New this Month
New Poster from the IDNR and Illinois Audubon Society
Illinois Birds: Volume II, Wood-warblers is the second poster produced as a cooperative effort between the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Division of Education and the Illinois Audubon Society. This 24” x 36” poster has photographs of all the wood-warblers known to nest in the state as well as information about each species. Available now, you can order the poster at http://dnr.state.il.us/teachkids.
Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant Applications are due by November 30, 2011!
The IDNR Division of Education has recently received grants from both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Education program to expand the Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program! Due to these partnerships, we are increasing the maximum available funds per Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant application to $1,000! The Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program provides funds to establish or enhance wildlife habitat on the school grounds or other public place and is available to teachers, youth group leaders and nature center personnel. Butterfly gardens, rain gardens, prairie plots and wetlands are just some of the projects that qualify. Visit http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/grants.htm to access the application form. Application deadline: November 30, 2011. Additional funding for this program has been provided by the Jadel Youth Fund and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation of Skokie.
Illinois Conservation Foundation Offers Conservation Achievement Scholarships for High School Seniors
Application deadline: November 30, 2011
The Illinois Conservation Foundation will honor high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding efforts to preserve, protect, enhance and/or promote Illinois’ natural resources with the awarding of three Conservation Achievement Scholarships. One $5,000 scholarship, one $3,000 scholarship and one $2,000 scholarship are available. The applicant must be an Illinois resident and a senior in an Illinois high school during the 2011-2012 school year. Voluntary, effective contributions to Illinois’ natural resources throughout the applicant’s high school enrollment must be documented. Other criteria also apply. The application form can be accessed at https://www.ilcf.org/scholarships/default.aspx. Applications must be received by November 30, 2011. Questions may be addressed to Donna Ferguson at email@example.com or 217-785-2003.
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 for fall are listed below.
- The Effects of Climate Change on Illinois Plants (online), November 7-20, 2011 Registration closes at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 3, 2011.
- Illinois Birds: Raptors, November 17, 2011, Sugar Grove Nature Center, McLean Registration closes at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 10, 2011 or before that date if the maximum number of registrants allowed is reached.
- Prying into Prions: Investigating Chronic Wasting Disease (online), January 9-22, 2012
- Tracks, Scats and Habitats, Fullerton Woods, Oak Brook, January 19, 2012
- Illinois’ Urban Wildlife, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, February 11, 2012
- Mammals from Illinois’ Past (online), February 13-26, 2012
For more information and to register, visit https://www.enticeworkshops.com.
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.
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.
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. “Rivers of Riches” and “River-created and River-related Careers“ are now available. “River Navigation Today: Locks, Dams and Barges” will be posted soon. New features are available for Aquatic Illinois, too, including 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.
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 or meet 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.
Spanish-language Educational Materials
Do you work with students whose primary language is Spanish or are you a Spanish-language teacher? If so, have you used the Spanish-language resources from the IDNR? Visit http://dnr.state.il.us/teachkids to find the activity books and posters available in Spanish. New for 2011 is the Illinois Fishing Guide in a Spanish-language version, too.
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.
Project WET Teachers' Workshop at Volo Bog State Natural Area
Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Environmental educator Cyndi Duda will conduct this workshop for grades kindergarten through 12 instructors. This program may include some outdoor time so participants should dress appropriately. The $10.00 workshop fee is payable to the Friends of Volo Bog and includes refreshments and extra materials. Registration is required. Register at email@example.com or 815-344-1294. Group size is limited so please register soon. Volo Bog State Natural Area is located in Ingleside, Illinois, which is in Lake County.
IDNR Publications Web Page
Have you ordered or downloaded publications from the IDNR lately? Go to http://dnr.state.il.us/teachkids to see the wide variety of posters, activity books, books and other publications available about the state’s diverse natural resources.
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.
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 (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.
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