Teaching Suggestions

Our Tulip Bloomed Today!
How We Celebrated the Phenology of Spring
(Back to Slideshow Overview)


A blooming Red Emperor tulip symbolizes the arrival of spring. When the first tulip bloomed at Cook School, the students went outside with a camera to look for other signs of spring. Take a look at the images they captured as you explore this essential question:

Essential Question
How can we capture and celebrate the phenology of spring?

Set the Stage for Learning

1. Preview the slideshow. Ask questions to assess prior knowledge:

  • How can we celebrate the day our first tulips bloom in the garden?
  • What other signs of spring will we see on the day our tulips bloom?
  • How can we capture and celebrate spring's arrival in our neighborhood?

2. Preview images in the photo gallery. Identify the signs of spring showcased in each photo. Read aloud the definition of phenology:

Phenology is the study of the timing of natural events. Common examples include the date that migrating birds return, the first flower dates for plants, and the date on which a lake freezes in the autumn or opens in the spring.

On large chart paper, post the essential question: How can we capture and celebrate the phenology of spring?

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.

Revisit for Understanding

1. Mark up the text. Have students reread the text-only version of the slideshow with a partner. Have them circle or underline all of the signs of spring showcased in the slideshow. Revisit the essential question: How can we capture and celebrate the phenology of spring in our neighborhood? Brainstorm ideas together.

2. Capture images of spring in your neighborhood. Take the class outside with notebooks and sketching materials in hand. Explore how many different signs of spring you can draw. Alternately, send class outside with cameras and photograph different signs of spring.

3. Create a phenology book or display. Have students work in small groups to creatively present their pictures as a celebration of spring's arrival. Sample ideas included: captioned posters, spring scrapbook, accordian-style mini-books, museum exhibit, bulletin board, etc.

Wrap Up

Plan a celebration of spring where the student's projects are displayed and shared. Invite families or other classes to your spring celebration.

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