cemetery are very old, and students learned about how people are restoring them and preserving them as part of our city's history."
Students even practiced math, reading and history by looking for the oldest headstone.
"It was a really good experience, and we hope to be able to do the field trip again," Williams said. "The students learned a lot about their families as they looked for names of people they knew. They also learned a lot about local history."
Students ended their field trip by writing their own epitaphs.