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Flip Books- Springtime Memories
Creating an Illusion of Time Passing in the Garden

Background: Flip Books

Did you know you can create a moving picture? Everyone has watched cartoons. Cartoons are created using multiple drawings, each one slightly different from the one before. This illusion of motion is created when you see many separate pictures very quickly, one after the other. These drawings can be combined in a book called a flip book. When you flip the pages quickly, your separate drawings will create the illusion of movement.

You can create a book that will speed up spring!
With a flip book you can create an illusion of time passing in your tulip garden this spring. Record observations and measurments, then use your best drawing skills to create a picture for each stage of growth. Start with drawings of the little shoots just EMERGING from the ground, and end the book with your tulips BLOOMING beautiful scarlet red blossoms. Take the book out to the garden as spring progresses, or use your notes to make scientific drawings in the classroom. When you are done you will have created a scientific and artistic memory of your Journey North tulip garden.


Part I

1. The Flip Book
Gather together in your classroom and talk about your tulips. Picture the tulips emerging out of the brown earth in early spring. As the sun's rays get warmer, imagine the air and the earth heating up and the first small tulip leaves emerging, then growing larger and larger. The tulip flower bud soon emerges from the center of the leaf cluster. The flower stalk rises skyward and expands until the petals are spread, the nectar sweetens deep in the the pistil, and the stamens shed their pollen.

Discuss the concept of creating a series of pictures that can show the progression of their tulips growing this spring. Discuss using your skills as artists to align the images on each page so that when the pages are flipped they will appear to be growing.

A. Collect these materials:

  • 4 sheets of copy paper for each child
  • paper cutter
  • colored pencils, markers, or crayons
  • stapler

Cut your paper into pieces about 4 x 8.5 inches in size. It is best to have smaller paper than larger so the sheets flip instead of flop. Each book will have 8 pages to flip. Stack tight and staple all of them together at the middle just like a book binding .

B. Plan and Create Your Pictures
Plan a series of pictures of your tulip garden growing . Plan to have 6 to 8 from start to finish. Be sure that your images line up on the pages, one on top of the other pretty well. (They don't have to be perfect.)

Beginning on the bottom page of the right side, draw the first picture of your tulip garden waiting to grow. The second to the bottom page will have the second picture. Continue with each stage of growth through tulip blooming, which will be your top page.

Part II

1. Make Your Book Two-Sided: Add Your Own Observations of Spring
Personalize your flip book with your own observations about spring. Use the left hand side to make a book for your notes and measurments of the plants you are studying. Look at the sample book above and see that it is really two books in one.

A. Add Your Own Observations of Spring
In your classroom make a big web of ideas that could make good observations this spring. Be sure to include the world around your garden. Make lists of phenological events that occur throughout the spring season. Use these ideas as springboards to document observations for your flip book.

B. Plan and Create Your Pictures
Begin writing your observations on the back page of the left hand side of your flip book. Start by recording what you see, or smell, or feel when your garden has not begun to grow yet. Then as your gardens begin to emerge and grow, write in observations that correspond with the pages you have drawn. Finish the top page with a title for your observations.

Take a final look at your pictures. Add some detail to your pages if you like.

Be sure to sign your name as author and illustrator and record the date.

Does your book flip? Give it a try! Share your books, and then CELEBRATE the motion of springtime, in a book!

National Science Education Standards

Life Science
Plants and animals have life cycles that include being born, developing into adults, reproducing, and eventually dying. The details of this life cycle are different for different organisms. (K-4)

Earth and Space Science
The sun provides light and heat necessary to maintain the temperature of the earth. (K-4)

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