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Tulip Garden Update: October 10, 2003

Today's Report Includes:

From 2 to 23 and Counting
In last month's report there were 2 gardens reported planted, but the word got out around the globe! Students from Alaska to Finland reported planting their Official Journey North Gardens. So far 23 gardens have been planted!

Here are some of the gardener's comments:

09/12/03 Students from Utsjoen saamelaislukio in Utsjoki, Finland
We have planted the tulips in the traditional places and wonder how the winter will treat the bulbs. The autumn colours are bright (we call it ruska) but there is some wind at the moment here in Utsjoki, Finland. September is the time for tourists to wander in nature. Some people pick lingonberries. The fishing season is over but the elk hunting one will start in the end of September.

09/30/03 EPBP Lakers Elementary in Elkton, MI
We have enjoyed enhancing our science plant unit with the Journey North tulip project. It has been a worthwhile project but lots of work for those involved. The ground was too heavy, sand had to be mixed in after we roto-tilled the ground; the children picked stones and then enjoyed the planting of the bulbs. During center time, each group dissected bulbs.

10/08/03 Fifth Graders from Hillvale Academy in Williamsburg, MI
Planted 8 Bulbs ~ 4 control and 4 experimental. We are very excited and learning a lot with hands on activities. Weather cooperated with mid 70's this afternoon ~ wonderful way to experience science!

10/06/03 First Graders from Lakota Elementary in Lakota, ND
We are participating in the JN Tulip Project for the 5th year straight! As 1st graders we are excited about being involved with the project as this year will finish out the last stretch of space in front of our school. The elderly lady who has helped us for the last 5 years and offers her expertise is as excited as we are to next spring when we will see the entire length of our school abloom with red! We also will plant an official garden away from the school and log on/report only when those emerge and bloom.

What If…? Time to Experiment
Experimental Designs
Watch It Now
A simple bulb in the palm of your hand can stimulate all kinds of ideas for curious students. What if you planted your tulips upside down? One on top of the other? Or 10 inches underground instead of 7, as the planting instructions specify? What would happen if you didn't plant your garden exactly according to the instructions?

Designing your own experiments in addition to the official Journey North garden is one way you can hope to find some answers in the spring.

Brainstorm your own class questions. Then try this!

Share your experimental designs like students have in Williamsburg, MI, Lakota, ND, and Cedar Rapids, IA.

Challenge Question #4:
“Fill in the blank: What would happen if…?”

(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)

Teacher Tip: Ordering and Planting: Area Calculations

Tulip Planting Tips:

  • Plant 4" apart
  • plant 5 bulbs per sq. foot
Well, it turns out planning and planting the tulip garden requires lots of math! How big do you need to make your classroom tulip bed? How many bulbs can you plant in your garden? In planning the tulip plot many questions need answering.

The Web site ColorBlends shares some helpful information for determining the garden size for your tulips. Thank you,
Jeanine Wolf for sharing!

Which will be First?
A glance at this week’s map and you will notice that there are 2 new tulip gardens planted very close to the 60 degree North latitude line.

On your map find and mark both the Haines High School in Haines, Alaska and the Mikela School in Espoo, Finland.

  • Espoo is located at 60° N latitude and 21° E longitude.
  • Haines is located at 59° N latitude and 135° W longitude.

Think about and research the physical and geographical elements (examples: position on their landmass, possible affects of nearby bodies of water, ocean currents, etc.) that might effect the emerging of tulips in both places. Then see how you would answer this:

Challenge Question #5:
“Which school will see tulips first in 2004? When do you predict the schools in Haines and Espoo will see their tulips emerge from the ground in spring 2004? Why?”

(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)

Grow Your Own Partnership
This year, over 10,000 schools across North America will embark on the Journey South/Journey North adventure. Do you have an interest in sharing meteorological data with another school participating in the tulip experiment? There are countless ways students can exchange information and friendship with their global classmates.

Visit the Journey North Classroom Exchange to post your name and to find your own partner class.

General Teacher Tips for Challenge Questions

"I think challenge questions are important to guide the kids along and to make them really look at and analyze the data. It forces them to think at a higher level, and they get SO excited when their answers are posted because it validated their work and made the project really significant and real to them."
Anna Sexton, Highview Elementary School

Why use Challenge Questions? How can I use them in the classroom?
Journey North asked several veteran teachers to share their insights and techniques for using Challenge Questions.

Seasons and Cycles: Collector's Corner- A Seasonal Display
The earth and sun have a special relationship. Because the Earth rotates around its axis at an angle just a bit off center, we travel in a path around the sun that heats the Earth differently at different times of the year and creates our seasonal changes.

Celebrate this wonder of seasons by setting aside a place in your classroom for a display. Take a nature walk each season and build a changing display with natural objects you have collected, and art and writing pieces you have created.

For more ideas:

Mapping Fall Data
We recommend marking the location of each garden on your map using color-coding labels. (The "Avery" brand 1/4 inch size works well.) Write the date each garden was planted on the face of the label. Next spring, you can record the date the tulips emerge and the date they bloom at the same site by covering each label with a new one.

Doesn't this make you wonder?

Challenge Question #6:
"Do you think the date that tulips are planted this fall will affect the date that they emerge and bloom next spring? Why or why not? How could you test this?"

(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)

How to Report to Journey North

Don't forget to report when you have PLANTED your Journey North Garden

As soon as you plant YOUR garden, be sure to let us know! In next month's update, we expect to have many garden locations to report to you.

Simply press the "Owl" button to report from your site. (From the same button, you can also "Go to the Sightings Database" and read comments from all gardeners.

How to Respond to Today's Challenge Question

IMPORTANT: Answer only ONE question in each e-mail message.

1. Address an e-mail message to: jn-challenge-tulip@learner.org
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question #4 (or #5, or #6).
3. In the body of the message, answer ONE of the questions above.

The Next Tulip Garden Update Will be Posted on November 7, 2003.

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