Illinois’ Pollinators Resources Trunks
The new Illinois’ Pollinators
resources trunks from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Division of Education contain teaching tools to help you and your students explore the variety of pollinators in our state. Targeted to grades prekindergarten through six, there are resources included for classroom use as well as a backpack with field guides and equipment for pollinator observation in the field. Sections in the trunk include “What are Pollinators?,” “Why are Pollinators Important?,” How Does Pollination Work?,” “Helping Pollinators” and “Pollinator Gardens.” Lessons are correlated to Next Generation Science Standards and Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards. See the list of host sites and the contents checklist at the following Web address. https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/ItemsForLoan.aspx
Illinois Bats Video Podcast
View the new Illinois Bats
video podcast (approximately 10 minutes in length) from the IDNR’s Division of Education to learn about the life history and some of the issues affecting the 13 species of bats that are currently recognized from Illinois. You’ll find the video podcast at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/podcasts.aspx
and also on YouTube.
Biodiversity of Illinois
The IDNR Division of Education has completed conversion of the information and images from the Biodiversity of Illinois CD-ROM series (Volume I, Aquatic Habitats; Volume II, Woodland Habitats; Volume III, Prairie and Edge Habitats) into a searchable, Web-based format. You’ll find more than 1,000 species accounts with descriptions of their life history, identification features, status, classification, Illinois range map(s), habitat associations and photographs. Species accounts are linked to other relevant IDNR educational resources, too. This information can support your teaching in many ways. More files will be added as they are developed. Give it a try today!
Illinois’ Natural History 101
New files have been added to the IDNR Division of Education’s Web page regarding the prairies, woodlands, aquatics, geology and introduction to the natural resources in our state. Use the information as a primer for you and your students to learn about these topics.
ENTICE Professional Development Workshops
Register soon for ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) professional development workshops for educators sponsored by the IDNR. ENTICE workshops provide background information, networking opportunities, hands-on lessons, supplemental resources on the topic and the opportunity to work with resources professionals. Professional Development Hours are available. Correlations to relevant Next Generation Science Standards and/or Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards are provided. Shown below are workshops for spring and summer 2019. Visit https://www.enticeworkshops.com
for details, the complete list of workshops and to register. Experience ENTICE!
Introducing Early Childhood Students to the Nature of Spring
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
April 6, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Spring is a wonderful season for young children to explore nature! There is so much to see and learn. Join us to discover what nature can tell us in spring. We’ll take a hike to put our knowledge to work and will feature the Field Trip Pack from the IDNR. We’ll show you how to support the teaching of several of the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards for science and Next Generation Science Standards with your students. Although targeted to grades prekindergarten through two, all educators are welcome to register for the workshop, but the information may need to be adapted, as appropriate. You’ll take away numerous resources to use with young children when learning about nature. Professional Development Hours are available. REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP IS CLOSED. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ATTENDING THIS WORKSHOP, SEND A MESSAGE TO DNR.TEACHKIDS@ILLINOIS.GOV
STATING THAT YOU WANT TO BE ADDED TO THE WAITING LIST FOR THE APRIL 6 WORKSHOP AT THE CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN.
Teaching Young Learners about Birds
The Morton Arboretum, Lisle
April 27, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
We see birds nearly every day. They are accessible to learn from and can be enticed to come to your school yard. They can instigate curiosity in young learners. How do you teach young learners to observe and learn about birds? At this workshop, we’ll provide you with activities, resources and hands-on experiences to help you teach about the birds around your school. Although targeted to educators of grades prekindergarten through four, educators of other grade levels are welcome to register but may need to adapt the materials as appropriate. Professional Development Hours are available. REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP IS CLOSED. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ATTENDING THIS WORKSHOP, SEND A MESSAGE TO DNR.TEACHKIDS@ILLINOIS.GOV
STATING THAT YOU WANT TO BE ADDED TO THE WAITING LIST FOR THE APRIL 27 WORKSHOP AT THE MORTON ARBORETUM.
Kendall County Forest Preserve District, Yorkville
April 27, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Explore the hidden world of pollinators and their unique relationship with the plants they pollinate. We’ll take a hike to look at native plants and their pollinators in action. You’ll experience hands-on activities that can be instantly implemented into your curriculum, too. Although targeted to teachers of grades kindergarten through four, all educators are welcome to register for this workshop but may need to adapt the materials for their students, as appropriate. Supplemental resources will be provided. Professional Development Hours are available.
Meet the Mississippi
Mississippi River Visitors’ Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island Arsenal
May 4, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Come to this workshop to learn about the Mississippi River and some of the wildlife species that depend on it. We will talk about the traits needed to survive in a riverine environment and show you examples from native wildlife. We’ll discuss wildlife diversity in and around the river, too. Physical characteristics of the river and how they are important to wildlife and people will be explained. Although targeted to teachers of grades two through five, all educators are welcome to register for this workshop but may need to adapt the materials for their students, as appropriate. Supplemental resources will be provided. Professional Development Hours are available.
Introducing Early Childhood Students to the Nature of Summer
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
June 8, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Summer is a great season for young children to explore nature! There is so much to see and learn. Join us to discover what nature can tell us in summer. We’ll take a hike to put our knowledge to work and will feature the Field Trip Pack from the IDNR. Although targeted to grades prekindergarten through three, all educators are welcome to register for the workshop, but the information may need to be adapted, as appropriate. You’ll take away numerous resources to use with young children when learning about summer nature. Professional Development Hours are available.
Wetland Wonders Exploring the Organisms of Illinois’ Wetland Ecosystems
Cache River Visitors’ Center, Cypress
June 18, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
We’ll make a splash as we explore the fascinating organisms that live in Illinois’ wetlands. We’ll learn about their life history and identification and will put the skills to practice as we visit a wetland. Hands-on activities will be conducted, and you’ll receive supplemental educational resources. Although targeted to teachers of grades four through eight, other educators are welcome to register and attend the workshop but may need to adapt the materials as appropriate. Professional Development Hours are available.
Asian Carps: Activities for Middle School and High School Students to Support the Teaching of Next Generation Science Standards
Dickson Mounds Museum, Lewistown
July 19, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Asian carps are nonnative fishes that have invaded the waterways of Illinois and many other states. These species are responsible for enormous economic, recreational and environmental impacts. At this workshop, we’ll discuss their life history and provide data to quantify their effects. Containment methods being used in Illinois to keep Asian carps out of Lake Michigan will be examined. Student lessons relevant to Next Generation Science Standards MS-LS2-4 and HS-LS2-7 will be incorporated. Although targeted to middle school and high school educators, teachers of other grade levels are welcome to attend but may need to adapt the information as appropriate. Professional Development Hours are available.
The Morton Arboretum, Lisle
July 27, 2019, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Learn how insect pests have unique adaptations that can cause threats to our woodland ecosystem. We will show you how to conduct a tree inventory and risk analysis for future pest threats of trees in a given location. Identification and life history information for beneficial and invasive insects will be provided. Although targeted to teachers of grades six through eight, teachers of other grade levels are welcome to attend but may need to adapt the information as appropriate. Professional Development Hours are available.
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
July 30, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Discover the hidden world of pollinators and their unique relationship with the plants they pollinate. Investigate native plants and their pollinators in action through the Garden’s pollinator-focused planting exhibition. You’ll experience hands-on activities that explore how pollination works and how plant attract pollinators. Although targeted to teachers of grades kindergarten through four, all educators are welcome to register for this workshop but may need to adapt the materials for their students, as appropriate. Supplemental resources will be provided. Professional Development Hours are available.
Barkhausen Cache River Visitors’ Center, Cypress
August 2, 2019, 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
The only true flying mammals will be examined at this workshop for educators of grades one through four. Work with resource professionals as you learn about the life history of bats and their relationships to other species in the environment. Experience hands-on activities that can be instantly implemented into your curriculum. We’ll take a short drive to watch bats emerge from their roosts at dusk, too. Take home many Illinois-specific supplemental materials. Professional Development Hours are available. Educators of other grade levels are welcome to attend the workshop, but they will need to adapt the materials to the grade levels taught, as appropriate.
Aquatic Ecosystems: Lake Michigan Ecology II
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
September 14, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Lake Michigan is one of Illinois’ greatest natural resources. Come to this workshop and learn about the complex relationships between the lake and its inhabitants. Part of the workshop will be held indoors at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, but we will also take a hike to conduct activities on the Lake Michigan shore, weather-permitting. Supplemental educational resources will be provided. Although targeted to teachers of grades kindergarten through four, other educators are welcome to register and attend the workshop but may need to adapt the materials as appropriate. Professional Development Hours are available.
Cache River Visitors’ Center, Cypress
September 17, 2019, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The wonderful world of spiders will be explored in this workshop for educators of grades four through six. Jim Louderman of The Field Museum will lead us as we learn about the spiders found in Illinois, their habits and habitats. Go on a hike to find spiders in the wild. Take part in hands-on activities that can be instantly implemented into your classes. Numerous supplemental materials will be provided. Teachers of other grade levels are welcome to register for the workshop but may need to adapt the information as appropriate. Professional Development Hours are available.
Oaks and the Animals that Need Them
The Morton Arboretum, Lisle
September 21, 2019, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Learn about the interdependence between oak trees and the native Illinois species that rely on them. Discover dynamic interactions that play a vital role in an ecosystem’s overall health. Learn outdoor activities that focus on producers, consumers and decomposers and how species are adapted to survive in oak woodlands. Although targeted to teachers of grades three through five, all educators are welcome to register for the workshop, but the information may need to be adapted, as appropriate. You’ll take away numerous resources to use. Professional Development Hours are available.
Scout leaders, the IDNR Division of Education has resources that you can use to help teach about Illinois' animals, plants and other topics. Videos, publications, resources trunks/packs for loan, activities and other information can be found through the links on the new "Scouting Resources" Web page at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/Scouts.aspx
. Visit it today!
April Kids for Conservation®: Bumble Bees
The April edition of the IDNR Kids for Conservation® Web page features the topic of “Bumble Bees
.” You can learn basic facts about this topic in the information section. Watch the video podcast, too. Educators, there are resources for you to utilize. “Kids in Action” features students who are taking action to benefit the environment. The April topic will be available at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/outreach/kidsconservation/Pages/default.aspx
starting April 1, 2019.
Programs at Beall Woods State Park
The following programs are being offered in April at Beall Woods State Park near Mt. Carmel. For more information, call 618-298-2442.
Woodland Wildflower Hikes
Saturdays, April 6, 13 and 27, 2019, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Discover past uses of our native flora and interesting characteristics about each wildflower species during a 1.5-mile hike along the trails of the nature preserve. Feel free to bring along your camera to capture the intricate design and delicate nature of these spring beauties.
Test Your Nature Knowledge!
Games target ages 16 and above.
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Take A Wild Guess – 1:00 p.m.
This is a picture puzzler. Can you guess the subject of a photograph by only seeing a small portion of the picture?
Nature Trivia BINGO – 2:00 p.m.
Test your knowledge about Illinois’ state parks, the flora and fauna around us, movies filmed in Illinois and much more!
Starved Rock State Park Programs
Listed below are the programs being offered at Starved Rock State Park near Utica for April and the first week of May. Questions about the programs should be directed to Starved Rock State Park staff at DNR.StarvedRock@illinois.gov
Living with Wildlife: A Balance Helping Nature
Sunday, April 14, 2019, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Have you ever wondered what to do with a baby animal or an injured or orphaned animal? Join Nancy Johnson, of the Second-Hand Ranch and Rescue from Princeton, Illinois, as she talks about her life as a wildlife rescuer and helps us understand how to live with wildlife on and off of the trail.
Ecology of Spring Ephemeral Wildflowers
Saturday, April 27, 2019, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
The onset of spring brings beautiful wildflowers to the woodlands of Illinois, and Starved Rock State Park is home to a rich variety of common and rare spring ephemeral wildflowers. These plants deploy an amazing array of strategies to deal with the challenges of living on the forest floor. This talk will cure your winter blues by discussing the myriad adaptations used by these interesting plants.
Presenter: Botanist and Southern Illinois University Instructor Chris Benda, the Illinois Botanizer
Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage
Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5, 2019
Hikes leave the Visitors’ Center at 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. on both days.
Hiking Options: Starved Rock and French Canyon (3/4-mile hike); Eagle Cliff and Lovers Leap Overlooks (1.4-mile hike) and Wildcat Canyon with overlooks (2-mile hike).
Spring is such a beautiful time of year at the Starved Rock State Park! Waterfalls, mossy canyons, crisp and clean air on the overlooks and spring wildflowers everywhere you look. Join experienced naturalists for a one-of-a-kind trail experience to find spring ephemerals (wildflowers) and learn about their natural history.
Borrow a Trunk or Pack for Your Teaching and Youth Programming
Resources trunks/packs from the IDNR’s Division of Education are Illinois-specific units on topics including pollinators, trees, aquatics, mammals, birds, prairies, insects/spiders, state symbols, invasive species, fossils, Native Americans, amphibians/reptiles and nature exploration. Available for loan statewide, they are filled with items for hands-on learning. Teachers, home-schooling educators, scout and youth group leaders, nature center personnel, librarians, day care center staff and families are among the people who can successfully use these resources. A two-week loan period is suggested. There is no charge to borrow the trunks/packs, although a refundable deposit may be requested. Lessons are correlated to the Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Standards and Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards, as appropriate. Suggested grade levels are provided but modifications can be made for use at other grade levels. Visit https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/ItemsForLoan.aspx
to access the list of lending locations and more trunk-related information.
Illinois’ Natural Resources Trading Cards Set #5
The IDNR Division of Education is once again making Illinois’ Natural Resources Trading Cards Set #5 available. These cards have an image on one side and information about the subject on the other side. There are 63 cards in the set, covering a variety of animals, plants and fungi that live in and/or travel through Illinois. One set of these cards per teacher may be requested. Please send your request on school letterhead to the IDNR Division of Education, 1 Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702, and indicate that you are interested in Illinois’ Natural Resources Trading Cards Set #5. Quantities are limited so order soon.
IDNR Publications for Order and/or Download
Many publications are available from the IDNR. They cover a variety of topics for educators and the public. All publications may be accessed through the order form at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/publications.
Posters, activity books, brochures and other items can help you learn and teach about the topics. Numerous items in Spanish-language versions may be ordered, too.
Reporting Monarch Educational Activities
The IDNR and its partners in the monarch initiative are collecting information about educational activities related to monarch butterflies. If you conducted any activities in 2018 related to educating people in Illinois about monarch butterflies or to enhancing or developing monarch habitat in Illinois, please send us a brief description (no more than three sentences) describing each activity. Include the date, a description of the activity, the targeted audience (if an educational activity), the organization or person leading the activity and an email address for someone who can answer questions about the activity. Submit the information to email@example.com.
We will post the information on the IDNR Web site at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/monarchgen.aspx.
This Web site is not intended to promote upcoming activities. We want to share information about efforts that have already taken place to help monarchs and their habitat. Please do not send photos. Thank you!
Visit Our Web Page for a Wealth of Resources
The IDNR Division of Education’s Web page offers a great variety of educational resources and information for teachers, home-schooling educators, nonformal educators, scout leaders, youth-group leaders and other people interested in learning about Illinois’ tremendous natural heritage. The “A to Z” button will allow you to access a list of topics. You’ll find basic information, lessons, activity books, grants, educator professional development, correlations to learning standards, video podcasts (with open captioning), trunks and packs for loan and many other items. Let these supplemental resources support your teaching or just learn something new! Updates are made regularly so visit often! https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/Education
New Video Podcasts – Bees and Bats
Central Illinois Educators: Fishing and Aquatic Ecology Programs Now Available from the IDNR
Educators, if you teach in any of the following counties, the IDNR can help you bring hands-on aquatic education to your students. These programs work to develop positive attitudes towards natural resources, conservation and fishing in young people. Lessons align with the state and national learning standards and are adapted to all grade levels. For more information or to schedule a program, contact Van Grissom at 217-720-3501 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adams, Brown, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Coles, Cumberland, De Witt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Hancock, Iroquois, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Mason, McLean, Menard, Morgan, Moultrie, Piatt, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Vermillion
Wild Illinois History Leads Students on a Journey to Learn About History and Wildlife Conservation
The IDNR is offering a "virtual" trip for late-elementary schoolteachers, students and their parents. With a few mouse clicks, students can journey back to the earliest days of the Illinois Territory when voyageurs and Native Americans hunted the prairies, forests and rivers. Wild Illinois History
helps students in grades three through five focus on early French exploration, along with river and settlement geography. Students can learn how wildlife helped Native Americans and early settlers survive. They also can see how wildlife is a part of our lives today. A fictional French trapper in the 18th century Illinois Territory leads students on the trip. Brief story-telling slideshows are mixed with fun, interactive activities. For teachers, Wild Illinois History
offers lesson plans, activities, photos, posters and correlations to Illinois Learning Standards. Try it out at http://wildillinois.org/.
Upcoming Programs at Dickson Mounds Museum
The following programs are being sponsored by Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown. Unless otherwise noted, the programs occur at Dickson Mounds Museum, too. For more information, call 309-547-3721.
Tot Time - Trees
April 4, 2019, 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Adults and their tots will have fun exploring, discovering and learning on the first Thursday of the month in the Museum’s Discovery Center. Spend quality time with your tot, while each of you makes new friends. A different topic and craft are featured each month. Registration is not required and admission is free. Light refreshments will be provided. The program begins promptly at 9:30 a.m. with the program portion lasting approximately thirty minutes followed by crafts, snacks and time to explore the Museum.
On April 4, participants will learn about the importance of trees and their role in nature. Tots and their caretakers may enjoy helping to plant several native Illinois trees on the Museum's grounds and making a “tree” craft to take home. Participants will also receive a tree to plant in their own backyard! The 2019 Tot Time program series is sponsored by Spoon River Electric’s Operation Round-up grant, Canton Chamber of Commerce, Havana National Bank, Lewistown American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Bishop Post #1, Lewistown VFW Post 5001 Auxiliary, Rusty Melhouse of Edward Jones, and Jeff and Linda Sisson of Havana. The Tot Time program series continuously seeks sponsors. Please contact Curator of Education Christa Christensen at 309-547-3721 for more information.
Kid’s Workshop: Essential Concepts of Wilderness Survival
April 13, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and April 14, 2019, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Through hands-on experience, learn how to prepare for the wilderness and survive the forces of nature. This two-day program will highlight the most critical concepts of wilderness survival. On April 13, the program will focus on wilderness preparation, shelter building, water purification and foraging. The April 14 class will cover fire starting and natural land navigation. This workshop is for kids ages 9-16 years old. Parent/adult guardians are welcomed. Participants are required to provide their own snacks, lunch and water and must dress appropriately for outdoor conditions and hiking. Much of the program will be held in a wooded setting. A small backpack to carry food and supplies is a must. Registration is required by April 10, and space is limited. Participants will receive detailed information on the required supplies for the workshop. Participate in one or both programs. Topics are subject to change depending on weather conditions. Call the Museum at 309-547-3721 to register or for more information.
Hickory Ridge Concert Series
April 20, 2019, 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
For more than 20 years, people have gathered at Dickson Mounds Museum on the third Saturday of every month for an evening of musical entertainment. Hosted by Chris Vallillo, an accomplished musician and performer in his own right, the series features roots/folk music and other genres offered by a talented variety of performers. April's performance will be by Matthew Michael & Christina Marie.
An acoustic duo emerging from Ottawa, Illinois, with their roots firmly in the in the Illinois River Valley, Matthew Michael & Christina Marie approach music with honest songs expressed in beautiful harmonically-rich layers of voices and strings. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. adults $10, kids $5. Visit http://ginridge.com/extras/hickory-ridge-concert-series/for
information about the artists. A variety of desserts will be available for purchase as well as wine for purchase courtesy of the local Native Trails Winery.
Nature Walk for Health Series
April 25, 2019, 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Join us on the fourth Thursday of the month at 5:00 p.m., from April through October to walk in nature and learn about our local environment. Fun wildlife stories and facts are sure to be plentiful! Locations vary and may be dependent upon weather conditions. Space is limited, and registration is required. Please visit experienceemiquon.com to register. For more information, email Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge at email@example.com
or call 309-535-2290. Please dress appropriately for this outdoor activity. This program is sponsored by the Emiquon Partnership. The April 25 walk will be held at the Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge’s ADA-accessible Nature Trail.
Mountain Dulcimer Workshop
April 27, 2019, 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. (beginner) and 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (experienced)
Mike Anderson will present two Mountain Dulcimer Workshops, focusing on folk songs. A session for beginners will be held from 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and for experienced players from 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. For those participants who do not have a dulcimer, nationally known instrument builder Steve Endsley will have several instruments on hand for loan or purchase. If you wish to borrow an instrument, please call the Museum by April 25 to reserve one. The fee is $25 per workshop, payable by check or cash the day of the program. PayPal is also available through Mike Anderson’s Web site at www.dulcimerguy.com.
To register please call Mike Anderson at 217-473-5889 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kid’s Workshop: Essential Concepts of Wilderness Survival 2.0
April 27, 2019, 12:00 p.m. through April 28 12:00 p.m.
This overnight workshop is a sequel to Wilderness Survival 1.0. Through hands-on experience, participants will implement the skills and knowledge gained during the 1.0 sessions. Participants will select their campsite and build their shelter for the night, find and prepare their own food and use their knowledge to properly keep themselves warm and accurately find their way through the woods. Registration is required by April 19, and space is limited. Participation in Wilderness Survival 1.0 and instructor approval is required. This workshop is for kids ages 9-16 years old. Parent/adult guardian participation is required with maximum of two kids per adult. The workshop will begin at noon on Saturday, April 27 and end on Sunday, April 28 at noon. Participants are required to dress appropriately for the outdoors and will receive a list of required gear prior to the workshop. Call the Museum at 309- 547-3721 to register or for more information.