Tips for Kindergarden Tulip Garden
Hepburn-Lycoming Elementary School
Cogan Station, PA
kindergarten class had the best time planning and planting our garden.
We enlisted the help of our custodial staff to prepare the area and to
the PTO to buy the bulbs and the topsoil/mushroom soil for the garden.
(We had had a renovation project 2 years ago and the soil around the school
is clay with lots of rocks.) Everyone in our school has been waiting and
watching to see what was going to happen in "that dirt".
We began by talking about the seasons and then focused on Fall. We wrote
and decorated a large wallhanging about what happens in Fall. At the end
of the interactive writing, I told the students that I had an idea that
I wanted to add to their list: "In Fall, we plant tulip bulbs."
The next day, we used Journey North's ideas of observing bulbs and dissecting
a Tulip Garden Site
Another day, after going over the site restrictions, we walked around
the school with an enlarged checklist until we found our perfect site.
It was amazing to me that the kids were really into this and knew why
various areas would not work. Over the next few days, we wrote the rules
for how we had to plant the bulbs.
Finally, planting day arrived! Were we ever excited! The children all
came in their old gardening clothes and shoes - so did the teacher! With
the other kindergarten class that is enjoying this experience with us,
we went out to our site to plant. Lo and behold, the children discovered
footprints in our garden. They were so upset about it that they decided
we would need to put up a sign to tell others to stay away. Armed with
our spades, rulers, watering cans, and bulbs, we planted our bulbs. To
mark each child's bulb, we used white plastic spoons
with their name on the handle. Of course, as soon as we finished, we had
to go inside to make a stop sign. The next day, we talked about what would
happen if we didn't plant the bulbs the right way. Predictions were made
and we decided that we would each plant another bulb. Each child could
plant the bulb anyway they wanted: upside down, sideways, shallow, deep,
tunic peeled off, etc. Several children planted them right next to the
building. We marked these bulbs with clear plastic spoons
with their names again on the handles.
and Telling About the Journey North Project
All along the way, I have taken pictures of our journey and we have been
writing journal pages each day that we do something with
the Journey North project. The pictures and journal pages are displayed
in our room so that the kids have a daily reminder. In collaboration with
the other kindergarten class, we have made a Journey North display
in the hallway between our classrooms: a large bulb poster with
the bulb parts labeled. We have added information to that poster and around
that poster as we have continued our study: our bulb observations, rules
for choosing our site, rules for planting our bulbs, and many photos of
the kids "doing their work as scientists". All of Hepburn-Lycoming
will be kept up-to-date in this way throughout the year as we add information.
What a wonderful learning experience this has been...
Cogan Station PA 17728