Hands-on Science

Tracking Garden Progress with a Visual Punch!

How can you make a big visual impact of your tulip garden's progress through the season? Let's take a look at what teacher Mark Gullickson and his students have done at Seven Oak Middle School in Lebanon, OR, and Central Elementary School in Albany, OR.

In the fall the students plant their bulbs according to a graphing system. Using mason's string they have created a large X,Y axis in their wood-framed garden plot. Students plot spring's progress using their own individual tulips on a large scale drawing of the garden.
The chart below represents a view of the garden from above. The lines represent the string used to divide the planting beds into sections.

Gullickson's students use stickers to show the progress of their own bulbs. Like the symbols on the Journey North map, they add a square, triangle or circle sticker to show their bulbs as they move into the spring season.

The chart is displayed outside of his Science classroom door so students can check the progress of each other's bulbs as they pass by.