Update: March 26, 2009   
Welcome to the Journey North Tulip Garden Study!

Have you seen red tips emerging? Why are they red? Review >>
Credit: Denise Ford

Maps and Highlights

The spring equinox has arrived! On March 20, 2009, at precisely 7:44 A.M. EDT (March 20, 11:44 Universal Time), the Sun crossed directly over the Earth's equator. This moment is known as the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. This equinox is one of the four great solar festivals of the year.

As the equinox arrives we can see the North American map is showing gardens emerging and blooming in the north, west, east, and south. Are you waiting for the first signs of emergence, or waiting for big red tulip blooms? Here are some comments this week:

"After jumping up and down, screaming with joy, students managed to measure their newly bloomed tulips. They range from 1.5 inches-4 inches high. We were surprised to see huge red tulips, with no visible stems." Los Altos, CA 03/18/09

"The tulips have emerged even though 2 days ago they were covered by a huge snow drift! We are predicting that other classrooms that are at our latitude will also have tulips emerging!" Oshkosh, WI 03/17/09 (43.95, -88.54)

"St. Matthew School 3rd graders returned from Spring Break and discovered that their tulips were blooming. We cannot wait to dig up the tulip bulbs and dissect them. We wonder what changes they will have." Nashville, TN 03/24/09

NA map
Europe map

Asia map

(North America)
  • This Week's Map Questions (Handout)
Try This: How Much Do You Notice?

Slow down a little and really see the flowers! In this exercise you may be surprised at how much you notice.

Here are pictures of 2 flowers. They might both be found in the same family picture album. In fact they ARE both in the same plant family. One may look familiar to you because it is a Red Emperor tulip!

Try This!
Observe the flowers closely and write as many details as you can. Then find out what we see >>

Explore: The Natural World
Exploring the Natural World: Journal in Hand

Conservationist Rachel Carson once said, It is not half as important to know as to FEEL when experiencing the natural world. When we step outside the door we use all our senses at the same time. Sights, sounds, movements and wind all come together to stimulate a unique experience.

Try This!
As the earth revolves around the sun, change is all around us. Go outside and tour your tulip garden. Make a "quiet zone" all around your garden space. Then use your senses to define what you see, smell, hear, and feel.
When you return to the classroom take some time to share your journal entries.

Make a list on the board of what you "sensed" in the garden. Use your list to create a poem! Try a simple cinquain!

  • What is a Cinquain? >>
"Ask the Tulip Garden Expert" Opens March 27

Do you have a question about tulips that no one seems to be able to answer? Now is your chance to send it in to our Tulip Garden Expert, Eve Pranis. Meet Eve, and learn more about Ask the Expert. Then, starting March 27, send us your questions!

  • Ask the Tulip Garden Expert >>
Spotlight on the Garden
03/09/09 Students at Roosevelt Public School in Roosevelt, NJ, celebrate the emergence of their tulips.
92 out of 100 Red Emperor tulip bulbs were visible by 03/22/09
Planting: October 2008
Emerging Tulips: March 2009
Related Journey North Lessons and Links
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Tulip FAQs and Ask the Expert Questions and Answers >>
  • Writing: Latitude Shoes: A Lesson In Latitude >>
  • Lesson: What is a Cinquain? >>
  • Chart: How Does Your Garden Grow? >>
  • Tulip Garden Journals (click-and-print) >>

Please report:
1. Tulips PLANTED
2. Tulips EMERGED
3. Tulips BLOOMING

Click this on any page.

More Journey North Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Tulip Garden Update Will Be Posted on April 2, 2009.