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
One chaperone is required for every 10 students.
Lunch is not provided. Students can bring food to eat picnic style in the cemetery. There are no tables on the grounds.
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.
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.”
The Gate City Under Siege: Historic Oakland Cemetery and the Battle for Atlanta
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.
Creating a Community: Learning about Atlanta’s African American History at Historic Oakland Cemetery
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.
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!