the Arrival of Spring
seasons, like great tides, ebb and flow across the continents. Spring
advances up the United States at the average rate of about 15 miles
a day. It ascends mountainsides at the rate of about a hundred feet
a day. It sweeps ahead like a flood of water, racing down the long valleys,
creeping up hillsides in a rising tide."
So begins the
book, North With the Spring (St. Martin's Press, 1951**),
by Pulitzer Prize winning author and naturalist Edwin Way Teale. One spring
in the 1950's, Teale criss-crossed the United States on a 17,000 mile journey
north with the season. The trip is described beautifully in his book.
How long do you predict it will
take the spring of 2006 to cross the continent?
students will use the blooming of tulips as a tool to measure spring's
journey north. They will predict when tulips will bloom at 13 selected
Journey North "Original" gardens in various geographic regions.
(Data are collected each year at these same "Original" gardens,
so that students can compare spring's pace from one year to the next.)
will be conducted throughout the year, beginning after you plant your
own garden in the Fall. Students will continue to gain new information,
and therefore they will continually cycle back to review and refine their
predictions and rationales.
A. Students Work in Groups
Students should work in cooperative groups. Divide the class into 13
groups, and have each group select one of the 13 Original
Journey North Garden sites. Over a period of weeks, students will use
the Prediction Chart to record and revise their predictions of when
spring will arrive at their selected Original Garden site(s). (Your class
can gather the same information for your own tulip garden, and use it as
Frame for the 7 Research Questions
Have your students conduct the 7 Research
Questions one at a time, beginning in the Fall after planting their
garden. Conduct each of the Research Questions at least one week apart
so the students have time to think, rethink and assimilate new information.
Research Question # 7 must be conducted in January.
Do NOT give all these questions to students at one time. (The National
Science Standards emphasize the need to give students time to process
new information; to build on information they already have and to review
and revise their thinking as they gain new information.).
C. The Prediction Cycle is Repeated With Each New Research Question
and Tulip Update
As students gain new information, they will continually cycle back
to review and refine their predictions and rationales. With each Research
Question and monthly Tulip Garden Updates, have students follow the same
each new Research Question and Tulip Garden Update with each cooperative
their research, have them begin with the KWL
process. This will give structure to their inquiry. They should
generate a list of "W" ("Want to Know") questions.
They may want to create a Web using those questions, as a way to organize
the categories they will pursue in their research.
conducting research, have student groups discuss and consider all of
the predictions generated by the individuals of the group. Then, have
students record information gained through research, reflect upon it,
and record the reasons behind their predictions in their science journals.
As they change their predictions over time, have them explain their
reasons for changing their minds. Eventually the group will need to
come to a consensus for their final prediction in January.
- Come together
as a class and discuss each group's research and predictions. Revisit
the KWL process each week. Add any
questions that have been generated by the groups as a result of doing
Activity: Global Partner for Journey
North Classroom Exchange. Contact a partner class so students can
exchange their predictions.
North With the Spring (St. Martin's Press · 175 Fifth Avenue, New
York, NY 10010 212-674-5151)
2006 Journey North. All Rights Reserved. Please send all questions,
comments, and suggestions to our