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Using Journey North as Focal Point for Science Club/4th and 5th

Contributed by Teri Bickmore
Volunteer/Cook Elementary
Midland, MI

Teri Bickmore is a teacher-on-hold, raising her own kids while taking time off from the classroom. That doesn't stop her from her involvement with children's education, though.

"I am a certified middle/high school science teacher. I am not currently teaching as a paid professional. For the last several years, I have worked with teachers in my children's elementary schools and have either incorporated Journey North into classroom lessons or used in a science club setting. We LOVE the tulip study and spend the most time on this. Every scientific/geographical concept we could ever want to cover can be done in this study. "

Teri strongly encourages schools to bring in more fun and integrated science curriculum through the use of Science Clubs.

Teri provides a glimpse into her Science Club lesson:

"I put a map of North America on the bulletin board. Each week, students put pins in the map to show where the tulips have bloomed. (You can show where they have emerged as well, but I prefer to keep it simple by showing only bloom data.) Each week, you can discuss the general blooming trend. Usually, blooming starts in the south and moves to the north (at this point you might need to review latitude and longitude), but there are always anomalies. Discuss these with students. You might notice that linear bands of the Appalachian regions bloom later than locations on the same latitudes. Michigan is a peninsula and the Great Lakes are a very important feature of our state. It is always very interesting to see what factors Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Superior play in climatic variations. Michigan is famous for its cherries and other fruit crops grown along the shores of Lake Michigan, which is the western boundary of our state. In the spring, the area right along the lakeshore is warmed by the water, so tulips planted there usually bloom earlier than those planted in mid-state. The lakes have a huge impact on our economy. This tulip study is a great way for students to better understand how geography affects the climate of their region."

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