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Teaching Suggestions
Global Climate
Exploring Climate Variables that Affect Plant Growth



Wet, dry, cold, hot, windy, calm. Citizen scientists planted tulip test gardens in places with different climates. Introduce students to global climate concepts with the slideshow and then explore the instructional activities to help them discover how different climate variables will affect where and when tulips emerge and bloom.

Essential Question
How do the Earth's different climate conditions affect plant growth?

Set the Stage for Learning

1. Assess background knowlege by displaying a world map. Ask students about what they would pack for a vacation to a dream location. What items would be suitable for weather they expect in that region of the world? As students share favorite locations, ask them if climate conditions are important factors and why.


2. Review weather and climate. The term weather refers to the day-to-day changes in atmospheric conditions. Climate refers to long-term weather conditions. Use guiding questions to spark discussion, invite research, and assess understanding.

Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.
-Mark Twain
Activities for Exploring Climate

1. Explore climate variables. Plant growth is temperature dependent. Many factors affect temperature. Predict how different climate conditions will affect where and when tulips emerge and bloom.

climate variable maps

2. Explore tulip test garden profiles to compare climate variables that affect plant growth. Compare latitude, elevation, air and water temperature, wind, and the distance from the equator and nearest ocean with your climate. How will the different conditions affect when tulips will emerge and bloom?

climate variable maps

3. Compare with a partner garden. Use the Tulip Test Garden maps to find a partner garden. Compare climate variables and make predictions. How will the different conditions affect when tulips will emerge and bloom in your garden and in the partner garden?




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