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New this Month - August 2020

Updating the Wild about. . . Web Pages
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Division of Education is updating the Wild about . . . series of Web pages. Wild about Illinois Snakes has been completed and Wild about Illinois Fishes is in progress. Find links to all the Wild about . . . series pages at here.

Species Search Pages
Many Biodiversity of Illinois species search pages have recently been posted to the IDNR Division of Education’s Web page, and many more will be added in the coming months. We are also working to make searching the large number of files easier for you. See what you can learn about the species in Illinois here.  

NEW! Illinois Birds: Volume V, Shorebirds Poster
The fifth in the Illinois Birds series of posters from the IDNR and the Illinois Audubon Society is now available. Illinois Birds: Volume V, Shorebirds is a two-sided, 24” by 36” poster that features 25 shorebird species that travel through, nest in and/or, for a few species, occasionally overwinter in the state. Shorebirds are often found around water or in places where the soil is wet as most of them feed by probing mud or damp soil with their bill to find small invertebrates to eat. The poster can be ordered from the publications Web page.

Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant Application Form for 2021 Available
Teachers of grades prekindergarten through 12 in Illinois, including home-schooling teachers, may apply to the IDNR to receive funding to support natural resources-related field trips. Bus transportation and substitute teacher fees are the primary expenses covered. Applications must be postmarked no later than January 31, 2021. The optional preliminary application deadline is January 15, 2021. Visit this Web page for the application form, instructional video podcasts and complete grant instructions. This program is made possible through the generous donations of the D. F. and M. T. Grohne Family Foundation in Wilmington and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation in Skokie. Funding is administered by the Illinois Conservation Foundation.

Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant Application Form for 2020
Would you like to implement or enhance wildlife habitat on the school grounds or other public place? The IDNR has funding to help you do so. Teachers, youth-group leaders and nature-center personnel can apply for up to $1,000.00 for projects such as pollinator gardens, butterfly gardens, prairie plots, bird nesting boxes, tree and shrub gardens and vernal pools. The 2020 application period is open now. There are two application options to select from: Option One for a Standard Pollinator Garden; and Option Two for a wildlife habitat of your choice. The final application deadline is November 30, 2020. The optional preliminary application deadline is October 31, 2020. You will find the application forms, instructions, instructional video podcasts and other information at this Web site. Funding is provided by the Jadel Family Foundation and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation of Skokie.

NEW! Illinois Department of Natural Resources Historic Sites Field Trip Grants
The IDNR is offering a new grant program to help teachers of grades prekindergarten through 12 in the state make history come alive for students. The IDNR Historic Sites Field Trip Grant program provides funding for field trips to select IDNR State Historic Sites. Up to $500.00 is available per winning application to reimburse the school for bus transportation costs. The grant program is competitive, and applications are due by September 30, 2020. Funding is provided by donations. Visit this following Web page for the application form, instructions and answers to frequently asked questions. The list of qualifying IDNR State Historic Sites is included in the application form.

Illinois’ Natural Resources Trading Cards and the Learning Standards
Illinois’ Natural Resources Trading Cards are meant to supplement teaching science and social science topics of the Next Generation Science Standards, Illinois Social Science Standards and Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards, but they can also be used to enhance learning in other subject areas. Visit this Web page to find suggestions for using the cards to support teaching of learning standards in science, social science, mathematics and English language arts. Do not be limited by these ideas. Use the cards to assist with your own curriculum in the manners that work best for you. If you have all six sets of cards, you can combine them to achieve the best results. Send us descriptions of other ways that you utilize the trading cards in your teaching, and we will add them to the list!

Upcoming ENTICE Professional Development Workshops
Register soon for ENTICE professional development workshops for educators sponsored by the IDNR. ENTICE workshops provide background information, networking opportunities, hands-on lessons, supplemental resources on the topic and the opportunity to work with resources professionals. Professional Development Hours are available. Correlations to relevant Next Generation Science Standards and/or Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards are provided. Shown below is a list of upcoming workshops. Visit https://www.enticeworkshops.com for details, the complete list of workshops and to register. Experience ENTICE!

Illinois Moths and Butterflies
Volo Bog State Natural Area, Ingleside
August 22, 2020, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Flutter in and join other educators of grades prekindergarten through eight as we are introduced to the butterflies and moths of Illinois! Jim Louderman of The Field Museum in Chicago will teach about butterfly and moth life history, identification, conservation and adaptations. Learn about Monarch Watch and other butterfly conservation programs. We will go outside to observe and identify butterflies and moths. Professional Development Hours are available. Teachers of other grade levels are welcome to register for this workshop but may need to adapt the materials for their students, as appropriate. Sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, this workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program. Professional Development Hours 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. Register here. Registration for this workshop will close at 8:00 a.m. on August 13, 2020.

Illinois Raptors
Illinois Raptor Center, Decatur
August 29, 2020, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Registration for this workshop is closed. If you are interested in attending the workshop, send a message to dnr.teachkids@illinois.gov and ask to be added to the waiting list for the Illinois Raptors workshop on August 29.

Prying into Prions: Investigating Chronic Wasting Disease
Pere Marquette State Park, Grafton
September 12, 2020, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Protein synthesis is a topic that many students will not be interested in studying, yet you can make it relevant by using this unit. Prion diseases are caused by errors in protein synthesis. One of those diseases, chronic wasting disease, is affecting the white-tailed deer population in Illinois. During this workshop for middle school and high school teachers, you will preview the six lessons and activities, video and other materials in the unit, “Prying into Prions: Investigating Chronic Wasting Disease.” You will receive this DVD unit and other supplemental materials and work with staff from the University of Illinois’ Wildlife Veterinary Epidemiology Laboratory. The information from this workshop can be used in teaching about protein synthesis, genetics, DNA replication, wildlife management and other topics. Professional Development Hours are available. Register here.

Energy and Survival
The Morton Arboretum, Lisle
September 19, 2020, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Bring your sunny disposition to The Morton Arboretum to learn how energy moves through an ecosystem and what plants and animals need to survive. Energy, cycles, producers, consumers, decomposers and adaptations will be among the topics covered. Designed for teachers of grades five through eight, educators of other grade levels are welcome to register for the workshop but may need to adapt the information, as appropriate. Illinois-specific resources will be provided. Professional Development Hours 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. Register here.

Data Collection Methods for Wildlife and Wildlife Habitats
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
September 26, 2020, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Scientific research requires standardized techniques that can be used to collect, analyze and share data. You can learn about some of these techniques and how to implement a few of them with your students to study local wildlife and wildlife habitats. Targeted to grades three through eight, the information and activities will assist you in meeting several Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Teachers of other grade levels are welcome to attend but may need to adapt the information and resources. Professional Development Hours 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. Register here.

Illinois Tree Squirrels
Kennekuk Environmental Education Center, Kennekuk County Park, Danville
October 3, 2020, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
How much do you really know about squirrels? Come to this workshop and learn about the life history of Illinois’ tree squirrels. We will go for a hike to observe squirrels and evidence of their presence. We will look at how you can use squirrel observations to help you meet some of the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards in science and Next Generation Science Standards and will introduce you to Project Squirrel, a citizen science program that can be incorporated into your teaching. Although targeted to teachers of grades prekindergarten through four, all educators are welcome to register for this workshop but may need to adapt the materials for their students, as appropriate. Supplemental resources will be provided. Professional Development Hours 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. Register here.

Illinois Prairies
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
October 10, 2020, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Registration for this workshop is closed. If you are interested in attending the workshop, send a message to dnr.teachkids@illinois.gov and ask to be added to the waiting list for the Illinois Prairies workshop on October 10, 2020.

Illinois Butterflies
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
October 24, 2020, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Flutter in and join other educators of grades prekindergarten through four as we are introduced to the butterflies of Illinois! Butterfly life history, identification, conservation and adaptations will be discussed. Information on developing butterfly habitat will also be included. Learn about Monarch Watch and other butterfly conservation programs. Correlations between the information presented and Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards and Next Generation Science Standards will be addressed. Supplemental educational resources will be provided. Professional Development Hours are available. Teachers of other grade levels are welcome to register for this workshop but may need to adapt the materials for their students, as appropriate. Sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, this workshop is part of the ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) program. Register here.
 
Asian Carps: Activities for Middle School and High School Students to Support the Teaching of Next Generation Science Standards
Starved Rock State Park, Utica
November 7, 2020, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Asian carps are nonnative fishes that have invaded the waterways of Illinois and many other states. These species are responsible for enormous economic, recreational and environmental impacts. At this workshop, we’ll provide an introduction to their life history as well as data to quantify their effects. Containment methods being used in Illinois to keep Asian carps out of Lake Michigan will be discussed. Student lessons relevant to Next Generation Science Standards MS-LS2-4 and HS-LS2-7 will be incorporated. Although targeted to middle school and high school educators, teachers of other grade levels are welcome to attend but may need to adapt the information as appropriate. Professional Development Hours 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. Register here.

Wildlife Conservation
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
November 14, 2020, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Join us for this exploration of wildlife conservation practices in the state. We’ll discuss what wildlife conservation is, how it is implemented and how it has changed over time. We’ll look at how changes in the environment can affect wildlife conservation and how people and legislation affect wildlife conservation, too. Correlations between the information presented and Next Generation Science Standards will be addressed. Although targeted to teachers of grades three through middle school, teachers of other grade levels are welcome to register for and attend this workshop but may need to adapt the information for their students, as appropriate. Supplemental educational resources will be provided. Professional Development Hours 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. Register here.

New Educator's Page Web Site from the Illinois State Museum
The dedicated site from the Illinois State Museum for educators is here! The Google Classroom has been transferred to a stand-alone site to make it more accessible. At this time, the former exhibits, We Are Illinoisans and The Story of Illinois, are open and accessible for you to use. The upcoming Fashioning Illinois, 1820-1900 exhibit is also available. Please keep checking back. More sections are planned. All of these are free resources for your use. You can access the Web site here.

New Family Fun Web Site from the Illinois State Museum
The Family Fun Web site from the Illinois State Museum hosts activities on subjects for families. There are activities, coloring pages, games and resources. These can be adapted for classroom and remote learning use. Please check it out. Many of new online programs are kept on this site for continued use by families and educators. You can access the Web site here.

August Kids for Conservation®: Illinois’ Venomous Snakes
The August edition of the IDNR Kids for Conservation® Web page features the topic of “Illinois’ Venomous Snakes.” You can learn basic facts about this topic in the information section. Watch the video podcast, too. Educators, there are resources for you to utilize. “Kids in Action” features students who are taking action to benefit the Illinois environment. A revised version of the “cache” archive page is available here.

Video Podcast – Illinois’ Venomous Snakes
The Illinois’ Venomous Snakes video podcast will be available on the Podcasts page. This video podcast will also be available on YouTube.

IDNR Publications for Order and/or Download
Many publications are available from the IDNR. They cover a variety of topics for educators and the public. All publications may be accessed through the order form. Posters, activity books, brochures and other items can help you learn and teach about the topics. Numerous items in Spanish-language versions may be ordered, too.

Reporting Monarch Educational Activities
The IDNR and its partners in the Illinois Monarch Project are collecting information about educational activities related to monarch butterflies. If you conducted any activities in 2020 related to educating people in Illinois about monarch butterflies or to enhancing or developing monarch habitat in Illinois, please send us a brief description (no more than three sentences) describing each activity. Include the date, a description of the activity, the targeted audience (if an educational activity), the organization or person leading the activity and an email address for someone who can answer questions about the activity. Submit the information to dnr.teachkids@illinois.gov. We will post the information on this IDNR Web site. This Web site is not intended to promote upcoming activities. We want to share information about efforts that have already taken place to help monarchs and their habitat. Please do not send photos. Thank you!

Visit Our Web Page for a Wealth of Resources
The IDNR Division of Education’s Web page offers a great variety of educational resources and information for teachers, home-schooling educators, nonformal educators, scout leaders, youth-group leaders and other people interested in learning about Illinois’ tremendous natural heritage. The “A to Z” button will allow you to access a list of topics. You’ll find basic information, lessons, activity books, grants, educator professional development, correlations to learning standards, video podcasts (with open captioning), species of Illinois, trunks and packs for loan and many other items. Let these supplemental resources support your teaching or just learn something new! Updates are made regularly so visit often!