New this Month!
Listen to the podcast of this information.
Upcoming Webinars for Educators
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Division of Education’s next general Webinar will be held on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. The topic will be “The Greater Prairie-chicken in Illinois.” The May Kids for Conservation® Webinar on “Morels” will be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Login information will be posted at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/ on the morning of each Webinar.
Signs of Spring isthe newest video podcast available from the IDNR Division of Education. You can access it and all of our other educational video podcasts at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/podcasts.htm or through YouTube and iTunes.
Kids for Conservation® for May: Morels
The IDNR Division of Education’s Kids for Conservation® program is requesting information monthly from Illinois youth (younger than age 18). We will feature photos, stories/poems/artwork and a map with locations highlighted about the monthly topic. All submissions must be the products of Illinois youth. Visit http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/outreach/kidsconservation/Pages/default.aspx for details. Kids for Conservation® is great for schools, youth groups and families to participate in. The May topic is “Morels.” The June topic is “Fishing.”
IDNR’s Resources Trunks and Packs Provide Teaching Tools for a Variety of Topics
Are you teaching about any of the following topics this spring: amphibians and reptiles; aquatics; birds; fossils; Illinois; insects/spiders; invasive species; mammals; Native Americans; prairies; or trees? Let the IDNR’s resources trunks and packs provide you with the teaching tools that you need. Our Standards Web page (http://dnr.state.il.us/education/standards.htm) includes lessons based on the trunks and the Next Generation Science Standards as well. The trunks and packs are available at lending locations statewide. Visit http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/teach.htm for links to all of the resources trunks and packs. These supplemental tools are great for use by teachers, nonformal educators, youth group leaders and families. Several lending locations have recently been added or updated, so be sure to check the list for changes in your area.
Upcoming ENTICE Professional Development Schedule
Register now for upcoming ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) workshops from the IDNR. ENTICE workshops offer training on Illinois-specific topics and supply you with the tools needed to implement the topic into your curriculum immediately. Participants learn from resources professionals, take part in activities and spend time outdoors (where appropriate). Professional Development Hours are available at all ENTICE workshops. Listed below are the workshops scheduled through September 30, 2015. For workshop details and to register, visit https://www.enticeworkshops.com.
Introducing Early Childhood Students to Nature, Heller Nature Center, Highland Park, May 9, 2015 REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP CLOSES AT 8:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY, APRIL 30, 2015.
Aquatic Ecosystems: Lake Michigan Ecology, The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, May 16, 2015 REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP CLOSES AT 8:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY, MAY 7, 2015.
Illinois Butterflies and Moths, Shawnee National Forest, Jonesboro, June 12, 2015 REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP WILL CLOSE AT 8:00 A.M. ON WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 2015.
Illinois Amphibians and Reptiles, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, June 13, 2015 REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP WILL CLOSE AT 8:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY, JUNE 4, 2015, OR SOONER IF THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF REGISTRANTS IS REACHED.
Illinois Spiders, Mayslake Peabody Estate, Oak Brook, July 10, 2015
Introducing Early Childhood Students to the Nature of Summer, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, July 11, 2015
Prying into Prions: Investigating Chronic Wasting Disease, Online, July 13-26, 2015
Illinois Woodlands 101, Shawnee National Forest Office, Vienna, August 22, 2015
Monarch Mania!, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, August 29, 2015
Introducing Early Childhood Students to Nature, Dickson Mounds Museum, Lewistown, September 12, 2015
Illinois Biodiversity 101, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, September 12, 2015
Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat Development, Online, September 14-27, 2015
Introducing Early Childhood Students to Nature, Kendall County Forest Preserve District, Yorkville, September 19, 2015
Tree Homes, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, September 19, 2015
Illinois Butterflies and Moths, Mayslake Peabody Estate, Oak Brook, September 25, 2015
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 email@example.com.
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
Spring and Summer Programs from Dickson Mounds Museum
Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown has many programs scheduled. For more information, contact the Museum at 309-547-3721 or visit http://www.museum.state.il.us/events/. All events are free of charge unless a fee is indicated in the descriptions below. Donations are always appreciated. Unless otherwise indicated, all events are held or meet at Dickson Mounds Museum.
Adults and their tots will have fun exploring, discovering and learning on the first Thursday of the month from 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. 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. Registration is not required and admission is free. Participants will enjoy light refreshments. This program series is sponsored by Better Banks of Astoria, Bistro 101, Cass Communications, Davis Buick GMC, Davis Ford, Havana National Bank, MidAmerica National Bank and Vaughn’s Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. Topics are as follows: May-Dinosaurs; June-Tunes for Tots; July-Fun Fish; August-4-H’s Animal Friends.
Edgar Lee Masters Program Series: The Small-Town Experience in Spoon River Anthology
Join us for this unique opportunity to learn from John Hallwas, literary scholar, writing teacher and historian, about Edgar Lee Masters’ poems. Hallwas will illustrate the frustrations and interrelationships in small-town culture by focusing on some of the poems. Light refreshments will be served following the lecture.
Sunday, May 17, 2015, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., Age: 13 years +
A Taste of Archaeology for Adults 101
Work alongside archaeologists and gain insight into this profession. Participate in an excavation, discover artifacts and learn how to identify, clean, organize and sort your finds. Registration is required with a deadline of May 8. Space is limited. Participants are required to provide their own sack lunch and snacks. Call the Museum at 309-547-3721 to register.
May 19-22, 2015, 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
$100 for Illinois State Museum Society members; $150 for non-members Age: 18 years +
A Taste of Archaeology for Adults 102
Participation in the previous week’s camp or in the camps held at Dickson Mounds in 2013-2014 is a pre-requisite for this workshop. Registration is required with a deadline of May 15. Space is limited. Participants are required to provide their own sack lunch and snacks. Call the Museum at 309-547-3721 to register.
May 26-29, 2015, 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
$100 for Illinois State Museum Society members; $150 for non-members Age: 18 years +
A Taste of Archaeology for Teens
Gain experience as a young archaeologist. Work alongside professional archaeologists. Participate in an excavation, discover artifacts and learn how to identify, clean, organize and sort your finds. Registration is required with a deadline of May 22. Space is limited. Participants are required to provide their own sack lunch and snacks. Call the Museum at 309-547-3721 to register.
June 2 -5, 2015, 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
$60 for Illinois State Museum Society members; $90 for non-members Age: 13-17 years
Nature Trek: Mound Survey
The most obvious evidence of the prehistoric past of the area is manifest by earthworks built for a variety of purposes. We will visit several earthworks located in the Lewistown-Havana area and discuss what we know about them. Participants will receive a field guide for the trip. Please dress appropriately for outdoor conditions. Participants will provide their own transportation and lunch.
May 16, 2015, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Age: All Ages
Edgar Lee Masters Program Series: Understanding Illinois Burial Grounds and Cemeteries
Cemeteries are places with specific above ground visual and material features including graves, grave markers, landscaping, fences and a recognizable spatial arrangement. The placement and arrangement of these items reflect specific choices and provides insight into how people structured and ordered their social and physical landscape. Because cemeteries are dynamic they also reflect changing cultural and social values. Understanding these visual characteristics and their changes through time provides a deeper meaning of what is represented in burial grounds and cemeteries. This knowledge, and respecting the laws that protect them, will ensure their preservation for the future. This program will be presented by Hal Hassen, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Archaeologist, and Dawn Cobb, Physical Anthropologist, Illinois State Museum. Meet at Oak Hill Cemetery, Lewistown. Dress appropriately for outdoor conditions and to walk over uneven terrain.
June 13, 2015, 1:00 p.m. -3:00 p.m. Age: 13 years +
Celebrate the Summer Solstice
Join us as we welcome the beginning of summer. We’ll watch the sunrise and enjoy a bonfire and live music by New Age musician Paul Adams, as we learn about how past and present people around the world recognized the significance of the position of the sun at particular times of the year.
June 21, 2015, 5:00 a.m. - 6:30 a.m. Age: All Ages
Nature Adventure for Kids
Experience the Illinois River Valley. Participants may hike, canoe, bird watch, collect water samples and learn how ancient and historic people used the resources of the land to survive. Registration is required with a deadline of June 5. Space is limited. Participants are required to provide their own sack lunch and snacks. Call the Museum at 309-547-3721 to register.
June 16-18, 2015, 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
$50 for Illinois State Museum Society Members; $75 for non-members Age: 10-12 years old
Nature Explorers Camp for Kids
Explore the past and the present in the Illinois River Valley. Learn how people lived in this area and utilized its resources over thousands of years. Participants are required to provide their own snacks. Registration is required with a deadline of June 12. Call the Museum at 309-547-3721.
June 23-25, 2015, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
$40 for Illinois State Museum Society members; $60 for non-members Age: 7-9 years old
Nature Trek: Geology Tour
Learn about the geology of the Lewistown-Havana area and how the Illinois River Valley was formed. Participants must dress appropriately for outdoor conditions and provide their own transportation and lunch.
June 27, 2015, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Age: All Ages
Nature Trek: Experience a Voyageur Canoe
Join us and bring your friends because we’ll need a lot of people to paddle voyageur canoes that are 28 feet and 34 feet long! Learn about history, geology and biology as you paddle on Thompson Lake. Registration is required, and you will be provided with the information to obtain a free, necessary permit/waiver form. Minors must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian. Seating is limited. Call the Museum at 309-547-3721 to register.
July 11, 2015, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Age: All Ages
Edgar Lee Masters Program Series: Playhouse Performance: Love, Itself
Join us for the Fulton County Playhouse’s performance of Love, Itself. Writtenby Larry Eskridge, the play depicts a young couple on the eve of their wedding becoming disillusioned by their respective families. Characters from "Spoon River Anthology" meet with the girl and talk to her about the difficulties, disappointments and wonders of marriage and love.
July 17, 2015, 6:30 p.m.; July 18, 2015, 3:00 p.m.; July 19, 2015, 3:00 p.m.
Fee Required Age: All Ages
Project Squirrel Mobile Phone App
With the Project Squirrel mobile phone app, your students can easily become involved in citizen science activities that can be incorporated into lessons to support the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The app is free and both Apple and Android versions are available. Go to iTunes or the Google Play Store and download the app today. All citizens can take part in the data collection. You can learn more about Project Squirrel at http://www.projectsquirrel.org/. The Project Squirrel mobile phone app is sponsored by the Chicago Academy of Science’s Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the IDNR, the University of Illinois at Chicago and Motorola. Correlations to Next Generation Science Standards are available at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/standards.htm.
Dickson Mounds Museum Offers Workshops for Teachers
Educators! Gather together and schedule a workshop at Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown, Illinois. Workshops may be a half- or full-day experience and include a behind-the-scenes look at the museum, facility tours and hands-on activities, including archaeological work, nature observation, hiking, canoeing and biological laboratory work. See what kinds of opportunities Dickson Mounds and its Emiquon partners, The Nature Conservancy, University of Illinois at Springfield Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have to offer youth and adults. A minimum of six teachers is required per workshop. Dickson Mounds Museum, a branch of the Illinois State Museum and a National Historic Site, is one of the major on-site archaeological museums in the United States. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the world of the American Indian in an awe inspiring journey through 12,000 years of human experience in the Illinois River Valley. Dickson Mounds Museum's workshops provide Professional Development Hours. Workshops may be tailored upon request. Contact Curator of Education Christa Christensen by phone at 309-547-3721 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your workshop or for more information. Also, visit http://www.museum.state.il.us/events/ for current program and event listings.
Do you need Illinois-specific, scientifically based resources to support your lessons? Then visit the IDNR Publications Order Form at http://dnr.state.il.us/teachkids. You’ll find activity books, posters and many other publications available to download and/or order. Many of the publications have a Spanish-language version, too.
IDNR Division of Education List Server
Educators throughout Illinois can obtain instant notification about new products, scheduled workshops and many other events and items from the IDNR through the IDNR Division of Education's electronic list server. By participating in the list server, you will receive email messages when new educational materials are available from the IDNR. You'll also be made aware of upcoming workshops and special opportunities. To join the list, send an email to email@example.com. You do not need to write any text in the message or the subject line. You may leave the list at any time by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You do not need to write any text in the message or the subject line. There is no charge to participate. Messages are usually titled "Items of Possible Interest" in the subject line.
IDNR Education offers Field Trip Tips for Educators
Visit http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/fieldtrip to access information that will help you and your students have a successful outdoor experience at an Illinois state park. You can find the state park nearest to you and a list of its amenities. By clicking on the category names in the “Lesson Topics” feature, you can link to the IDNR lesson plans and materials that will help you teach about the habitats, organisms and/or history of each park. Lessons for pre-trip, on site and post-trip are available in downloadable PDF format. Field trip etiquette and planning are also discussed. After deciding on your destination, why not apply for an Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant? You’ll find a link to that information on this Web site, too.
We’re on Facebook!
Visit our Facebook page to find the latest updates about the materials and programs of the IDNR Education Section. You’ll also find images from ENTICE workshops! Search for “Illinois Department of Natural Resources Division of Education.”
Illinois Trapper Education Online Course
The IDNR offers an online course for those interested in learning to trap. People who are required to complete a course before purchasing a trapping license now have two choices. They can take a full-day course in the classroom or complete half of the requirement online and half in the classroom, where they learn hands-on skills such as setting traps and preparing pelts for sale.
Courses are free. The IDNR encourages all trappers, regardless of age, to take a course. First-time trappers under 18 years of age must complete a course and pass a written exam before they are allowed to purchase a trapping license. Those under 16 years of age must also have written permission from a parent or guardian before purchasing a license.
Illinois Trapper Education Online (http://trappered.com) covers topics such as trapping equipment, laws and ethics through online film clips, reading materials, quizzes, photos and illustrations. Students can exit the course and resume work where they left off at any time. The course is accessible using a basic dial-up connection, although high speed connections work best.
At the end of the Internet course, students must successfully complete the final exam online and download a printable document of completion. Students must present the document when attending the four-hour training session with instructors. To locate an instructor-taught course, visit http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/safety/Pages/default.aspx or call 1-800-832-2599. The Ameritech Relay for the deaf and hearing impaired is 1-800-526-0844.
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://www.wildillinois.org/. For more information, contact Bob Bluett, IDNR Wildlife Diversity Coordinator at 217-782-7580 or email@example.com.