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New this Month - September 2020

Back to School with the IDNR
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Division of Education offers many educational materials and programs to support the teaching of science and social science topics. Whether learning is taking place in the classroom or away from the school building, you will find options that can support your teaching. Visit our Web site to start your search. The “A to Z” button is a good place to begin, if you have a specific topic in mind. You will also find information about grants, publications and videos. The “Species Search” page contains a wealth of resources and will soon be easier to search. The Wild about. . . series of pages contains additional information. Spanish-language versions are available for some publications.

Updating the Wild about. . . Web Pages
The IDNR Division of Education is updating the Wild about . . . series of Web pages. Wild about Illinois Snakes, Wild about Illinois Mussels and Wild about Illinois Frogs and Toads have been completed and work continues to be done on the other pages. Find links to all the Wild about . . . series pages 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 at this Web page.
 
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 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 through March 2021. Visit the ENTICE Web site for details, the complete list of workshops through 2022 and to register. Experience ENTICE!

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.

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.

Winter Nature Phenomena
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
January 23, 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Winter provides many opportunities for learning about and observing seasonal changes and how nature is affected, especially as winter weather becomes increasingly unpredictable. Join us as we discuss winter-based phenomena to drive student investigations around topics like tracking weather changes, observing animal signs and interactions, and examining adaptations and methods for surviving the winter. We will take a hike to test our observational skills, too. You will receive many resources to support teaching this topic. Although targeted to teachers of grades kindergarten 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’ Amphibians and Reptiles
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
March 6, 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.

Illinois’ Amphibians
Henry Barkhausen Cache River Wetlands Visitors’ Center, Cypress
March 6, 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’ amphibians. We will take a hike to look and listen for amphibians, 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. Register here.

Creating and Keeping Collections
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
March 13, 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.

Pollinator Gardens
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
March 20, 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Pollinator populations are in decline, but you and your students can take actions to help them. By planting a native pollinator garden at your school, you can provide food and shelter for pollinators and a place of learning for students of all ages. We will discuss what makes a successful pollinator garden and how to maintain it. Connections to learning standards will also be provided. We will show you how to apply for an Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant to help fund your project, too. This workshop is targeted to educators of grades prekindergarten through 12. 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.

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 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.

September Kids for Conservation®: Illinois’ Spiders
The September edition of the IDNR Kids for Conservation® Web page features the topic of “Illinois’ Spiders.” 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.

Video Podcast – Illinois’ Spiders
The Illinois’ Spiders video podcast will be available on the Podcasts page. Search "Invertebrates." This video podcast will also be available on YouTube. Search "IDNREducation."

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 at 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 site 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!