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Gail S Hennessey's picture
Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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Spring is Here. Share with Kids that Everything has a History, even Tulips!

With spring, comes the sprouting of tulips.  Personally, I love purple tulips. Although I try year after year to grow them in my gardens, the chipmunks seem to find them and haul the bulbs away! 
Tulips have a very interesting history. Sharing information about the history of the tulip is a great way to show kids that EVERYTHING has a history.
In 1634, tulips caused people to go a bit crazy, in the country of Netherlands. The bulb, looking like a onion was as prized as diamonds. It got so nobody was planting the pretty posies, they were just buying and selling the bulbs. People used tulips to purchased homes, food, clothing and even horses. Government officials kept a record of tulip purchases. Tulipmania is what this time was called. One tulip could be worth over $35,000!(Yes, you read that correctly)
Fun Facts about Tulips:
1. To have a tulip in your home was a way to impress others!
2. Interestingly, the tulips with the most value, really were infected with a virus and were feathered and not solid colored tulips.
3. It is believed the tulip came from Asia and the area of Turkey,1000AD. Its name, is thought to come from the word dulban or tuliban(meaning turban), because the flower looks like an upside down turban. In Turkey, tulips were very much prized and in fact, for a time, it was forbidden to buy or sell the bulbs outside of the capital city. Such crimes could mean exile!
4. The tulip capital of the United States is Holland, Michigan.
5. During World War 2, people ate tulips and made tulip bread. Neither were very tasty but when you are hungry, taste isn't that important.
Your Turn:
1. Do you know which two flowers are more popular than the tulip?If, not, take a guess!________________ and ______________
2. What is your favorite flower?  Why do you favor this flower over other flowers?
3. What do you know about the country of Turkey? Write ONE fact:__________________
4. What do you know about the country of Netherlands? Write ONE fact:________________
5. Write a haiku about tulips. A haiku has 3 lines and each line has the following syllable pattern. 5-7-5. Not sure how many syllables are in a word? Place your hand under your chin. Count how many times your chin drops as you say the world. For example: ELEPHANT. It has 3 syllables. Don't worry about sentence form, think descriptive words. The Haiku comes from the people of Japan. Write TWO facts you know about the country of Japan. 
Extension Activities:
1. Read a fairytale about tulips:  Have students write a summary of the story. Have students write their own story about a tulip.
2.  More Tulip facts. Illustrate one of the facts about tulips.
Sharing information about the history of the tulip is a great way to show kids that EVERYTHING has a history. The resource includes a reading passage, Did You Know? fun facts, comprehension questions, Map-skill activity, Teacher page with extension activities and key.
Note: Illustration from wpclipart