Arrange in advance for someone to knock on the door and deliver a vase of flowers or a beautiful potted flower (as a surprise to the students). Ask the person (the principal or another teacher) to bring them in and say that they are a gift for you or your classroom in order to cheer you up, say thank you, or brighten the room. The giver should say it in a way that creates a warm feeling for you or the whole class. Say thank you in a way that shows the students that the gift makes you feel special. Put the flowers in a place for everyone to enjoy.
- Talk to the students about how the gift made you feel. Discuss how flowers add beauty to the room (and world). Discuss whether beauty is a need or a want. Lead the students to discover that beauty (as found in flowers) adds to the quality of your life.
- Bring out the pictures of flowers that the students brought in from home (see Lesson One: Moving with the Marigolds). Look at the pictures and explore the differences and similarities. Study and name the flower parts. Observe the real flowers—their parts, colors, texture and smell. Look at books with artists’ interpretations of flowers and gardening magazines with a variety of flowers. Help the students pay close attention to the many shapes, sizes, and colors.
- Explain to the students that they will be creating pictures of flowers with a partner. Each partner will create half of the picture to be finished by the other partner. When the flowers are complete, the partners will sign both papers and share their pictures with the rest of the class.
- Art Procedure: Give each student a piece of paper and ask him/her to fold the paper in half vertically. Using pencils, crayons, or a medium of your choice, have the students create half of a flower or bunch of flowers on half of the paper.
- Turn on the music while students create. Give them ten minutes and ask them to use careful detail in their creations, remembering from the pictures. After ten minutes, they switch with their partners. Give them ten minutes to finish the others’ picture.
- Have the students show their pictures to the class and discuss the experience. Ask them how the pictures make them feel. Accept their true feelings about the experience. How did they feel when they passed on the unfinished pictures and how did they feel when they saw the completed pictures?
- Discuss what their school, community or world would be like if there were no music, art, or even flowers adding beauty. Review the discussion of whether beauty (and the arts) is a want or need.
- Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent or treasure intended for the common good. Discuss whether there is a way to share the joy of flowers with someone so that it becomes an act of philanthropy? Listen to their ideas and guide them to a realistic conclusion.
- Discuss the difference between private property and common resources. Are there common areas in the school property or community (a park) where many people would benefit from flower plantings? Suggestions for private areas include a “Habitat-for-Humanity” house, a senior-citizen home, or the home of a community member that needs a boost.
- Using the PACE Decision Making Model, students will decide as a group where and how to use flowers as a service to the community. (See Attachment Two: Where to Plant—Planning Chart.)