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Teaching Suggestions
When Does Spring Reach Your Hometown?
(Back to Slideshow Overview)


Spring arrives at different times in different places around the globe. When does spring reach your hometown? Hundreds of kids across North America are doing an experiment using tulip gardens to measure the arrival of spring.

Essential Question:
How can we measure when spring will arrive in our hometown?
Set the Stage for Learning

1. Display the cover. Ask questions to assess prior knowledge:

  • How do you know when spring is coming?
  • How can we track when and where spring arrives in different places around the world?
  • How could tulip Test Gardens be used to track the arrival of spring?
booklet cover
2. Preview images using the Photo Gallery page. On large chart paper, post the essential question: How can we measure when spring will arrive in our hometown? Have students make pre-reading predictions based on details they see in the photos.
gallery of images

3. Preview vocabulary using Word Cards. Have students read aloud each word and share how the words may be related to the essential question: How can we measure when spring will arrive in our hometown?

Viewing the Slideshow

As a class, read through the pages of the slideshow together. Stop occasionally to spotlight key words and ideas or ask questions. Encourage students to share their own questions sparked by the information and images.

Optional printed booklet of slideshow can be copied and assembled for partner or at-home reading.

After-Reading Activities

1. Start planning for your Tulip Test Garden.

2. Start your Tulip Garden Journal. Preview the journal pages that will help students collect and reflect on their experiences with the tulip garden project.

Wrap Up

1. Observe and Wonder!
Take your students outside with notebooks and pencils. Have them look carefully at different places where tulips could be planted. Have them sketch specific details and wonder about how temperatures, sunlight, geographic location, and other variables could influence plant growth — and the full array of seasonal changes that take place in the springtime.

2. Track the Arrival of Spring with a Tulip Test Garden
One garden at a time, the relationship between climate, geography and the arrival of spring is revealed. Make observations, report findings, and simultaneously watch the wave of spring as it moves across the globe.


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