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Beauty

By DiAnne Hughes and Janelle Schochenmaier, Ord, NE
(dhughes@mail.esu10.k12.ne.us)

One year I had several students that came from dysfunctional families and other difficult situations that seemed out of my control. I struggled with how I could make their lives better regardless of the circumstances in which they found themselves. I was frustrated at not being able to change the specific situations, but wanted desperately to give them something that could help them cope.

Around this time I came across a quote that stated, "Beauty can ease the pain in your soul." If I could help these youngsters learn about the beauty that exists in their lives, maybe I could help them to ease their pain. I began to look for a way to help these students experience beauty through their senses so they could see beauty, smell beauty, and touch beauty.

Flowers became the delivery system for adding beauty to these children's lives. Live flowers now appear in my classroom regularly. Because of the generous donations of a local florist, we now have a flower of the month. We look at the flowers, touch them, and smell them. We talk about flowers and students draw flower pictures. We have a class book of flowers that contains pictures from catalogs and magazines as well as actual photographs of the flowers we have had in our classroom. We often look over "Our Flower Book" and relive the beauty in the pictures and in our memories.

My hope is that students will see these flowers outside of the classroom and allow the beauty to touch their spirits. And like greeting an old friend, they will remember their names and the contribution of beauty these old friends have added to their lives.