Epitaph Lesson Plans, Worksheets, & Printables

April 4, 2011
Epitaph Lesson Plans

Epitaph Lesson Plans

I read that April 6th is “Plan Your Epitaph Day”. So I began to think: Could the lesson plan search engine return lesson plans, worksheets, or printables that dealt with the theme of epitaphs?

The answer is yes! In fact, there were two pages of results.

As a history teacher I have used epitaphs in the past. They are an effective way to get students to think about a person’s contributions to the world and to reflect on their own contributions to the people around them. Although some might consider it a bit morbid, I have found that kids brush right past the morbid aspect and proceed right onto their own narcissistic vantage point. How will I be remembered?

So here are a few lesson plans that I found that use epitaphs; both personal and those of famous people. I focused on high schoolers since I think that they would be the appropriate audience. But it’s your call!

High School Lesson Plans:

Rewrite Shakespeare’s Epitaph. This activity has students break into small groups and rewrite Shakespeare’s epitaph using iambic pentameter. A nice way to make students appreciate his contribution to literature and to learn the art form.

Benjamin Franklin’s epitaph. This is a quick overview of using the epitaph theme for Benjamin Franklin, but it could be adapted for any history of literature class. Students study the famous person, then as a review they look at the person’s epitaph. Students then mimic the writing style of the time period and create their own epitaph.

Revolutionary War Epitaph. Again, this activity could be adapted for any time period or novel, but the example focuses on the revolutionary war. Students research a famous person, maybe make a presentation about them, and then write the person’s epitaph.

Charles Baudelaire. An excellent lesson about the poet, incorporating high level thinking skills at the very top of Bloom’s Taxonomy. In the “extending the lesson” portion, the creator suggests challenging students to create an epitaph of the poet.

So there you are! Try to find more lesson plans on our lesson plan search engine. Share your results. Let us know how you use the epitaph as a teaching tool in your own classroom.


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