New this Month!
ENTICE 2013-2014 Workshop Registration is Open!
Beetles, raptors, butterflies, hummingbirds, pollinators and ecology are just some of the topics that will be represented at ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) workshops from the IDNR for the 2013-2014 school year. Visit https://www.enticeworkshops.com for details and to register. More information will be posted soon. ENTICE workshops provide educators with the chance to work with experts in the field, take part in hands-on activities and receive supplemental resources. Continuing Professional Development Units are available. Experience ENTICE!
Illinois Trees: An Identification and Activity Book
Teachers, the Illinois Trees: An Identification and Activity Book publication from the IDNR has been reprinted. Order your copies at http://dnr.state.il.us/teachkids while supplies last!
IDNR Division of Education YouTube Page
The IDNR Division of Education now has its own YouTube page featuring several educational videos! Go to YouTube and search for “IDNREducation” (no spaces). Videos are being added regularly so check back often!
New Video Podcasts
New video podcasts on Developing a Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat, the Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant program and the Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program have been added to the IDNR Division of Education Podcast Web page and iTunes. Visit http://dnr.state.il.us/education/podcasts.htm or search for them through the iTunes Store. They are accessible through YouTube, too.
Register Now for Upcoming ENTICE Professional Development Workshops
The following ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) educator workshops from the IDNR are scheduled for April through June. Go to https://www.enticeworkshops.com for more details and to register. Continuing Professional Development Units are available at all ENTICE workshops.
Prairies, Morris, June 8, 2013
Imagining the vast prairies of Illinois’ past is difficult, but you can experience one of the best examples remaining in our state if you join us for this workshop at the Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area near Morris. Designed for educators of grades kindergarten through eight, you’ll learn about prairie ecology as well as the history of the prairie in Illinois, and we'll take a discovery walk in the prairie. Illinois-specific educational resources will be provided. 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. Continuing Professional Development Units are available. Sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, this workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program.
Illinois Bats, Urbana, June 19, 2013
The only true flying mammals will be examined at this workshop for educators of grades four through eight. Work with resource professionals as you learn about the life history of bats and their relationships to other species in the environment. We’ll attempt to capture and band bats during the evening, too. Experience hands-on activities that can be instantly implemented into your curriculum. Take home many Illinois-specific supplemental materials. Continuing Professional Development Units 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. This workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Tree Homes, Lisle, June 22, 2013
From the camouflage of a walking stick insect to the nest of a great horned owl, animals of all shapes and sizes rely on the natural habitat created by trees for their daily needs. Learn about some of these amazing tree dwellers and how they use trees in a variety of ways as we explore the woodlands, wetlands and prairie at The Morton Arboretum. Although targeted to teachers of grades kindergarten through six, other educators are welcome to register and attend the workshop but may need to adapt the materials as appropriate. Continuing Professional Development Units are available. This workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Reserve IDNR Resources Trunks and Field Trip Packs for Spring
Now is a great time to make your spring reservations for the IDNR’s popular resources trunks and Field Trip Packs. Visit http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/teach.htm to access links to all of the resources trunks (Aquatic Illinois; Illinois Birds; Illinois Fossils; Illinois Insects and Spiders; Illinois’ Invasive Species; Illinois Prairies; Illinois’ State Symbols; Illinois Trees; Illinois Wild Mammals; and People and Animals from Illinois’ Past) and the Field Trip Pack. Each Web page has the content list, appropriate grade levels and contact information for the lending sites. These hands-on units contain field guides, posters, books, equipment, specimens and many other items. Reserve a trunk or pack today!
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. 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 email@example.com to schedule your workshop or for more information. Also, visit www.experiencedicksonmounds.com 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 for 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 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
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.
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. Sets #2 - 5 are available. 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 sets.
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! 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://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 firstname.lastname@example.org.