Educational Adventures

In-school programs for pre-K through 12th grade students.

 
Let us come to you! Free science and nature programs for individual classrooms feature hands-on activities, and may include real animal and plant specimens and pre- and post-visit classroom handouts. Programs meet Illinois Learning Standards for specific grade levels and can be tailored to your needs. Naturalists are available for science and career fairs and other special requests, pending staff availability.
 
Contact individual Nature Centers for more information:

 

Program Storyline Time NGSS
Kindergarten
Beaks, Feet, & Feathers Birds use special adaptations (beaks, feet, and feathers) to survive. 30 min K-LS1.C, K-ESS2.E, K-ESS3.C, K-ESS3.A
Interesting Insects Insects, their needs and the jobs they perform in our world. 30-45 min K-LS1.C, K-ESS2.E, K-ESS3.A
Owls on the Prowl & Raptors Physical adaptations that all owls/raptors share and what these birds need in order to survive—food, water, shelter and space. 30 min K-LS1.C, K-ESS3.C, K-ESS3.A
Tremendous Trees Trees have multiple parts (roots, trunk, branches, leaves, flowers and seeds) that help them to function, survive and grow. 30 min K-LS1.C, K-ESS2.D, K-ESS2.E, K-ESS3.C, K-ESS3.A
1st Grade
Animal Coverings The type of covering an animal has (fur, feathers, scales, slimy skin) help that animal live, hunt, hide and move through its environment. 30-45 min 1-LS1.A, 1-LS3.A, 1-LS3.B
Beaks, Feet, & Feathers Birds, their needs and three of their important structures (beaks, feet, and feathers) and how they are used. 30-45 min 1-LS1.A, 1-LS1.B, 1-LS1.D, 1-LS3.A, 1-LS3.B
Interesting Insects What makes an insect an insect, their special body parts and interesting life cycles. 30-45 min 1-LS1.A, 1-LS1.B, 1-LS1.D
Owls on the Prowl & Raptors Physical adaptations of owls/raptors and how owls/raptors use these adaptations to survive. 45 min 1-LS1.A, 1-LS1.B, 1-LS1.D, 1-LS3.A, 1-LS3.B
Tremendous Trees Structures and functions of a tree’s external parts that help them to survive and grow—and how those structures and functions change over time. 30-45 min 1-LS1.A, 1-LS1.B, 1-LS1.D, 1-LS3.A, 1-LS3.B
2nd Grade
Animal Homes Wild animals use many different materials and techniques to make shelter for themselves and their young. 30-45 min 2-LS2.A, 2-LS4.D, K-2-EST1.C
Beaks, Feet, & Feathers Birds use their beak, feet, and feathers to build structures, different types of birds live in different natural habitats, and birds use different natural materials to build their nests. 45 min 2-LS2.A, 2-LS4.D
Interesting Insects Insects need and are needed by plants and animals, and live in almost every place around the world. 30-45 min 2-LS2.A, 2-LS4.D
Owls on the Prowl & Raptors Differences among owls/raptors and why owls/raptors live in different habitats. 60 min 2-LS4.D
Tremendous Trees Trees depend on their environment to function, survive and grow—and that environment in turn depends on trees. Different kinds of trees grow in different environments. 30-45 min 2-LS2.A, 2-LS4.D
3rd Grade
Animal Homes Wildlife have adaptations that enable them to use natural materials to create homes for their young and/or shelter for themselves. Some animals work together as a group to protect the home and raise the young. 30-45 min 3-LS1.B, 3-LS2.D, 3-LS4.C
Beaks, Feet, & Feathers Different types of birds have adapted different structures (beaks, feet, and feathers) over a long period of time, and they use these structures for survival. Bird life cycles, the environmental impacts on local native bird species and ways people can help local bird populations. 45-60 min 3-LS1.B, 3-LS2.D, 3-LS3.A, 3-LS3.B, 3-LS2.C, 3-LS4.B, 3-LS4.C, 3-LS4.D
Interesting Insects Insects fill important roles as pollinators and as food other insects and animals—and are able to change their surroundings to make what they need. 30-45 min 3-LS1.B, 3-LS2.D, 3-LS4.C, 3-LS4.D
Owls on the Prowl & Raptors Different nesting seasons of owls/raptors and how changes in owl/raptor habitat may affects these birds. 60 min 3-LS1.B, 3-LS3.A, 3-LS3.B, 3-LS2.C, 3-LS4.B, 3-LS4.C, 3-LS4.D
Tremendous Trees Internal and external structures and functions of trees and how they adapt to the environmental conditions and changes around them, enabling them to grow and reproduce. 30-45 min 3-LS1.B, 3-LS2.C, 3-LS4.C, 3-LS4.D
4th Grade
Animal Homes Wildlife have specialized physical and behavioral (colonial/family groups) adaptations that enable them to use natural materials to create homes for raising their young. These adaptations can allow some animals to dramatically change a landscape (beaver dams, groundhog tunnels, etc.). 30-45 min 4-LS1.A, 4-LS1.D, 4-ESS2.E
Beaks, Feet, & Feathers Birds use their structures (beak, feet, and feathers) to acquire survival needs from the natural world. How birds use and process their external and internal needs, and how birds communicate. 45-60 min 4-LS1.A, 4-LS1.D
Owls on the Prowl & Raptors External physical features of owls/raptors and how owls/raptors use these features to survive. 60 min 4-LS1.A, 4-LS1.D
Tremendous Trees Internal and external structures and functions of trees and how they adapt to the environmental conditions and changes around them, enabling them to grow and reproduce. How vital trees are to the ecosystems and life on earth. 30-45 min 4-LS1.A
5th Grade
Beaks, Feet, & Feathers Birds survive the winter through migration, active overwintering, and the use of their structural adaptations (beaks, feet, and feathers). External cues and stimuli—weather, climate, length of sunlight hours during the day, the sun and the stars—can help indicate and guide bird migration. 45-60 min 5-LS1.C, 5-LS2.A
Owls on the Prowl & Raptors Energy flows through a food web that includes owls/raptors. 60 min 5-PS3.D, 5-LS1.C, 5-LS2.A, 5-LS2.B, 5-ESS3.C
Tremendous Trees Through the capture of energy from the sun, trees and other plants are the backbone of the most basic and necessary relationships on earth, and are therefore critical producers and supporters of life on earth. 30-45 min 2-LS2, 2-LS2.A, 2-LS4, 2-LS4.D, K-2-ETS1, K-2-EST1.C
5th–8th Grades
Beaks, Feet, & Feathers Birds survive the winter through migration, active overwintering, and the use of their structural adaptations (beaks, feet, and feathers). External cues and stimuli—weather, climate, length of sunlight hours during the day, the sun and the stars—can help indicate and guide bird migration. 45-60 min MS-LS1.A, MS-LS1.B, MS-LS2.A, MS-LS2.C, MS-LS3.A, MS-LS3.B, MS-LS4.B, MS-LS4.C
Local Geology The geologic time scale, and how the Earth’s rock and mineral materials and ecosystems interact, cycle and change due to plate tectonics, climate, pressure and other factors—through an investigation of local rocks and fossils. 60-90 min MS-ESS1.C, MS-ESS2.A, MS-ESS2.B, MS-LS2.B
Owls on the Prowl & Raptors Role owls/raptors have in ecosystems and how changes in the ecosystem affect owl/raptor populations. 60 min MS-LS2.A, MS-LS2.B, MS-LS2.C, MS-LS4.D
6th–8th Grades
Tremendous Trees Biodiversity, interdependency and the role of trees in ecosystems and how they adapt to the environmental conditions and changes around them, enabling them to grow and reproduce. 45-50 min MS-LS1, MS-LS2.A, MS-LS2.B, MS-LS2.C
9th–12th Grades
Tremendous Trees Dependence of humans on trees in regards to resources and other benefits and how human activity can adversely impact tree populations. Developing sustainability standards to protect and preserve tree populations in order to support and enhance life on earth. 30-45 min HS-LS2.A, HS-LS2.C, HS-LS4.D
Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County