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Something Beautiful

Something Beautiful

As we have continued to unpack the word “beautiful” in Opal 2, we have watched as children carefully and thoughtfully engage with the language of photography to capture their “beautiful” images, both in our arboretum and in downtown Portland on our fieldtrips.

We are beginning to discover that what catches one person’s eye might be completely different from the image we hold in our own minds of what “beautiful” is.

With this in mind, we asked the children to dig a little deeper into their “beautiful” and think about the feeling that they get when they encounter something beautiful. How did they know what they wanted to photograph? What was the feeling?

Of course, we wanted children to have time to think and play and offer their own ideas about that feeling. So we supported them to use the materials to dive into the question:

How does it feel when you encounter your something beautiful?


It says yum! Taste! And this is a pot hanging over fire. I like things that are from Thailand because they are sweet, sour and bitter. – DR


It makes you feel strong and it makes you feel strong and powerful – ZB


It feels colorful. It feels like a little chip in my mind that lights up. And when that chip lights up it turns my brain on like “ding.” – RB


The feeling is of being wrapped up and it is really special and like… and it feels like all of my favorite things in my head. – ED


I felt that beautiful feeling and it felt really good to find two things really alive and my brain got all excited and my eyes grew big and I whispered, “wow.” – MB


This is my birthday party. It’s just my something beautiful and I really like my birthday cause I know it’s just for me with everybody I know. I feel happy and excited and when people start arriving I start to feel scared and then I get excited again. – VVN


It’s kind of like the buildings I saw downtown, only abstract. Like the person who made it opened their heart to let someone go inside it. Because an X keeps things out, but this is open in the middle because it’s like someone opened the place we get to go, like the people who built the city are welcoming us in.  – SS



We also would like to invite families to join together in thinking about this feeling we get when we encounter something beautiful. We get so much inspiration from hearing the voices of others. Please take a moment and stop by the board outside our classroom to share your inspiration with us all. Here is a sneak of what some people have already added to our discussion of the feeling of encountering something beautiful:


“It feels like I’m smiling all over.”

“Yellow is my something beautiful and when I see it my mood lifts and everything around me turns beautiful, even on the inside.”

“Sometimes I find a picture of my tiny new babies, and my heart feels like it blows up like a balloon because I feel so grateful that I got to have those trusting, snuggly babies, and show them the world.”

“Yesterday I saw a rainbow. It took my breath away- how can something so perfect and so beautiful grow from the rain? Nature is amazing.”

November 09, 2012