Who Will Benefit if We Give Bulbs What They Need to Grow?

6, 7, 8

The learners will reinforce their knowledge about the abiotic factors necessary for plant growth by planting and caring for bulbs so the needs are met and the plant flourishes. The resulting potted flower will be a gift that the learner will share along with the knowledge they have acquired about bulbs and bulb forcing. By identifying local service organizations, learners will increase their understanding of local service organizations and participate in the process of matching resources to community needs.

PrintFour Forty-Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • list the needs of all living plants.
  • describe the process of forcing growth from dormant buds in bulbs.
  • describe the four sectors of the economy and give examples of the services they provide.
  • categorize local nonprofit service organizations.
  • conduct a mini-election.
  • write a letter to a local nonprofit offering needed goods.
  • Box of pre-cooled tulip bulbs (placed on materials table)
  • Six-inch clay pots, a box of coarse gravel, pitchers of water, potting soil or components (placed on materials table)
  • Learner copies of Bulb Preparation and Potting Instructions (Handout One)
  • Drawing paper, colored pencils, rulers
  • Several pictures of people in need receiving services (health care, food bank, counseling, nursing home, etc.)
  • Learner copies of Categories of Nonprofit Organizations (Handout Two)
  • Local phone books
  • Map of local communities
Home Connection 

None for this lesson.


  1. Anticipatory Set:Review terms from the previous lesson including: bulb, corm, rhizome, food storage.

  2. Distribute Bulb Preparation and Potting Instructions (Handout One). Go over the information about necessary steps in planting bulbs.

  3. Divide the class into groups of four learners. Have each member of the team number off from one to four. Assign the tasks so that each member has a responsibility:

    • Member One - Put one inch of gravel in the bottom of the pot. Lightly firm two inches of soil over the gravel.
    • Member Two - Put one bulb upright in the center of the pot. Place four or five bulbs around the center bulb as told in the instructions.
    • Member Three - Fill the pot with soil and gently firm around bulbs. Soil level should be one inch from the top of the pot.
    • Member Four - Water well so the soil is moist but not draining out of the bottom hole. Place the completed pot in a designated location.
  4. Clean up the potting area. Member Three from each group should help clean the potting area.


  5. Have each learner draw pictures or diagrams to show the potting process. These will be used to share and teach the flower recipient how to force tulip bulbs.

  6. Review the process by asking questions such as:

    What will be necessary for the bulbs to grow?

    What do you think might happen to the tulip bulbs during the next few weeks? (prediction)


The journal entry will assess learning.

Cross Curriculum 

Learners will examine the local community and determine what service organizations would benefit from a gift of flowers. The learners will share what they have learned about forcing blooms with the recipient of their potted flower gift.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Identify the business, government, family, and civil society sectors.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Describe how different needs are met in different ways by government, business, civil society, and family.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Compare and contrast the roles of business, government, civil society sector, and family.
    3. Standard DP 03. Names and Types of Organizations within the Civil Society Sector
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Discuss examples of civil society organizations from a list of categories of organizations.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 04. Philanthropy and Geography
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Locate and map civil society organizations in the community.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Participate in acts of democratic citizenship in the classroom or school, such as voting, group problem solving, classroom governance or elections.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.