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Kids for Conservation®: Photos, Observations and Stories/Poems/Artwork Needed for October
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources' (IDNR) Division of Education’s Kids for Conservation® October topic is “white-tailed deer.” We will feature images of white-tailed deer or images of evidence that a white-tailed deer was present in the area (tracks, scats, rubs, scrapes), stories/poems/artwork about white-tailed deer in Illinois and a map with locations highlighted where white-tailed deer have been seen in our state. Photos and all other submissions must be the products of Illinois youth (younger than age 18 years). The photos should not include people. We will post the first name and age of the author or photographer with each submission, so please include that information. We are only accepting digital photographs, and no more than three photographs per youth. Images and written submissions should be emailed to email@example.com. We also want Illinois youth to tell us if they have seen a white-tailed deer in Illinois this year. Send us your first name, age and the county where you saw the deer. Visit http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/outreach/kidsconservation/Pages/default.aspx to see our latest Kids for Conservation® issue.
Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant Funds Available - Apply Now!
Would you like to help monarchs (Danaus plexippus) and other pollinators by installing a native plant garden? How about adding a butterfly garden to the school grounds to support teaching many Next Generation Science Standards? Have you ever considered how a schoolyard prairie, arboretum or outdoor classroom could enhance learning? The IDNR Division of Education and the Illinois Conservation Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife program offer funding through the Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program for projects like these. Teachers and youth group leaders may receive up to $1,000 for these projects. Visit http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/grants.htm for more information and to access the application form. The application deadline is November 30. Funding is provided by the Jadel Family Foundation, Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife program.
Need assistance with your application form or in planning your project? Join us on October 7, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. for our Webinar dedicated to the Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant. We’ll cover many topics related to the grant. You will need Internet access and a phone. The login information will be posted at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/ on October 7. We hope that you can join us!
You can learn techniques to help you implement your habitat project by participating in the ENTICE Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat Development online workshop that will begin on October 6, 2014. For details and to register, see https://www.enticeworkshops.com.
Additional Illinois Wild Mammals Resources Trunks Added
The popular Illinois Wild Mammals resources trunks will be available starting this month at an additional 10 locations. Lending locations for this trunk are being added in Woodstock, Chicago, Olney, Shelbyville, Frankfort, Waterloo, Jacksonville, Watseka, Carrollton and East Dubuque. Look for the contact information at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/Mammals2.htm and make your reservation today! Access the lessons based on this trunk that will help you to meet Next Generation Science Standards at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/standards.htm.
Wildlife in the Classroom - Be Sure to Read this Revised Publication
The Wildlife in the Classroom publication from the IDNR has just been revised to reflect changes in the Wildlife Code. You can access this publication at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/wildlifeintheclassrm08142014.pdf. Educators often come into contact with wildlife or wildlife parts and should be aware of the relevant laws. Wildlife in the Classroom is recommended reading for all educators.
Illinois’ Amphibians and Reptiles Field Pack
Illinois’ Amphibians and Reptiles Field Pack is the latest addition to the field packs and resources trunk series for loan from the IDNR Division of Education. The pack contains binoculars, field guides, magnifying glasses, a head lamp, frog call recordings and many other items. You can access the content list and lending locations at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/herppack.htm. 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.
Monarch Mania! Information
Monarch populations are in decline, and we want people to be aware of this issue and what they can do to help reverse this situation. Monarch Mania! was the IDNR Division of Education’s theme at the Illinois State Fair. You can access our information, list of educator resources, video podcasts and SMARTBoard™ activities at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/monarchgen.htm. The video podcasts are also available on the Web site at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/podcasts.htm, YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/IDNREducation) and through the iTunes Store.
Two New ENTICE Workshops Added
We've just added two ENTICE workshops dedicated to educators of grades prekindergarten through three. At these workshops scheduled for Moline and Champaign, we'll be working on how children's nonfiction science resources can help you teach about fish and wildlife while supporting the Common Core Standards. Go to https://www.enticeworkshops.com/ for the details and to register. Experience ENTICE!
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 February 28, 2015. For workshop details and to register, visit https://www.enticeworkshops.com.
Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat Development, Online, October 6-19, 2014 REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP CLOSES AT 8:00 A.M. ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2014.
Introducing Early Childhood Students to the Nature of Fall, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, November 8, 2014
Winter Wildlife on the Prairie, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Wilmington, November 15, 2014
Illinois Woodlands 101, Online, January 12-25, 2015
Animal Communities, The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, February 21, 2015
Late Summer and Fall Programs from Dickson Mounds Museum
Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown has added many programs for late summer and fall. For more information, contact the Museum at 309-547-3721 or visit http://www.museum.state.il.us/ismsites/dickson/events.html. All events are free of charge, but donations are appreciated.
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 Havana National Bank and MidAmerica National Bank with additional support from the Canton Cook Medical Team. Topics are as follows: October-Cool Cats; November-Gobble, Gobble; December-Game Day.
Learn what life was like on the Illinois frontier during the Spoon River Scenic Drive.
Saturdays and Sundays, October 4-5, 2014 and October 11-12, 2014, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., all ages
Native American Game Day
Spend an afternoon enjoying a variety of intellectually stimulating and physically challenging Native American games. Scouts are encouraged to participate in this event as it may fulfill some badge requirements. The event will be held outdoors. In the case of inclement weather, activities will be moved inside the Museum.
Sunday, October 19, 2014, 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., all ages
Join us as we learn all about bats. Enjoy hands-on activities and crafts. Live bat presentation courtesy of Incredible Bats will begin at 2:00 p.m. in the Museum’s auditorium. Seating is limited. Tickets are available beginning at 1:00 p.m. the day of the program on a first come, first served basis.
Sunday, October 26, 2014, 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m., all ages
Kid’s Day--Ancient Art in Illinois
Discover the variety of art people created long ago. Enjoy hands-on activities and crafts to take home.
Saturday, November 8, 2014, 1:00 p.m., 5 years + with adult
Family Night at the Museum
Explore the Museum at night. Then, snuggle up by the “fire” for some good ole’ fashioned storytelling by Marilyn A. Kinsella, Taleypo the Storyteller. Light refreshments will be served. Registration is required.
Saturday, December 13, 2014, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., all ages
Illinois’ Natural Resources Trading Cards Set #6
Illinois' Natural Resources Trading Cards Set #6 from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is now available! Send your request on school letterhead to IDNR Education, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702. Nonformal educators may submit a request on their organization's stationary. These cards can be used as resources in many ways to supplement your teaching.
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 Continuing Professional Development Units. 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/ismsites/dickson/ 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. Illinois Trees: An Education and Activity Book, Illinois Prairies Coloring Poster, Aquatic Resources Crossword Puzzle and A to Z from a Tree student activity sheet are just some of the items available to teachers. Order now!
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.