Teaching Suggestions
Global Garden Comparisons:
How Do We Compare As Seasons Change?

How does your tulip test garden compare to others around the globe? Choose one or more global garden partners elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere for comparison. As the seasons change, make multiple predictions using weather, climate, geography and other variables. Whose bulbs will emerge and bloom first? Learn the value of refining predictions as new data is collected.

Choose a Partner

Students Choose a Test Garden Partner
There are more than 400 test gardens across the Northern Hemisphere. Students will choose a garden for study, and predict when the garden will emerge and bloom.

Use the Tulip Test Garden maps to select a garden to compare with their own garden. Suggest a garden site near friends or relatives for added interest.

Garden Comparison Chart

Guiding Questions
Begin by asking students:

  • What factors affect when a tulip test garden might emerge?
  • Will other test gardens emerge at a different time from their school garden?
  • What factors help us predict when another garden would emerge?

Dig Deep: Gather information about their partner using this reference chart:

The reference chart will guide students to find the latitude, longitude, temperature, daylength, and other factors special to the garden location.


Factors to Investigate

Reference Chart



Student Handouts

Each student will need 2 handouts:

Students mark locations of their garden and comparison garden on their chart. Record temperatures and daylength during the course of their investigations.

After making their initial predictions using the information they have gathered, students return periodically to fine-tune their predictions. Keep track of their work using the predictions handout for recording.

Optional: With supervision, consider e-mailing partner schools with questions and an invitation to exchange data. Contact information is listed on every Field Report. Use Journey North mail.

Garden Comparison
Chart (Print)

predictions handout
How do My Predictions Change? (Print)
Teacher Tip: Predictions Word Box

Encourage students to select from vocabulary to make a strong prediction supported by data.

Here are some examples:
season, warmer, colder, elevation, latitude, longer/shorter days, earlier, later, snow cover, body of water, sunlight, daylength.

National Science Education Standards