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Churches and cemeteries

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					Churches and cemeteries
It’s your Heritage
INTRODUCTION TO THE TOPIC
Churches are embedded in spirituality, faith and specific beliefs. They can be associated with times of happiness, remembrance, joy and sadness. Family stories can be re-discovered from walks through cemeteries.

THROUGH INVESTIGATION OF THIS TOPIC STUDENTS MAY:
use research, investigation and evaluation to tell a story of the place explain the significance of the place through illustrations, dramatisation, oral presentation, electronic presentation or any other means including understanding space through modelling, measuring and scaling use role play to explore the life of the place or/and people associated with it predict and evaluate the consequences of the place not being protected and conserved for future generations describe the events in the lives of significant others investigate alternative cultural perspectives to importance of the place in your community illustrate how the place maintains connections in your community.

DEFINITIONS
Definition of a church: a public building, usually for Christian worship Definition of a cemetery: a place for burying the dead

KEY QUESTIONS
Has the importance of religion in daily life changed or stayed the same, looking at examples from present situations, 50 years ago and 100 years ago Why are churches and cemeteries a significant part of communties? What does a cemetery tell us about people who lived and died?

www.heritage.tas.gov.au

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SUGGESTED CHALLENGES: IN THE CLASSROOM
1. Design a stain glass window for a church and construct using coloured cellophane and black card. 2. Identify the churches or cemeteries in your local community. Which denominations are represented? Identify the unique architectural structures that are associated with churches. Which was the first church established in your community? When was it built? 3. Some churches have bells? What was the purpose of the church bell? Are church bells used today? 4. Investigate and research the number of people who attended church during earlier settlement of Tasmania and compare to current practices. Can you explain the different in congregation numbers? 5. Using your imagination, can you describe an adaptive reuse strategy to assist in the conservation of a vacant church?

IN THE FIELD
A note of caution: Teachers should consider any impact a cemetery visit will have on their students, and any concerns the students’ parents may raise.
1. Visit a cemetery. Identify the oldest headstone and the age of the deceased. Complete a sketch of the common and more unusual shaped headstones. What are the headstones made from? Why do some plots have headstones while others don’t? 2. During the visit gather information on the age and gender as listed on the headstones. Using this information, calculate the average age of the deceased, how many were males verses females. Were any differences? Can you interpret why? Why do some headstones have multiple family members listed? Are they any patterns to be found in the burials (eg the number of men buried during WWI or WWII).

A note of caution: The Tasmanian Heritage Council has developed a Practice Note on the conservation of cemeteries. You may wish to refer to these notes, which are available at www.heritage.tas.gov.au.

It’s your heritage: Churches and cemeteries www.heritage.tas.gov.au

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