Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

Structure and Function of Bulbs, Corms and Rhizomes
Lesson 1
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework


Learners will recognize the structural characteristics of bulbs, corms and rhizomes. They will describe acts of philanthropy and analyze why people give to others of their time, talent and treasure.


Three Forty-Minute Class Periods


The learner will:

  • observe, compare/contrast and diagram the structure of bulbs, corms and rhizomes.

  • describe how plants initiate development from bulbs, corms and rhizomes.

  • define and use the vocabulary of plant reproduction.

  • define and use the vocabulary of philanthropy.

  • define and give examples of motivations for giving.

Service Experience:

Although this lesson contains a service project example, decisions about service plans and implementation should be made by students, as age appropriate.
Learn more about the stages of service-learning.

None for this lesson.


  • Tulipmania (Attachment One)

  • Paper plates, paper towels, table knives – one each per four-person lab group

  • Plant box for each group containing a daffodil and tulip bulb, crocus corm and iris rhizome and clearly labeled A, B, C and D

  • Discovery Lab Sheet (Attachment Two)

  • Picture of a prominent person (Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, etc.) known for her/his philanthropy

  • Seven Motivations for Giving (Attachment Three), for Teacher Use

  • Seven 8-1/2” by 14” inch posters, each showing one of the following:

    • Doing Good Makes Sense

    • Doing Good is God’s Will

    • Doing Good is Fun

    • Doing Good Feels Right

    • Doing Good is Good Business

    • Doing Good In Return

    • Doing Good is a Family Tradition

Handout 1
Handout 2
Discovery Lab Sheet
Handout 3
Seven Motivations for Giving

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:
Ask the learners to close their eyes and imagine their favorite flower. Note its shape, fragrance, color and the way it makes one feel when thinking about it. Have the learners open their eyes and quickly share their thoughts.

  • Explain how tulips have been a valuable commodity in the past, particularly during “Tulipmania” in Holland. Explain that the beauty of the flower lends itself to be a particularly welcome gift during the dreary mid-winter. Distribute Tulipmania (Attachment One) and discuss how important this flower was to Dutch life and commerce. Compare the fascination with tulips to a present day phenomenon, for example, Beanie Babies.

  • Have the learners form four-person Discovery Lab teams. Distribute Discovery Lab Sheet (Attachment Two) to each student. Explain that the flower bud is ready and waiting inside the bulb, just waiting for the right combination of environmental factors to start the growth process. These tiny buds will be observed only inside the bulbs. Other differences that they should observe include the outer coverings, the eyes or growing points and the location of the root mass. The daffodil will have evident layers that are actually the leaves before emergence. They will notice that the inside and outside of their structures will have similarities as well. All structures will have solid consistencies which represent the food storage organ. The corm is actually just a swollen segment of a plant stem that stores the energy needed to grow. The rhizome is a root-like swollen stem which serves the same purpose.

  • Preview the steps with the whole group and answer any questions about the instructions. Learners should make observations of the different structures using all the senses except for taste. These observations should be recorded in the appropriate place on their lab sheet. Cue learners to observe the differences and similarities.

  • Learners will locate the growing tip or top of the structure. They should carefully cut each structure in half from top to bottom. Observations should be made of the cross-sections and recorded as diagrams as instructed on the lab sheet. Collect the completed lab sheets (which will be referred to at a later date when the growing plants are brought back into the room).

  • Show a picture of a prominent person known to most of the students who is performing an act of philanthropy. Ask the learners to identify the person and to state what they think the person is doing. Be open to all answers.

  • Ask the learners if they ever heard the word philanthropy and ask if they know what it means. Selectively write responses on the board. Define philanthropy as “individuals and organizations providing their time, talent and/or treasures intended for the common good.” Have the learners restate the definition in different ways and linking them to their initial statements on the board. Ask for examples of philanthropy from people in their community. Have the learners categorize their responses as time, talent or treasure.

  • Show an example of the homework assignment (can be class work, if preferred). Show that it includes the student’s name, a drawing of a philanthropic act they remember in their lives (the act can be done by them or another person), and below the drawing a short description of the act. Give each student two pieces of drawing paper. Student should illustrate a philanthropic act, either their own or an act of another.

  • Using Seven Motivations for Giving (Attachment Three) as a reference, go over these seven motivations for giving. Describe each of the seven motivations and ask the learners for examples.

  • Hang the seven “Doing Good Is...” posters on the wall, leaving some space between them. Ask each learner to explain his or her drawing. Have each learner place his or her drawing under the motivation they think best fits this act.

  • As a review of the lesson, pair the learners. Ask “Partner A” to state something learned from the lab experience on rhizomes, corms and bulbs. Ask “Partner B” to state something learned about philanthropy and the motivations for giving. Continue for several rounds.


  • The completed Discovery Lab Sheet (Attachment Two) may be used as an assessment of learning.

  • The homework drawings, descriptions of philanthropic acts and partner reviews may be used as an assessment of learning.

School/Home Connection:

  • Interactive Parent / Student Homework:
    Encourage learners to discuss with household members their remembrances of philanthropic acts. If the acts involve family members, they should inquire about how acts of kindness made the giver/receiver feel.

Cross-Curriculum Extensions:

Each learner should draw a picture of their tulip bulb, and color, label and date their paper. This will be part of their personal gift to the flower recipients to aid in their sharing of the process of forcing bulbs.

Bibliographical References:

Lesson Developed By:

John Karaffa
Diocese of Cleveland
St. Christopher School
Rocky River, OH 44116

Nichelle Demorest
Marion City Schools
Taft Middle School
Marion, OH 43302


Handout 1Print Handout 1


Tulips can be traced back before written records as they were used to decorate ancient artifacts. There is evidence that Egyptians knew of crocus in 2650 B.C. Primitive civilizations valued bulbs for food, medicine, flavorings, dyes, cosmetics and perfume. A Greek philosopher and a Greek physician made the first known written records of bulbs in 300 B.C.

Tulips originated in the Mediterranean climate – cool wet winters and hot dry summers. Different species came from southern Europe, Turkey, Iran and central Asia. These countries have favorable soils, altitude, temperatures and rainfall for the growth of tulips. Tulips can withstand cold, wet winters but not rainy summers.

The botanist, Carolus Clusius, is credited for bringing tulips to Holland. He had been the curator of the vast medicinal gardens in Vienna, Austria until he moved to Leidon, Holland, to remove himself from religious persecution. He brought his collection of bulbs with him, planting them in the gardens of the university where he took a position. People were captivated by the beautiful flowers but Clusius was unwilling to sell them because he was studying them for possible medicinal properties. As a consequence, the bulbs were stolen from the ground.

It was not long before the Dutch were obsessed with owning and growing tulips. At first, only the wealthy owned tulips and ownership soon became a status symbol. But the common people saw the profit that was being made from raising and hybridizing tulips, and they also entered the tulip business. Every little patch of front yard became growing space for valuable tulip bulbs. Because the demand for bulbs became so great and the supply of bulbs was very small, the prices escalated at a rapid rate. Bulbs were traded like stocks, sight unseen, and valuable merchandise and holdings were traded for bulbs. A single bulb that was still growing in the ground could be traded for livestock, jewels, businesses and small fortunes. However, by 1637, the market was overloaded with people wanting to sell and no one wanting to buy. This market crash all but destroyed the Dutch economy, saved only by the intervention of the government. Investors were lucky to recover five cents on the dollar.

News of the crash spread quickly throughout the world and soon there were many people curious and interested in these beautiful flowers. Soon the flower was popular world-wide, thus putting the Dutch in a good position as the grower and supplier of the world market for tulips.

Handout 2Print Handout 2

Discovery Lab Sheet

1. Have one person from each cooperative lab group collect the materials:

1 table knife, 1 plate, 1 paper towel, 1 of each structure labeled A, B, C and D.

2. Examine each structure using your senses (except taste). Record your observations below.





Directions: Record the following observations on the back of this lab sheet.

3. Carefully cut through the middle of structure A from the top to the bottom. What do you observe about the inside of A? How would you describe it? Draw a cross section of the structure and label it “A.

4. Repeat step 3 for structure B, structure C and structure D.

5. Clean up – Have one person from each group collect and throw away all plant pieces and paper. Make certain that tables are clean. Put knives back into their container.

Handout 3Print Handout 3

Seven Motivations for Giving

Doing Good Makes Sense

These persons give because of their sense of belonging to a social community. They give, not out of a sense of obligation, but because they consider nonprofit organizations to be more effective at delivering services and more in tune with community needs.


Doing Good is God’s Will

Religious faith is a strong motivator behind giving. The doctrines of many faiths encourage or require charitable giving or action to help fellow human beings, society and nature.


Doing Good is Fun

These givers are often members of a social class or group for which fundraising includes some form of socializing and entertainment.


Doing Good Feels Right

These givers tend to focus on social causes and giving that provides a sense of purpose and personal fulfillment. They believe that giving is everyone’s responsibility. They see themselves as the true philanthropists who give not for business considerations or personal gain.


Doing Good is Good Business

These are investors who are motivated by the personal tax benefits philanthropy gives them when they donate. A common motivation behind this type of giving is an attempt to improve their image through good public relations.

Doing Good In Return

These givers do good in return for what they have received in life. This can involve gratitude for good things that have happened to them. They think wealthy people have a special responsibility to be philanthropic.

Doing Good is a Family Tradition

Some individuals see philanthropy as a family tradition. Their giving results from being taught the importance of philanthropy by parents or other relatives. Philanthropy is part of their self-concept and their rewards from giving include a positive self-identity and strengthened family values. They believe philanthropy is everyone’s responsibility.

From The Seven Faces of Philanthropy by Russ A. Prince and Karen M. File

Philanthropy Framework:

Submit a Comment

Unit Contents:

Overview:Tulipmania – Growing Flowers to Share Summary


Structure and Function of Bulbs, Corms and Rhizomes
Who Will Benefit if We Give Bulbs What They Need to Grow?

All rights reserved. Permission is granted to freely use this information for nonprofit (noncommercial), educational purposes only. Copyright must be acknowledged on all copies.