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New this Month - May 2021

Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant and Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant Applications: Start Planning Now!
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Education offers grants to support taking students on field trips to study Illinois’ natural heritage and to develop wildlife on the school grounds or another public place. Applications are being accepted for both programs now. Visit this Web page and click on the appropriate logo to access the application forms and instructions.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Historic Sites Field Trip Grants
The IDNR offers a 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, 2021. Funding is provided by donations. Visit the 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 Set #2
Illinois’ Natural Resources Trading Cards Set #2 has been reprinted and is now available from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Education. The set features 63 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, invertebrates and plants that live in the state. The front of each card shows a photograph of the species, its scientific name or other classification and its habitat association. The back of the card provides life history information about the species. If you have all seven sets of cards, you can show your students more than 400 animals, plants, fungi, protists, rocks and fossils from the state. The cards are available by written request on school letterhead from teachers in Illinois schools. There is a limit of one set of cards per teacher. Send your request to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Division of Education, 1 Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702.

Upcoming ENTICE Professional Development Workshops
Register soon for ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) professional development workshops for educators sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. 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 the ENTICE Web page for details, the complete list of workshops and to register. Experience ENTICE!

Wildlife Conservation
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
May 8, 2021, 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. REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP WILL CLOSE AT 8:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY, APRIL 29, 2021, OR SOONER IF THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF REGISTRANTS IS REACHED.

Illinois Butterflies
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
May 15, 2021, 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! The emphasis of this workshop will be on butterfly conservation and the related work of staff members of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in the field and lab. Information on developing butterfly habitat on the school grounds and how to incorporate learning activities related to it will also be included. 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. REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP IS CLOSED. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ATTENDING THIS WORKSHOP, SEND A MESSAGE TO DNR.TEACHKIDS@ILLINOIS.GOV STATING THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE PLACED ON THE WAITING LIST FOR THE MAY 15, 2021, WORKSHOP.

Insects, Arachnids and Isopods: Oh My!
Kendall County Forest Preserve District, Yorkville
June 5, 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
What animals are invertebrates, have a segmented body, an exoskeleton and paired, jointed appendages? They are arthropods! They include insects, crustaceans, spiders, centipedes, millipedes and their relatives. Join us for this introduction to the types of arthropods present in Illinois. We will discuss their diversity, classification, life cycles, adaptations and importance to other organisms. Learn how to incorporate them into your lessons to support the teaching of Next Generation Science Standards and Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards and take part in hands-on activities. Supplemental educational resources will be provided. Although targeted to grades prekindergarten through four, all educators are welcome to register for the workshop, but the information may need to be adapted, as appropriate. 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.

Wildlife Basics for Early Childhood Educators: Schoolyard Wildlife
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
June 12, 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
This workshop for educators of grades prekindergarten through two will provide you with the information and resources that you need to successfully teach about and observe wildlife species at your school. We will focus on the life history of common wildlife species that you might see, and we’ll go on a hike to look for wildlife and their signs. You will receive training in using basic equipment. We will also discuss developing wildlife habitat on your school grounds. We will show you how to support the teaching of several of the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards for science and Next Generation Science Standards with your students. You’ll take away numerous resources and plants to use with young children when learning about nature. 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. REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP IS CLOSED. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ATTENDING THIS WORKSHOP, SEND A MESSAGE TO DNR.TEACHKIDS@ILLINOIS.GOV STATING THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE PLACED ON THE WAITING LIST FOR THE JUNE 12, 2021, WORKSHOP.

Illinois Turtles
Cache River Visitors’ Center, Cypress
June 15, 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Join us for this workshop as we learn about the life history and identification of Illinois’ 17 species of turtles. We will take a hike to look for turtles, and you will participate in hands-on, educational activities. Resources will be provided to help you incorporate the topic into your curriculum. Although targeted to teachers of grades prekindergarten through four, educators of other grade levels are welcome to register for the workshop but may need to adapt the information and activities, as appropriate. Correlations to relevant Next Generation Science Standards and Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards will be provided and discussed. 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. REGISTRATION FOR THIS WORKSHOP IS CLOSED. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ATTENDING THIS WORKSHOP, SEND A MESSAGE TO DNR.TEACHKIDS@ILLINOIS.GOV STATING THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE PLACED ON THE WAITING LIST FOR THE JUNE 15, 2021, WORKSHOP.

Illinois Birds for Junior High School and High School Teachers
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, Lemont
June 18, 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Bring the biodiversity of Illinois birds into your classroom. Targeted for educators of junior high school and high school, this workshop will focus on the ecology of birds. We will spend time in the field studying avian behavior and participating in a bird-banding demonstration. We will also provide bird-banding data sets for two species of birds to take back to your classroom for students to analyze and interpret. You will leave feeling confident leading students in observing and interpreting birds while meeting Next Generation Science Standards. Educators of other grade levels are welcome to register for the workshop, but the information may need to be adapted, as appropriate. 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.

Creating and Keeping Collections
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
June 19, 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
For more than 160 years the Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has been assembling and maintaining a variety of natural history specimens and collections. Learn about the Museum’s collections and why collections are important for both scientific and educational purposes. We’ll discuss how to build and maintain a collection, guidelines for collecting natural materials and how to use living and preserved collections in the classroom. Participate in numerous hands-on activities and take home many supplemental resources. Educators will be pinning dead invertebrates as part of this workshop. 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. This workshop is suitable for teachers of all grade levels. Register here.

Illinois’ Amphibians and Reptiles
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Chicago, June 26, 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
The slimy and scaly creatures of Illinois will be featured in this workshop for educators of grades prekindergarten through eight. We will learn about their life history and will take a hike to look for reptiles and amphibians. We will provide you with resources and activities. Regulations regarding keeping these animals in the classroom will also be discussed. Teachers of other grade levels are welcome to register for this workshop but may need to adapt the materials for their students, as appropriate. Professional Development Hours are available. Correlations between the information presented and Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards and Next Generation Science Standards will be addressed. 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.

Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly: Saving an Endangered Species
Urban Stream Research Center, Warrenville
July 9, 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Join biological field staff from the Forest Preserve District of Du Page County who will teach us about the efforts being undertaken by their organization to save the endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly. We will go on a guided tour of the state-of-the-art Urban Stream Research Center and take part in activities to use in the classroom. We will see dragonflies and crayfish and participate in hands-on field work. Participants should dress for being outdoors. Although targeted to educators of grades five through 12, all educators are welcome to register for this workshop but may need to adapt the materials for their students, as appropriate. 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 Butterflies and Moths
Vermilion County Conservation District, Kennekuk Environmental Education Center, Kennekuk County Park, Danville
July 10, 2021, 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 will teach about butterfly and moth life history, identification, conservation and adaptations. Learn about Monarch Watch and other butterfly conservation programs. We’ll 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.

Illinois Tree Squirrels
Hoover Forest Preserve, Kendall County Forest Preserve District, Yorkville
July 17, 2021, 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.

Marvelous Mussels
Jake Wolf Memorial Fish Hatchery, Topeka, Illinois
July 20, 2021, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Did you know that mussels are not just found in the ocean and the grocery store seafood case? Join Illinois Department of Natural Resources fisheries staff members for this hands-on workshop about freshwater mussels. Participants will learn the biology behind these bioindicators and the human activities that made these “livers of the river” largely disappear from American waters. Educators will also get a chance to handle live specimens while learning how to identify both native and invasive species of mollusks. It is sure to be a “shell” of a good time! Although targeted to teachers of grades four through middle school, educators of other grade levels are welcome to register and attend the workshop 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.

Animal Investigators
The Morton Arboretum, Lisle
July 24, 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Be on the lookout for animals all around you at this workshop at The Morton Arboretum. Designed for educators of grades prekindergarten through four, you will learn how to spot animals all around by finding evidence, identifying homes and learning how animals survive through winter and through time. Illinois-specific educational resources will be provided, and suggestions will be given for using them to help you meet Next Generation Science Standards. Teachers of other grade levels are welcome to register and attend the workshop 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.

Illinois Moths and Butterflies
Volo Bog State Natural Area, Ingleside
August 7, 2021, 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 will teach about butterfly and moth life history, identification, conservation and adaptations. Learn about Monarch Watch and other butterfly conservation programs. We’ll 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.

May Kids for Conservation®: Illinois’ Land Snails and Slugs
The May edition of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Kids for Conservation® Web page features the topic “Illinois’ Land Snails and Slugs.” 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.

May Video Podcast – Illinois’ Land Snails and Slugs
The Illinois’ Land Snails and Slugs video podcast is available on the Podcasts page. This video podcast is also available on YouTube.

Wild about Illinois. . .
The latest entries into the Wild about Illinois. . . series cover the wild mammals of the state. You’ll find much more to explore on this Web page as well.

Giant City State Park Provides Monthly Topics for Teachers
If you teach in the Carbondale area or other parts of southern Illinois, you can ask to be added to the monthly teachers’ topic email from the Natural Resources Coordinator at Giant City State Park. Each month you will receive an email with links to teaching resources and learning standards for the topic as well as ideas on how you could teach about the topic by bringing your students to Giant City State Park. For more information or to sign up, send an email to Jennifer Randolph at jennifer.randolph@illinois.gov.

Starved Rock State Park Interpretive Web Page
There are teacher field trip packets for pre-, during- and post-visits to Starved Rock State Park as well as the seasonal Starved Rock Saplings educational packets for families, homeschool students and teachers to utilize in their own neighborhoods or at the park. 

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 2021 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 the IDNR Web site here. 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!