New this Month!
Illinois’ State Symbols Now Available on YouTube and iTunes
Preview the new Illinois’ State Symbols video from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Division of Education! You can access it through YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/TheIllinoisDNR?ob=0&feature=results_main or through the iTunes store as a video podcast. Suitable for grades three through five, the video is approximately 13 minutes in length.
Registration Remains Open at a Few Earth Day in the Parks Events
Earth Day in the Parks is an event to promote stewardship of our natural resources by Illinois school children. Held at state parks throughout Illinois, students participate in activities such as planting native trees and wildflowers, building and installing nesting/roosting boxes and removing invasive exotic plant species. Students will be helping the environment and wildlife, participating in outdoor activities to increase their fitness and learning that their actions can make a difference in the world. Students are encouraged to return to the state park to see and study the results of their work. Registration for the 2012 Earth Day in the Parks event is still open at the following state parks. Teachers, if you are interested in having your class participate, complete and submit the application form at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/EDITPinstruct.htm as soon as possible. Participation will be awarded based on a first come, first served basis for these remaining parks.
Volo Bog State Natural Area, Ingleside, McHenry County – April 19 (morning only) – seeking a class from grades 7-10 to plant native woodland wildflowers
Beall Woods State Park. Mt. Carmel, Wabash County – May 3 - any of grades 7-10 to plant native aquatic and prairie vegetation
Earth Day in the Parks is sponsored by the IDNR in cooperation with the Illinois Conservation Foundation. Funds have been contributed toward this event from many individuals and organizations and for 2012 grants were received from the Illinois Conservation Foundation and the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund.
Register Now for Upcoming ENTICE Workshops from the IDNR
ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) educator workshops from the IDNR offer background information, hands-on activities, lessons, supplemental resources, Continuing Professional Development Units and the opportunity to work with natural resources professionals. Upcoming workshops are listed below. For more information and to register, visit https://www.enticeworkshops.com.
- The Sangamon River: A Sense of Place (online), April 16-29, 2012 Registration will close at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 12, 2012.
- The Effects of Climate Change on Illinois Plants, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, April 28, 2012 Registration will close at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 19, 2012.
- The Microscopic World, II: Ecology, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, May 5, 2012 Registration will close at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 27, 2012.
- Illinois Biodiversity Basics, Fermilab, Batavia, May 12, 2012
- Invasive Exotic Plants, Illinois Audubon Society, Springfield, May 19, 2012
- Through the Eyes of a Pollinator, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, June 16, 2012
Make Resources Trunks Reservations Now
Borrow a resources trunk, and you’ll have a wealth of hands-on materials, lessons, posters, books and other items to support your teaching. Ten topics are available. Trunks are produced by the IDNR Division of Education and loaned from numerous lending sites statewide. Visit http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/teach.htm and click on the link to each trunk’s Web site where you’ll find a content list, targeted grade levels and contact information for the lending sites. A two-week loan period is suggested. Trunk titles are listed below.
Illinois Insects and Spiders
Illinois’ Invasive Species
Illinois’ State Symbols
Illinois Wild Mammals
People and Animals from Illinois’ Past
Field Trip Packs for Loan to Early Childhood Educators
Have you borrowed a Field Trip Pack yet? Designed for early childhood educators (grades prekindergarten through three) by the IDNR Division of Education, the packs are available at 125 lending locations throughout Illinois. Each pack is a backpack that contains hands-on equipment to encourage young children to engage in nature exploration. Suggestions for educators on how to incorporate natural resources-related topics into the curriculum are also included. To see the list of lending locations and the pack content list, visit http://dnr.state.il.us/education/fieldtrippack.htm. Coming soon! More Field Trip Pack lending locations are being added.
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 for download and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. 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
SMARTBoards ™ have become extremely popular tools to engage students in interactive learning. Now you can download SMARTBoard ™ lessons based on IDNR educational materials. Nine topics are available. More lessons will be added regularly so visit this Web page often. http://dnr.state.il.us/education/SmartBoardintro.htm
State Parks Magazines
Are you looking for literature to distribute at an event or to provide to the public from your office, school or library? Why not consider the Illinois State Parks Magazine? This free publication is available in cases of 100 copies and shipping on this item is free, too. Visit the Publications page at http://dnr.state.il.us/teachkids and look under the “Park Brochures” tab.
Aquatic Illinois Lesson Revisions
The Aquatic Illinois lessons from the IDNR Division of Education are currently being updated, and revisions are posted online as they are completed. Many activities are now available as well as seven video podcasts about the major rivers in our state. You can access all of the information through the links at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/Kits.htm. The videos are also available through the iTunes store and on YouTube!
Fishing in Your School
Do you teach in any of the following counties? Adams, Brown, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Coles, Cumberland, De Witt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Hancock, Iroquois, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Mason, McLean, Menard, Morgan, Moultrie, Piatt, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Vermilion
If so, let the IDNR help you establish a fishing program. We can assist with education and equipment to make fishing a talked-about, popular activity at your school. In-school educational programs can be scheduled in February or March, and fishing poles will be left with the teacher for use during a class field trip to a local lake. These programs work well for high school P.E. field trips or grade school field trips or after school activities where parents/grandparents accompany their students at the fishing location. Young student fishing is easy when family adults come along to help, and family participation encourages recurring fishing trips, creating a lifelong interest in this outdoor sport. For more details or to register your students contact Herb Dreier, Coordinator, Central Illinois Urban Fishing Program, at 217-935-6860 extension 238, cell 217-622-4266 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
IDNR Education offers Field Trip Tips for Educators
Brought to you by the IDNR Division of Education, educators have a new tool to help you take teaching and learning to life. 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.
Illinois’ Natural Resources Trading Cards
Illinois’ Natural Resources Trading Cards are informational cards that contain an image on one side and facts on the other side. Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, invertebrates, plants, fungi, microorganisms, rocks, minerals and fossils are represented. A poster accompanies each card set to depict all of the cards in the set and provide suggestions for use. There are five sets of cards. To request cards, please send a note on school letterhead to IDNR Education, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702. Please specify the set number(s) you are requesting. Teachers are allowed one pack of cards and one poster for each of the five sets. Is your set complete? If not, order soon. Supplies of Illinois’ Natural Resources’ Trading Cards Set #1 and poster are very limited.
Biodiversity of Illinois CD-ROMs
The Biodiversity of Illinois, Volume I: Aquatic Habitats, Biodiversity of Illinois, Volume II: Woodland Habitats and Biodiversity of Illinois, Volume III: Prairie and Edge Habitats CD-ROMs are field guides to more than 1,000 species and provide a wealth of information for educators and students to use. Order your copies by written request on school letterhead and mail to IDNR Education, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702.
Wildlife in the Classroom
Has a student ever brought an animal into your classroom and asked you to keep it? Have you ever found a feather or a bird’s nest and wanted to use it to supplement your lessons? Do you know the Illinois and federal laws that apply to these situations? Teachers often come in contact with wildlife or wildlife remains, willingly or not. It is important for you to know what to do in these situations. The IDNR Division of Education has produced a reference document for your use. Wildlife in the Classroom is not all-encompassing, but it will provide you with basic information about possessing wildlife and wildlife remains. You can download the publication at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/wildlifeintheclassrm041409.pdf. If you would like to read the entire Wildlife Code for Illinois, you can access it at http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs2.asp?ChapterID=43.
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!
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://www.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.
Urban Fishing Program
Coordinators for the IDNR statewide Urban Fishing Program will come to your school and conduct programs aimed at getting kids interested in fishing and the outdoors, while promoting environmental stewardship. One part of the program involves actually taking kids fishing during May and September, if a nearby lake is accessible. Teachers may continue the program on their own after the initial session, with the assistance of IDNR personnel. Contact the Urban Fishing Program Coordinator in your area. The urban fishing program is appropriate for any grade level.
Chicago: Brenda McKinney 847-294-4137
Chicago Suburbs: IDNR Staff 847-294-4137
Northwest Illinois: IDNR Staff 815-625-2968
Central Illinois: Herb Dreier 217-782-6424
Southern Illinois: IDNR Staff 618-462-1181