Introduction: Ask children if they have a garden or grown any flowers at home. What kind of flowers or plants do you grow? Do any of these flowers or plants have a special festival in your town?
From Mid-March to Mid-May (about 8 weeks), many parts of the Netherlands transform into a sea of flowers. Tulips grow best when it is not too hot and not too cold, the Netherlands is a perfect place for this. During tulip season, there are more than 140 million tulips throughout the Netherlands, and florists and businesses sell about $30 million dollars in flowers each day during tulip season.
Tulip festivals take place all over the country. The biggest celebration takes place at Keukenhof, a very famous garden in Amsterdam. Each year, there horticulturists work to create new types of tulips. You can see just about every color imaginable at the tulip festival. You can also visit ever year and see brand new varieties of tulips. Each year the festival also has a theme. In 2019, the theme was “Flower Power.” There was a giant flower mosaic with a “Flower Power” theme in the garden.
What happens to all of those tulips after the festival?
This may come as a bit of a shock to some of you, but tulip growers don’t care about the flowers. For them, it’s all about the bulbs. The bigger the flower bulb, the more money the farmer can make from it. Not long after the tulips bloom, the growers will chop off the actual flowers, leaving only the stem and leaves. These provide nutrition for strong bulbs.
Ask students, “What is a theme?” Explain that the theme is a big idea that guides a story, but it can also guide things like decorations and activities for a festival. Share some pictures of tulip field mosaics and talk bout themes of some previous tulip festivals such as “Flower Power”, “Rainbows”, “Friendship”, “Van Gogh.” Tell children they can be creative and come up with any theme they want. It might be a good idea to have children brainstorm some themes and write them on a board or somewhere students can revisit for inspiration.
- Have students brainstorm and choose a theme for their Tulip Festival
- Students answer the questions on the worksheet and design their tulip garden mosaic
- Give students the opportunity to share their tulip festival idea with one another. Encourage them to share the theme of their festival, their tulip field mosaic, and some activities that might go along with the theme of their tulip festival. For example, at the “Flower Power” festival, guests created flower crowns with tulips to wear throughout the garden.
- Have you ever been to a festival? What were you celebrating?
- How was the festival you visited similar to the “Tulip Festival” at Keukenhof? How is it different?