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School Tours and Educator Resources

Historic Oakland Foundation offers interactive tours for students of all ages. An experienced docent will lead students through the cemetery’s Original Six Acres, the African American Grounds, Jewish sections, Confederate Memorial Grounds, and other burial areas. As the students progress through the garden cemetery, they will discover the stories of citizens who shaped the development of Atlanta.

School tours of Oakland Cemetery reflect the diverse development of Atlanta, the state, and the American South. A visit to this Victorian garden cemetery provides opportunities to start a dialogue about the historic past and create a space for learning outside the classroom.

Things To Know Before You Come

Chaperones

One chaperone is required for every 10 students.

Lunch

Lunch is not provided. Students can bring food to eat picnic style in the cemetery. There are no tables on the grounds.

Tickets

Students $6 | Adults $12
Proceeds benefit the restoration of Oakland Cemetery.

Bus Parking and MARTA

School buses are not permitted inside the cemetery gates. Unload students outside the gates on Oakland Avenue or in the parking lot. Buses can park in the lot or along MLK Jr. Drive. MARTA is a 7-10 minute walk from the cemetery. Click here for directions from MARTA.

Arrival and Check-in

Buses should unload on Oakland Avenue or MLK Jr. Drive. School buses can park along MLK Jr. Drive. Smaller buses can park in the gravel parking lot near the Front Gate (Oakland Avenue and MLK Jr. Drive).

All tours will start at the Front Gate or at the Visitors Center. Check your tour confirmation to confirm the starting location.

Students should be split into groups prior to arriving at Oakland Cemetery. The Education Manager will communicate the number of tour guides for each visit.

Remember / Do’s and Don’ts

Please arrive at least ten minutes prior to the start time of your tour.

Stay on the walkways and roads.

Stone rubbings are prohibited due to the fragile nature and age of the markers.

This is an outdoor walking tour. Please plan accordingly for weather conditions and wear comfortable shoes. Students are encouraged to bring water.

Damage to any aspect of the historic site becomes the liability of the individual (s) responsible. If the individual is a minor, the liability rests with the parent or guardian.

Field Trip Options

Sights, Symbols, and Stories of Oakland

90-minute tour experience
160 students, 16 chaperones max

This interactive guided tour engages students on a trip through Atlanta’s history, from the founding of the city by early pioneers to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. Students will visit different character areas of Oakland, including the African American Grounds and Jewish burial sections, and learn about different burial and cultural traditions.

Georgia Standards of Excellence: SS4H5, SS4H6, SS5H1, SS5H6, SS5G2, SS8H5, SS8H6, SS8H7, SS8H10, SS8H12, SSUSH8, SSUSH9, SSUSH10, SSUSH11, SSUSH13, SSSocC1, SSSocC2, and SSSocC3.

We Shall Overcome: African American Stories from Civil War to Civil Rights

75-minute tour experience
25-30 students, 3 chaperones max

Explore the lives and accomplishments of outstanding, and ordinary, African Americans who fought to overcome the effects of slavery and racism to help shape the history of Atlanta.

Georgia Standards of Excellence: SS4H5, SS4H6, SS8H5, SS8H6, SS8H7, SS8H10, SS8H11, SS8H12, SSUSH10, SSUSH11, SSUSH13, and SSUSH22.

Art and Architecture of Death

75-minute tour experience
25-30 students, 3 chaperones max

Discover the magnificent mausoleums and Victorian sculptures that make Oakland an outdoor art gallery within a city of the dead. Students will learn about the variety of grave markers at Oakland and how to analyze monuments.

Georgia Standards of Excellence: VA4-8.RE.1, VA4-8.CN.1, VA6-8.RE.2, VA6-8.CN.3, VAHSAH.RE.1, VAHSAH.RE.2, VAHSAH.RE.3, VAHSAH.CN.1 VAHSAH.CN.3, VAHSSC.RE.1, VAHSSC.RE.2, VAHSSC.CN.1, VAHSSC.CN.3, VAHSVA.RE.1, VAHSVA.RE.2, VAHSVA.CN.1, and VAHSVA.CN3.

Post Tour Learning Activities

On-site post-tour activities are available to visiting school groups at no additional cost. Activity instructions and materials will be sent in advance of the tour visit. Optional activities include:

Victorian Symbolism Bingo

Students will search for symbols and grave marker designs in a character area of Oakland.

Epitaphs – A Dialogue with the Dead

Students will reflect on epitaphs found throughout Oakland and compose their own epitaph.

Cultural Treasure Hunt

Students will answer questions about grave markers, symbolism, and cultural traditions in the African American Grounds.

Unveiling Victorian Sculpture

Students will analyze a sculpture or mausoleum and write a one-page reflection.

Introduce Students to Oakland Before You Come and Extend the Learning Experience Beyond the Visit

Field Trip Guides

Oakland Cemetery Field Trip Guides are designed to help educators create a meaningful and unforgettable learning experience at Oakland Cemetery. Each guide contains an introduction to Oakland Cemetery, trip guidelines, reflection questions, and post-visit activities. These activities and reflection questions will encourage creativity, engage critical thinking skills, and create opportunities for dialogue. The educational activities correspond to Georgia Performance Standards and Common Core State Standards.

Teacher Guides

Made available by the Historic Oakland Foundation, these educational guides include learning goals and standards, lesson activities, reflection questions, post-visit activities, and more

The Lessons and Legacies of Bobby Jones

Elementary – High School Students

This guide provides pre- and post-visit lessons on the life and legacy of Atlanta-golfing legend Bobby Jones. Designed for elementary, middle, and high school students, this guide includes lessons correlated with the Georgia Standards of Excellence to explore how Bobby Jones transcended the game of golf, connected Atlanta to the world in the 1920s and 1930s, and reshaped what the world understood as an “athlete.”

Download the Teacher Guide here. 

The Gate City Under Siege: Historic Oakland Cemetery and the Battle for Atlanta

Grades 5+

Made available by the Historic Oakland Foundation, this educational guide explores the major events and consequences of the 1864 Atlanta Campaign, focusing on the conflict’s effects on the soldiers and civilians caught in the crossfire. A pre-visit lesson will orient students to Oakland Cemetery and introduce Carrie Berry, a cemetery resident who provides a first-hand account of the siege and occupation of Atlanta though her childhood diary. The guide includes an overview of the Atlanta Campaign, the occupation and post-war rebuilding of Atlanta, and the effect of war on the development of Oakland Cemetery. This history will come to life when students will learn about the Battle of Atlanta during a general tour of Oakland Cemetery. Post-visit activities designed to encourage creativity and engage critical thinking skills.

Download the Teacher Guide here.

Creating a Community: Learning about Atlanta’s African American History at Historic Oakland Cemetery  

Grades 8+

Created for eighth grade teachers, this educational guide examines the lives, conflicts, and contributions of the African American citizens buried at Oakland Cemetery. A pre-visit lesson will orient students to Oakland Cemetery and introduce several Oakland residents through a research activity. The guide includes an overview of the history of Atlanta’s African American community and post-visit activities.

Download the Teacher Guide here. 

Book Your School Tour

Make Oakland Cemetery your next field trip! Our grounds are the perfect classroom space for all ages with history, nature, art, architecture, civil rights and more at your fingertips. Already booked your tour? Make sure you check out our things to know before you come!

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