Tulip Garden Update: December 5, 2003
Today's Report Includes:
A Growing Number of Gardens!
Another 105 Journey North Gardens have been planted! After adding today's data to your map you'll have a grand total of 234. If you've planted your garden but haven't reported it yet, please do so right away.
You can read all the comments these gardeners have sent (press the "owl button" and follow instructions).But, here s one neat tip:
Keeping the Squirrels at Bay
Albany Educator Spreads the Red
Carol Ann Margolis, educator for Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center in NY has enthusiastically organized the planting of hundreds of Red Emperor tulips to mark the coming of spring in Albany. She wrote to us:
Students, teachers and community members alike are looking forward to spring in Albany. When do you predict they will bloom?
Take a look at their hard work preparing for springtime in Albany:
Plan Ahead to Measure Winter Soil Temperatures
We are soon approaching the deepest, darkest time of the year. What do you suppose will happen underground, when air temperatures drop lower and lower? Students can find out using a very simple soil thermometer. "I didn't know you could take the Earth's temperature!" exclaimed one excited student when she saw one. Plan now, before the soil freezes, to place a thermometer in the garden bed.
Plan ahead to use the thermometer in frozen soil: place a sturdy drinking straw into the garden soil and top with an easy-to-find cover.
Where to Purchase a Soil Thermometer:
To purchase a soil temperature thermometer contact Weatherama (1-800-848-4912 ext. 3187) or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask for their simple soil thermometer that sells for $15.00. It has a 4" metal probe with a disk at the top that gives the temperature readings in 5-degree intervals.
Placing a retrievable data logger into the garden is a bit trickier than using a simple soil thermometer, but well worth the effort.
Here are some suggestions for you:
Teacher Tip: Mapping the Tulip Gardens
Jo Leland, who for years managed the Official Journey North garden in Texas is getting smart after all these years: "We'll be tracking tulips on a specialized map that shows where all current gardens are located," says Leland. "This will simplify things for the younger kids and save time (our most precious commodity) for everyone.
Read on to find out what she did:
Seasons and Cycles: Celebrate the Solstice
The first day of winter is coming! This year it falls on December 22. In the Northern hemisphere it is the shortest day of the year. We also call this day the winter solstice and some say it is a day when the sun seems to stand still in the sky. For many people it is a welcome day because afterwards the days lengthen, bringing spring!
Read more about this Celestial event:
You'll be amazed to watch the increase in sunlight while we wait for spring to arrive in the garden. Why not keep track of the daylight increase and the angle of the sun. Start December 22 - grab your meter/yard sticks and head outside to answer this:
Spotlight on Inquiry Strategy
Following the Sun, the record keeping experiment described in this update will generate lots of creative thinking in your classroom. Discussing ideas, data, "ahas," and possible explanations are vital for inquiry-based learning and reflect the way scientists work. Here are some tips to help you lead discussions that foster scientific thinking.
How to Report to Journey North
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: email@example.com
This is the Final Fall Tulip Garden Update. So from Journey South headquarters, it's time to say "over and out" until spring's Journey North comes to you with our first Tulip report on February 6, 2004!
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