April showers bring May flowers!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017




Though the end of May is here, it won't be the last time that I have flowers on my mind!  If I could afford it, I would have fresh flowers surrounding my children's programs, educator workshops, and even within my own home at all times!  Does anyone else feel this happy in the presence of a beautiful bouquet?  


Speaking of flowers... During my recent #TransformEdInquiryProgram, the children agreed upon this topic as the focus of their research project.  Naturally, I wanted to take them on some meaningful field trips to meet experts that might be able to begin to answer their questions.

Our first stop was to interview a florist from Anthi Flower Boutique on the Danforth named George. The children were very curious about where flowers came from and whether or not the colour of them determines their name/meaning.


Here is some of our documentation from that day:



A I wonder where roses grow.  I wonder why roses are so
many beautiful colours.

George A lot of the roses in our fridge are from South America.
 Columbia, Ecuador, Chile.  A lot of flowers also come
from Holland... It is a big distributor.

Sometimes with roses they can put a flower dye to
change the colours.  You can search for rainbow roses
and each petal is a different colour. I think that roses are
the most popular, because it’s an ongoing tradition.  A
dozen roses is very common.
  
M I wonder how many types of flowers there are.

A How many names for flowers are there.

G I would say maybe like a thousand. Maybe more like 10, 000!!!

J I think 100 + 10.

M Can flowers have bruises?

G Some flowers are so delicate that the oil from your skin
can make them brown. They keep them in special cage
style boxes.

A Can you eat rose petals? How about with sugar?

G Yes, those are made with fondant for a cake.

M Can petals fall off of the flowers?

G Yes they can fall off slowly because they start to lose  
energy.  Their cells start to break down.



















The children were very fortunate to have a space near the natural light of the window to research upon and to create visual representations of their theories.  We used crayola water colour paints and pastels onto mini canvases and gifted them to the Flower Boutique.

It was such an enriching experience to take our learning out into the community, where we could go deeper with our flower research.  Some of the highlights of our trip were going into the large flower fridge, interviewing George, watching another florist create an arrangement, and greeting all of the customers who were quite surprised at our learning.



In Reggio Emilia, Italy, project work is not limited to the four walls of their classroom or school. They often collaborate with local partners and venture out into their community.  The community is therefore one that learns together, "it is an objective and value for children of all ages beginning from the earliest months of life" (Edwards, Gandini, & Forman, 2012, p. 95).

I also loved reading the following excerpt from The Hundred Languages (2012) that community is "the life and work of the children [and] it can be seen as contributions not only to that particular place but also to the wider global context.  In this respect, children and teachers can take part as citizens of the world by engaging with the most vital questions of our present and future" (p. 230).

I hope to continue to reach out to the community so that the learning of children becomes more visible!  For it is through "pedagogical documentation, [that] each child, teacher and school can gain a public voice and a visible identity" (Edwards, Gandini, & Forman, 2012, p. 230).  And I appreciate that it can become a starting point for creating trust, legitimacy, as well as a window into what goes on in the world of childhood (Edwards, Gandini, & Forman, 2012, p. 230).

Children need to be seen and their work celebrated within the local community and beyond!

Stay tuned for our second trip to the Canada Blooms Show in a subsequent post...

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Special thanks are extended to the creative team at Anthi Flower Boutique who were so welcoming, patient, and open to having us in their beautiful shop for our inquiry session.  It was so inspiring for the children and myself included...  
When I grow up I want to be a florist like George!




If we could see the miracle 

of a single flower clearly, 

our whole life would change.



1 comment:

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