Illinois Department of Natural Resources
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Bob Bluett, 217-782-6384
“WILD ILLINOIS” LEADS STUDENTS ON A JOURNEY
TO LEARN ABOUT HISTORY AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. -- The Illinois Department of
Natural Resources 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 3
through 5 focus on early French exploration, along with river and
settlement geography. As a supplement to the Illinois history
curriculum, students learn how wildlife helped Native Americans and
early settlers survive. They then can see how wildlife is part of our
lives today. The website also highlights the 20th century conservation
movement, which changed how we think about and manage wildlife.
Toussaint Bouchard (Toos-SAHN BOO-shard), a fictional
French trapper who travels and trades in the 18th century Illinois
Territory, leads students through activities. Toussaint gives students
who complete the voyage instructions on how to make their own "possibles
bag," a small, easy-to-make leather pouch.
“Wild Illinois History is a beautifully designed
website that gives an overview of how wildlife influenced Illinois’
development,” says Bob Bluett, wildlife diversity biologist for the
Illinois DNR. “The website presents facts on history, culture, biology
and wildlife management. Furbearing mammals are a prime focus, due to
their economic value then and now.”
The website weaves purposeful sound, text and
graphics into rich experiences. Website elements allow for quick
downloads on dial-up connections. Brief story-telling slideshows are
mixed with fun, interactive activities.
The student section of the page can be part of an
organized classroom or school computer lab activity; individual students
also can use the website on their own.
For teachers, “Wild Illinois History” offers lesson
plans, activities, photos, posters and correlations to Illinois Learning
Standards. Through online evaluations, students and teachers gave the
website high marks, noting that the website was engaging, educational,
and easy to use.
To visit “Wild Illinois History,” go to
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