Inquiry Focus

Flower Power Tea

Robotics Celebration of Learning

"Kinder-Garden" Art Show

Field Trip

Flower Power Tea

It was time to celebrate our learning from our “Flower Power” inquiry. The whole idea of the tea came to me from a gift that Michelle Roth, our student teacher, gave to me. I was blessed with the wonderful gift of a variety of flower themed items including 4 jars of jellies all made with flowers. I knew this would be something I would share with my students in some form or another. The jellies included Pansy and peach jelly, rose and raspberry jelly, lavender jelly and finally nasturtium and jalapeño jelly all made by "flowers. as food" a small company in Black Diamond Alberta you can investigate at (I am nothing if not a promoter of companies that I believe in). Another company with whom I am a complete believer is Steeps Urban Teahouse ( To have a tea, you have to have tea to drink. I had to have flowers in the tea and I mean more than just chamomile tea from Sobey's or Safeway. I needed real petals, but I am not much of a tea drinker so where do I even look? That is where Steeps came in. After the car show last weekend, my husband and I discovered this warm little store at the bottom of Mount Royal on 17th avenue. I bought four types of tea with amazing scents and it turned out, delicious tastes as well. Again, the hopeless promoter, I will give you the details of each one. Summer Rose is a relaxing and soothing mix of chamomile, rosehips, cinnamon, apples and spearmint. The parts of the tea are large and chunky and you see real rosehips and chamomile buds. It was most popular with the moms at the tea. Imp's Herbs contains peach flavour, peppermint, rosehip, hibiscus, leaves of raspberry and blackberry, safflower and marigold blossoms. Yummy and what I am on my third big cup of this Saturday morning--not bad for this non tea drinker! Those two were Herbal Infusions and the next two are from the Rooibos selection of teas--(I don't know what that means, but they are certain types of tea with flavours within each type). Bushranger is a green Rooibos with blossoms and a peach orange flavour which is advertised to be just heavenly. And finally Rainbow which is a true pot of gold to the children and me due to his sweeter taste and very flavourful nature with a blend of fruit flavours and amaretto notes and a beautiful look due to all the mixed colours of blossom petals mixed within it.
Now we had flower jellies, flower tea, and flower art but what will we put the jelly upon? So, the students cooked scones the entire day prior to the “Flower Power” Tea. Many parents donated their time and energy to be the head chefs for this endeavour. If you would like, here is the recipe for them…

Kas’ Scones Recipe

2 cups of flour 1 tsp of salt
¼ cup shortening 4 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup of milk ½ cup of sugar
Grated cheddar cheese for cheese scones

Add the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together. Rub in the shortening into the mixture, well. Add cheese if you are doing so…
Stir in the milk. Mix all together with your hands. Turn out the “blob” onto a floured board and kneed slightly. Pat out to ¾” thick circles or use shaper, and place the uncooked scones on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle scones with sugar.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.


Our first baking experience in Glendale Elementary School!!!
So you can definitely see that these scones were made with loving hands. The special ingredient is love and these scones will never taste the same if mom makes them alone. Children's hands must contact the dough to equal our Flower Power scones--DELICIOUS!!

At the tea itself, students were amazing ambassadors for the school and were very articulate in describing their learning. Not only did they take expert care of their family members by bringing them tea and scones, but they were able to show them the plants we were nurturing, talk about which growing conditions were optimal and why; share their plant inquiry learning from their scrapbook work; talk about their inquiry while browsing the (now updated) website; assist their parents in filling out the AISI survey with their family members.
I would like to give a special thank you to Grower’s Direct at Bow Trail for their generous donation of many lovely and vivid flowers for each table!! This was a lovely final touch to our flower inquiry celebration.
I would also like to thank all the parents who helped with this event from being head pastry chefs to loaning materials, running errands and aiding in the clean up. Many hands made this event such a success and your effort is definitely noticed and appreciated. Your help is greatly appreciated and the tea was that much better due to all the special touches that you made possible with your support. I can’t wait till our next celebration…

On the table, we proudly displayed our acriylic flowers with a small bouquet of fresh flowers at each table. At the tea, students knew that the family members were the guests and their wish was our command. We would get them more scones, flower jellies, cream and sugar--everything they could want. We will also fill them in on our plant inquiry by showing them our portfolios and scrapbooks, taking them to see the plants we are growing within the classroom, etc.
We learned just how much work goes into having a party, yet how much fun entertaining can be.


"Kinder-Garden" Art Show

How did this art show come about?

All the proud artists!

Glendale Elementary is an inquiry based elementary school. Inquiry is a dynamic process of being open to wonder and puzzlement and coming to know and understand the world. Inquiry is the process that those working in living disciplines actually undertake. It involves serious engagement and investigation and the active creation and testing of new knowledge. Through inquiry, the Alberta curriculum is taken up in deeper and more meaningful ways by connecting the subject areas to that which is meaningful and exciting to the students.

Glendale Elementary is an inquiry based elementary school. Inquiry is a dynamic process of being open to wonder and puzzlement and coming to know and understand the world. Inquiry is the process that those working in living disciplines actually undertake. It involves serious engagement and investigation and the active creation and testing of new knowledge. Through inquiry, the Alberta curriculum is taken up in deeper and more meaningful ways by connecting the subject areas to that which is meaningful and exciting to the students.

In Kindergarten, we explored the relationship between plants and people through art. Learning in this inquiry is driven by the students who expressed interest in how things grow, and were amazed at how interconnected people and plants really are. We discovered that plants give us clean air, something beautiful to look at and to psychosocially restore us, they clothe us, shelter us, feed us, offer us recreation and peace. The students realized that without plants, we would cease to exist. A portion of time was spent determining what conditions are necessary for plant growth, documenting the growth in various conditions, manipulating the elements, etc. Students examined various authors and artists and compared and contrasted their beliefs about plants from their work. How plants fit into our culture and holidays was a component of the inquiry as well as touching, measuring, sorting, separating, etc. real plants in the classroom. In April, we concluded our Robotics portion by creating and programming a robot to help individuals who farm flowers. The robot sensed pre-dug holes and stopped just past that hole to drop in a plant bulb, and then it continues on seeking more holes until the field is planted.

When exploring as artists and interviewing Calgary artists, the students discovered that artists show their work in an art show. Though we regularly display our art on the bulletin boards outside our class, an authentic means of showing art is in a gallery. Through collaboration with the students, it was determined that the art show would necessitate certain expectations including the creation of an invitation, artist statement, choosing, naming and mounting art, determining if the piece of art should be for sale or not, determining what will go on during the art opening, and practicing speaking about one’s art with potential unknown art-lovers, etc.

Notice the fancy attire, befitting such a special event!

This art show is a venue for the students to show their excitement about a year long inquiry and to take ownership of their own learning, by sharing what they know with their family, friends, and other art appreciators. It also allows further collaboration with their peers and families as knowledge is assimilated and restructured from this meaningful event. Accountability is ensured via an activity which connects students to the art of their peer group so they can appreciate the amazing quality and depth of work from the students.

Negative space Fish Art taught to us by Audrey Mabee

Crying Flowers Art inspired by a story told by Jeff Stockton

Audrey Mabee styled Minimalist Figure Art

Oil Pastel Art

Acrylics taught by Chester Lees

Eric Carle styled Art

Petal Narcissus Art inspired by the myth of Echo and Narcissus told by Jeff Stockton

Chalk Pastel Art

Waterlily Art taught by Miss Roth


The Glenbow and Art Central Field Trip

(As generated by the students in both classes.)

The Glendale Kindergarten students went to the Glenbow Museum on a yellow school bus. Mrs. Patsula made groups for us and we all had a leader. We sat with our leader on the bus. We thought it was bouncy on the bus and we had such a big bounce once, that some of us bounced right off the seats.

To get to the Archives department, we took a freight elevator. The elevator was a gynormous elevator that had to be big to hold even big art. It was very special to use that elevator because normally it is not for us, only people who work there. At first it was a little scary but I learned it was just like a normal elevator, except bigger. At the Glenbow we looked at all different art and some were even crazy looking statues made out of bees wax and a painting made with candy sprinkles. In the Archives Department, Quyen took us to see Annora Brown’s flower paintings. Annora Brown painted all kinds of flowers from Alberta. Kids liked how Annora mixed all of her colours. There were all kinds of different colours in her art on the flowers. We noticed she made speckles in the background with her brush. We also liked all the dark backgrounds on her art. Annora Brown had to make around 500 paintings for the Glenbow because so many people wanted the art that she already made for the Glenbow so she sold some to other people. We know she was as old as a grandma and still painting. Once when she was camping by the lake on a hunt for flowers, a bear walked near where she was sleeping. Annora watched the bear go to the lake and take a long drink and she never moved. The bear was right in front of her tent. She went hunting for flowers all over Alberta and then she dug them up and took them to her home garden. A friend found her a gardener to help her so she would have free time to paint but the gardener thought all of her plants were weeds and he threw them all out so she started all over bringing plants to her garden again! We think Annora made good art that was very pretty, and we think she was a nice lady.

Who was Annora Brown?

(1899 - 1987)

Annora Brown was an outstanding painter of realistic landscapes, portraits of Indians and florals in oils, watercolour and pastel. Born in Red Deer. She moved to Fort MacLeod at an early age. Her first art lesson were from her mother, an amateur painter in oils. She attended Normal School in Calgary, then pursued her art education at the Ontario College of Art. She joined the Calgary Sketch Club and then the Alberta Society of Artists, in which she was the first woman member. At the time, she stated that the Society had admitted her because they could not obtain a Charter if their membership was restricted to men. Nevertheless, she later felt that as new members with a broader outlook were admitted, membership in the A.S.A. became a joy and an inspiration.
Brown was a prolific painter; she did a series of two hundred flower paintings for the Glenbow Institute. She wrote a book on wildflowers of Alberta, titled "Old Man's Garden", and the engaging and humorous autobiographical "Sketches From Life".
During her lifetime, Brown's work was exhibited at the Coste House and the Allied Arts Centre. Her work is included in the collections of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts; the Glenbow Museum, Calgary; the Calgary Civic Art Collection; and the University of Alberta, Edmonton.

Annora Brown’s watercolour flowers are very detailed, often on a black, painted background. The art showcases the flower itself, often in its natural, Alberta habitat. Annora traveled all over Alberta to find the plant and then to study and paint it. She also transplanted the specimens to her own garden for further contemplation. Over 3 years, Annora painted 300 paintings for the Glenbow Society on a large commission.

After the Glenbow Museum, we went to a park called Olympic Plaza. At the park we ate our lunch as a picnic. We sat in the sun and the shade to relax. We could not walk in the wading pool because the workmen were fixing the pool for the summer. It was really fun there, running on the grass and eating our lunch on the steps.


Then we walked to the gallery of Chester Lees and Audrey Mabee called Art Central. There we looked at art in our groups. Mrs. Patsula took a picture of us with the art that was our favourite. Unfortunately, Chester and Audrey were not in their galleries so we looked inside their window to see their art. Axis gallery is run by Audrey Mabee’s son and we saw an entire show of Audrey Mabee’s art in there. We were thinking that our friend artists would be there, but they were both off teaching other school kids that day.

Emily enjoys sharing her favourite art.
Caileigh and Mrs. Patsula love the bright colours in this fabulous painting.
Joey shares an abstract done by Bracken Studio.

To get back home, we took the bumpy bus again and it was great. Our bus driver was a nice man. On the way back to the school, the bus kept stopping because the bus driver wanted to check the back door. When we got back to the school, we had a school photo in the garden and then Mrs. Patsula splashed us to cool off. Finally, we drew a picture of our favorite part of our field trip. This is that picture.

The End



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