ASA logo
Gravestone Assignment
Cover Page
Requires Subscription DOCX


historical period
document analysis
historical comparison

How to Cite

Flockhart, Tyler, and Maxine Atkinson. 2016. “Gravestone Assignment”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, May. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


This assignment introduces students to the historical importance of symbols in American culture by analyzing gravestones. There are four goals related to this assignment. Students will collect data from gravestone inscriptions, describe, categorize and analyze this data with particular attention to institutional and sub-institutional symbols. They will...

Download this resource to see full details. Download this resource to see full details.


Subject Area(s):
Introduction to Sociology/Social Problems
Resource Type(s):
Class Level(s):
Any Level
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

Download resource to see full details of assignment. Paper has been assigned in "Sociology of Family"; however, is appropriate for "Introduction to Sociology" and "Sociology of Culture" courses as well.

Download this resource to see full details. Download this resource to see full details.

Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Collect data from gravestone inscriptions and analyze social science data through examination of inscriptions.
  2. Describe, categorize, and explain how symbols and inscriptions on gravestones are related to culture and the historical period in which the deceased lived.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Rubrics are used to assess the quality of data gathered on inventory sheets and analyses of symbolism by historical period, gender, and type of institution on analysis worksheets with tables.
  2. Students are asked to write a short paper that includes one of three options. Each option requires description and categorization of gravestone symbols. A rubric is provided.

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

Cover Page
Requires Subscription DOCX

Our website uses cookies to improve your browsing experience, to increase the speed and security for the site, to provide analytics about our site and visitors, and for marketing. By proceeding to the site, you are expressing your consent to the use of cookies. To find out more about how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy .