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New this Month - December 2018

Listen to the podcast of this information
 
Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant Application Deadline is January 31!
The Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant is a competitive grant program sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Division of Education. Funding is administered by the Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF). This grant can help you take learning to life by supporting field trips to study the natural resources of our state. For details and to access the application form, visit https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/GrantsIBFTG.aspx. You will find many supplemental tools on this Web site to help you complete the application form. This grant is funded entirely by private donations to the ICF. We thank the D. F. and M. T. Grohne Family Foundation, Independence Tube Corporation and Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation for their continued support. The application deadline is January 31, 2019.
  
New Asian Carps Lessons for Middle School and High School Students
The IDNR Division of Education has developed two new lessons on the topic of Asian carps. What’s the Answer? helps support the teaching of Next Generation Science Standard HS‐LS2‐7. Tracking the Effects of Asian Carps on Native Fish Populations can help teachers to meet the criteria of Next Generation Science Standard MS‐LS2‐4. You can access both lessons and supporting resources at the following Web address. https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/AsianCarpActivities.aspx
 
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 winter and spring 2019. Visit https://www.enticeworkshops.com for details, the complete list of workshops and to register. Experience ENTICE!
 
Wildlife Basics for Early Childhood Educators
Starved Rock State Park, Utica
March 2, 2019, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
This workshop for educators of grades prekindergarten through two will provide you with the information and resources that you need to successfully teach about and observe wildlife. We’ll focus on the life history of common wildlife species, and we’ll go on a hike to look for wildlife species and their signs. You’ll receive training in using basic equipment. We’ll also discuss developing wildlife habitat on your school grounds. 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. You’ll take away numerous resources to use with young children when learning about nature. Professional Development Hours are available.
 
Creating and Keeping Collections
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
March 9, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
For more than 160 years the Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has been assembling and maintaining a variety of natural history specimens and collections. Learn about the Museum’s collections and why collections are important for both scientific and educational purposes. We’ll discuss how to build and maintain a collection, guidelines for collecting natural materials and how to use living and preserved collections in the classroom. Participate in numerous hands-on activities and take home many supplemental resources. Educators will be pinning dead invertebrates as part of this workshop. Professional Development Hours are available.
 
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.
 
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.
 
Illinois Pollinators
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.
 
Illinois Aquatic Ecosystems
Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs
June 27-28, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. each day
Join us for this two-day workshop that will focus on aquatic ecosystems in our state and the organisms that rely on them. We’ll discuss the life cycles of aquatic invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals and their roles in aquatic habitats. We’ll spend time outdoors sampling for organisms and conducting water quality testing. Our experiences will be used to show you how to support Next Generation Science Standards developed for middle school life science topics. Teachers of other grade levels are welcome to register and attend the workshop but may need to adapt the resources as appropriate. If you register for this workshop, please plan to attend both days. Professional Development Hours are available.
 
Scouting Resources
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!
 
Bicentennial Bits
The last posting in the IDNR’s “Bicentennial Bits” series on Facebook in honor of the 200th anniversary of Illinois’ statehood will be made on December 3, 2018. It can be accessed through the main IDNR Facebook page and the IDNR Division of Education’s Facebook page.
 
December Kids for Conservation®: Osprey
The December edition of the IDNR Kids for Conservation® Web page features the topic of the “Osprey.” You can learn basic facts about this topic in the information section. Watch the video podcast, too. Take the quiz to test your knowledge. Educators, there are resources for you to utilize. We have developed a version of the information section specific to early childhood educators. “Kids in Action” features students who are taking action to benefit the environment. The December topic is posted at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/outreach/kidsconservation/Pages/default.aspx. The January topic is “Bird Beaks.”
 
Biodiversity of Illinois CD-ROM Series Conversion to Web-based Format
The IDNR Division of Education is in the process of converting 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. Files are being added as they are completed, so check back often. There will be about 1,500 species in this field guide when it is finished. Visit https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/Biodiversity-of-Illinois.aspx to access the approximately 800 files that have been posted to date.
 
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: Hugo Kringle Comes to Tot Time
Thursday, December 6, 2018, 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 will be featured each month. On December 6, Santa’s brother, Hugo Kringle, comes to Tot Time. Hugo will sing songs and share stories about growing up with the boy who became Santa Claus. Make crafts to take home! Registration is not required, and admission is free. Light refreshments will be served. The program begins promptly at 9:30 a.m. with the program portion lasting approximately 30 minutes followed by crafts, snacks and time to explore the museum. Older siblings are welcome to participate in the program. This program series is sponsored by the City of Lewistown, Canton Chamber of Commerce, Havana National Bank, Lewistown VFW Post 5001 Auxiliary, Rusty Melhouse of Edward Jones and Chris Bennett of Dunfermline.
 
Kids’ Day: Create with Clay
Saturday, December 15, 2018, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Kids of all ages may enjoy learning about ancient Native American creation and use of food containers.  Each participant will receive a generous portion of clay to create a piece to take home. These creations may make the perfect holiday gift. Registration is not required. Clay is available on a first come, first served basis. Supplies are limited. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
 
Hickory Ridge Concert Series
Saturday, December 15, 2018, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Fee: $8 adults, $5 children
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. The Curtis and Loretta Christmas show will be held December 15.
 
Curtis and Loretta’s music comes straight from the heart. This husband and wife duo’s extraordinary harmonies and proficiency on a parade of stringed instruments create an alluring frame for their poignant original songs and carefully chosen traditional pieces from the British Isles, America and beyond. The current menagerie includes Celtic harp, mandocello, mandolin, guitars, clawhammer banjo and National steel ukulele, plus a bit of kazoo, harmonica and shakers. They will perform a special Christmas concert in period costume featuring all your favorite Christmas songs performed in their award-winning style! Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Visit http://ginridge.com/extras/hickory-ridge-concert-series/ for information about the artists.
 
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 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, homeschooling 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.
 
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 dnr.teachkids@illinois.gov. 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 Podcast
The Osprey video podcast can be found on the Podcasts page at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/podcasts.aspx. This video podcast is also available on YouTube.
 
IDNR Coastal Management Program Accepting Grant Applications Soon
The IDNR Coastal Management Program is accepting pre-applications for projects of $1,000 to $100,000 to protect, preserve and restore Illinois' Lake Michigan natural and cultural resources. Funding will be available for projects that: 1) improve the health of the coast and Lake Michigan; 2) enhance coastal public access, recreation and coastal-dependent economic development; 3) advance coastal community resilience; or 4) create beach management plans. Eligible applicants include local governments, universities and nonprofits. These are federal pass-through grants, and matching funds are required. Successful pre-applicants will be invited to submit a full application. Grant guidelines, application materials, maps and other resources will be available after November 19, 2018, at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/cmp/Pages/grants.aspx. The pre-application submission deadline is Friday, January 18, 2019. Potential applicants are encouraged to participate in a grant information session (listed below). If you cannot attend the grant information session or have additional questions, sign up for an optional grant consultation. Please contact Lisa Cotner at lisa.cotner@illinois.gov for more information.
 
Chicago Loop
When: Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Where: 160 North LaSalle Street, N 502, Chicago, IL 60601
Registration: https://goo.gl/forms/6c5S8M2eUFRUAmIX2
 
Webinar
When: Friday, December 7, 2018, 11:00 a.m.- noon
Registration:
 
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 van.grissom@illinois.gov.
 
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/.