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Tulip Garden Update: March 12, 1999

Today's Report Includes:

Gardens in the News
Spring's Progress
as of 3/11/1999

Of the 325 gardens planted this year, tulips have now emerged in 102.

Today's Tulip Garden Data:

Because only 4 more gardens have bloomed in the last 2 weeks, we began to worry and wonder why. Here's what Mrs. Koontz's third grade class had to say:

Dear Journey North,
"Today is March 11. We looked at our tulips. They are covered in about 4 inches of snow. Since our tulips emerged on January 28, we have had 17 Growing Degree Days. The plants look strong and we think they will bloom. We will let you know when they bloom."

Rockledge Elementary
Bowie, MD

We hope they'll also let us know the answer to this question--and we hope you'll try to answer it too:

Challenge Question #10
"How many Growing Degree Days do you think it will take Rockledge Elementary School's tulips to bloom?

(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)

Discussion of Challenge Question #9
Speaking of Growing Degree Days, how are baking a cake and growing tulips similar? From North Albany Elementary:

"Our 3rd grade class thinks there are many ways growing tulips is similar to baking a cake. First of all you need to follow the directions and do it the right way in order for them to turn out right. Both of them need time and heat. The cake's heat comes from the oven, the tulips' heat comes from the sun. They both need the right ingredients like water. You mix things with both. We mixed bone meal with the soil for the tulip bulbs, and you mix ingredients for a cake. People need to put work into them to make it possible to happen.
Mrs. Siever's 3rd grade
Albany, Oregon

Thinking by Analogy
The world of science and invention is filled with discoveries made through analogous thinking. This lesson helps practice this thinking strategy:

The Language of Looking Closely

"Nobody sees a flower, really--it is so small--we haven't time, and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time." Georgia O'Keeffe

"I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars." Walt Whitman

A close look at a single piece of grass, carefully described, can sound like poetry:

"Culms low, tufted, mostly not more than 15 cm tall;
leaves mostly basal, the blades flat or folded,
usually not more than 1 mm wide;
panicle narrow, purple, 1-3cm long,
the branches appressed to somewhat spreading;
spikelets about 2 mm long;
lemma nearly as long as the glumes, awnless;
palea about two-thirds as long as the lemma."
Manual of the Grasses of the United States, A. S. Hitchcock

Challenge Question #11
"What do you see when you take a close and careful look at your own garden? Use as many descriptive words as you can. Feel free to make up your own words-- and try to define them."

(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)

To practice making up words, read Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll. See how fluidly this can be done:

"Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe."
Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll

Tools for Looking Closely

Backwards Binoculars
Did you know you can use your binoculars BACKWARDS to see something close up? You have to hold the item RIGHT UP to the small lens as you look through the big one. Binoculars make the most exquisite close up views imaginable.

Frame the World
To help you focus in on the little things, make a small paper frame, measuring as little as 2"x2". Describe what you see inside the frame.

How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions

question in each e-mail message!

1. Address an e-mail message to: jn-challenge-tulip@learner.org
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question #10
(or Challenge Question # 11)
3. In the body of EACH message, answer ONE of the questions above.

The Next Tulip Garden Update Will be Posted on March 24, 1999.

Copyright 1999 Journey North. All Rights Reserved. Please send all questions, comments, and suggestions to our feedback form

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