When Will Spring Reach Your Hometown?
Teacher's Guide
(Back to "When Will Spring Reach Your Hometown?")

Review these reading strategies before diving into the booklet/slideshow with students. Select those that fit with your teaching goals and grade level.


Identify Author’s Purpose: How do you know when it's springtime? Will spring come at a certain time in our hometown? Does spring arrive at different times depending on where you live?

Connections to Self:

  • What major seasons do we experience in our hometown?
  • What signals that it is springtime?
  • How does your life change with each season?

Explain that seasons change because the Earth's axis is tilted. This causes the suns rays to strike the Earth at different angles as it revolves around the sun. Discuss how we can do an experiment to learn when spring comes to our hometown and different parts of the world.


Organizing Information: We can learn when spring comes to all the different garden locations when we participate in this fun experiment - even our own garden. What are the steps that are needed to carry out this experiment? As a scientific experiment everyone has to plant their garden according to the same rules. Make a list of the steps as you read through the book (Include studying the bulbs, planting the garden, reporting events - planting, emerging, and blooming).

Get Meaning from Photographs:

  • Locate your hometown on the map.
  • There is a clue here about the experiment - what is she examining?
  • The experiment requires digging holes the same depth in all the gardens.
  • Can you tell where spring has arrived on the map? (Which gardens are showing green triangles?)
  • After planting your tulip garden you become an official part of the big experiment.

Reading Maps

  • What generalizations can we make about the gardens represented on the map?
  • Can you see a springtime pattern emerging?
  • Are some still brown squares (not yet showing any growth)?
  • How can some gardens already be blooming when others aren't even emerged?

Critical Thinking:

  • Why do you think a tulip is a good plant to symbolize spring?
  • Why is it important that all the tulip gardens are planted in the same way?

Reading Maps:
Study the gardens on the map. Which ones will be the next to emerge, to bloom? If your garden was on the map would it be brown, green or red? Guess what month this map shows (March 2006).

Making Connections:

  • Step outside and observe what is happening in your hometown. Would you declare springtime has arrived? Predict when spring might arrive.
  • Study the map and predict which garden locations will bloom first, Minneapolis or Seattle. Describe why you think so.
  • Now look up each garden location in the Journey North archives (Spring 2006) to see if your prediction was accurate.