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Kids for Conservation®: "Animal Signs" Photos, Observations and Stories/Poems/Artwork Needed
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources' (IDNR) Division of Education’s Kids for Conservation® program is requesting information monthly from Illinois youth (younger than age 18). We will feature images, stories/poems/artwork about our topic and a map with locations highlighted. Visit http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/outreach/kidsconservation/Pages/default.aspx for details. February’s featured topic is "Animal Signs." Kids for Conservation® is great for participation by students, youth groups and families. March's topic will be "Frogs and Toads." Teachers, be sure to join our "Animal Signs" Webinar on February 19 from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.! Login instructions will be posted at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/ on February 19.
Apply Now for Earth Day in the Parks! Webinar to be Held on February 3!
Earth Day in the Parks, the IDNR's natural-resources stewardship program for students, will be held in April and May 2015 at participating Illinois state parks. Applications will be accepted until February 28, 2015. Visit http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/EDITPinstruct.htm to access the application form and the list of participating state parks. Information on this Web site will be updated regularly so check back often. Learn more about this program by participating in our Webinar on February 3 from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Login instructions will be posted at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/ on February 3.
Standards-based Lesson Plans
The IDNR offers lessons developed with Illinois Learning Standards as their foundation. You can download them at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/Kits.htm or http://dnr.state.il.us/education/standards.htm. You'll find several topics to choose from for a variety of grade levels.
Wildlife in the Classroom
The Wildlife in the Classroom publication from the IDNR has 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. New lending locations have been added! 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. Make your spring resources trunks reservations now!
Upcoming ENTICE Professional Development Schedule
Register today 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 May 31, 2015. For workshop details and to register, visit https://www.enticeworkshops.com.
Animal Communities, The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, February 21, 2015 REGISTRATION WILL CLOSE AT 8:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2015, OR SOONER IF THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF REGISTRANTS IS REACHED.
Tracks, Scats and Habitats, Shawnee National Forest Office, Harrisburg, March 21, 2015
Tracks, Scats and Habitats, Sugar Grove Nature Center, McLean, March 31, 2015
Using Resources Trunks to Teach the NGSS, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, April 11, 2015
Illinois Biodiversity 101, Online, April 13-26, 2015
Illinois Wetland Ecosystem Organisms, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, April 18, 2015
Using Children's Nonfiction in Prek-Second Grade Science, Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, April 25, 2015
Using Children's Nonfiction in Prek-Second Grade Science, Western Illinois University Moline Campus, Moline, May 2, 2015
Introducing Early Childhood Students to Nature, Heller Nature Center, Highland Park, May 9, 2015
Aquatic Ecosystems: Lake Michigan Ecology, The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, May 16, 2015
Central Illinois Educators: Fishing and Aquatic Ecology Programs 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Winter and Spring Programs from Dickson Mounds Museum
Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown has many programs scheduled for winter. 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 unless a fee is indicated in the descriptions below. Donations are always appreciated.
Adults and their tots will have fun exploring, discovering and learning on the first Thursday of the month (except January due to the holiday) 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. Participants will enjoy light refreshments. This program series is sponsored by Better Banks of Astoria, Cass Communications, Havana National Bank, MidAmerica National Bank and Vaughn’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. Topics are as follows: February 5 - Clay Creations; March 5 - Wild Mammals; April 2 - Trees.
Eagle Day Festival
Activities include art and poetry competitions, crafts for kids, live raptor programs and bird watching. Sponsored by Dickson Mounds Museum, The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the University of Illinois Springfield Therkildsen Field Station, the Illinois Natural History Survey, Fulton and Mason County Arts Councils, Havana and Lewistown Chambers of Commerce, Havana Public Library District and Nature Center and Emiquon Audubon Society. Events will be held at Dickson Mounds Museum and the cities of Lewistown and Havana. Saturday, February 7, 2015, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., All Ages
The public is welcome to view flint knapping demonstrations during the Museum’s Second Annual Weekend Knap-In. Learn about the different techniques used by several craftsmen and see their stone tool creations. Saturday, February 28, 2015, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 1, 2015, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., All Ages
Artifact ID Day
Museum staff and other experts will be available to identify your artifacts, rocks, fossils, animal bones and perhaps anything else you may be curious about. If you don’t have any items to identify, be sure to stop in anyway to see these artifacts and live demonstrations.
Sunday, March 1, 2015, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., All Ages
Kids' Day—Wild about Animals in Illinois
Learn about various animals through skulls, tracks, scats, skins and even live creatures. Kids will enjoy hands-on activities and crafts to take home. The Peoria Park District ZooMobile will present a program featuring live animals at 2:00 p.m. in the Museum’s auditorium. Tickets for the program are free and are available on a first come, first served basis beginning at 12:00 p.m. the day of the event. Seating is limited. Saturday, March 7, 2015, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., 5 years + with adult
Nature Trek: Bird Watching at Emiquon
Meet at the Emiquon Wetland Observatory for a morning of bird watching. Novice and seasoned birders are welcome. This trip also offers a good opportunity to photograph or sketch wildlife. Binoculars will be available. Light breakfast refreshments will be served while bird watching. This program will be held at The Wetland Observatory, Emiquon Preserve. Saturday, April 4, 2015, 7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m., All Ages
Ben’s Bubble Show
Join us for this unique form of family entertainment. See Ben use his bare hands to create beautiful, humorous and mind-boggling soap bubble sculptures. Enjoy viewing bubbles within bubbles, smoke bubbles, spinning belt bubbles and geometric shaped bubbles. Participants will learn about the science behind these creations. Seating is limited. Free tickets will be available at noon the day of the show and may be picked up in the Museum’s lobby on a first come, first served basis. Sunday, April 19, 2015, 1:00 p.m., All Ages
The Illinois Valley Archaeological Society (IVAS) gathers at Dickson Mounds Museum at 7:00 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month. Each month there is a presentation on contemporary archaeological research in the region, which is open to the general public. The lecture is followed by monthly meetings of IVAS members, who pay annual dues of $15 and receive the quarterly newsletter Illinois Antiquity.
Podcasts Available on Many Topics
Let the IDNR Division of Education's video podcasts help you teach about a variety of topics. New topics are added regularly. There are basic informational podcasts as well as those to help you prepare for teaching lessons from the IDNR. The Hey IDNR, How Do I. . .? podcasts provide instructions for students in a variety of tasks. We also have virtual tours of several sites. Visit our Web page at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/podcasts.htm or go to our YouTube and iTunes pages to access the podcasts.
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 email@example.com to schedule your workshop or for more information. Also, visit http://www.museum.state.il.us/ismsites/dickson/events.html 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 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/Pages/default.aspx 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.