the "Class of 2006"
Kennedy Montessori Elementary School, Louisville,
Lori Trout explains how
she handled the death of the cranes with her students:
wanted parents to have the chance to deal with the cranes' deaths
within the loving
of their own
homes and to cope using their religious beliefs. Before
I called parents on Saturday to let them know what happened, I created
a plan that would allow children to have a "remembering ceremony" within
community to help them express their feelings of loss. We would plant
bulbs in memory of each of the lost cranes. All parents were very supportive
and thankful that I had called.
See more photos >>
Bulbs in Remembrance. On Monday I had the
soil, pots and bulbs in a tub on the floor so the students knew that
we would be planting
that day. After all buses arrived, I called a class meeting. Students
the news. They
did not want details about how the cranes died. We decorated pots and
potted bulbs for each of the cranes. We will plant them outside when
the weather gets warm.
- Sharing Feelings. Being allowed to
express feelings aloud can be a critical stage in dealing with grief.
Several boxes of tissues were near, but as children will at this age,
they began to share their ideas!
- Generating Ideas.
Write sympathy cards to Operation
Migration. (Their drawings were incredible. They wrote notes
that brought tears to my eyes.)
Make a basket of 17 folded-paper cranes using origami that we could
learn from one student's mom, who is from Japan.
Make a miniature scene with clay sculptures.
Think of ways to save future cranes. Ideas included
how to make the top of the enclosure go back when the water got
high, with solar
panels to power the system; warning systems; video cameras; money so
someone would stay near all the time; purchase a new place for the
cranes to go;
AND the students themselves could begin a new fundraising campaign.
- Making a Quilt. The students want to use crane photo
transfers to create quilt pieces along with creating their own drawings.
- Press Coverage for
memoriam activities. The reporter asked when would be a good time IF
possible, and he showed great sensitivity to our feelings.