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Gravestone Weathering

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    Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies

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Gravestone Weathering

In this activity (located on pages 9-14 of PDF), learners visit a cemetery to examine the distinguishing characteristics of rock weathering. After researching stone weathering and acid rain, learners apply their knowledge to collect data related to chemical decomposition and physical disintegration at a cemetery site. This detailed lesson guide includes tips for educators, pre/post activity suggestions, hands-outs, and background information.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Field Trip, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Geochemical Cycles
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
    • Earth's History
      • Geologic Time
      • History of Life
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Acids and Bases
      • Oxidation-Reduction Reactions
      • Chemistry of Life
      • Solutions
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Smithsonian Institution, ©2000

Funding Source:

  • Rocks Build America Foundation of the National Stone Association


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