The Education Office:The Prairie - Our Heartland Teacher Program
The Prairie - Our Heartland (3-5)
Updated to align with the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Language Arts and Math, this interdisciplinary unit conveys the story of the Illinois tallgrass prairie and its community. Learn how to entice your students to become ecology stewards as they gain knowledge of prairie and woodland biodiversity. The program includes an instructional unit, a professional development workshop and a free docent-led field experience at Fermilab.
About the Workshop
Teachers gain content knowledge of the prairie, its history, and ecology. The many classroom lessons and activities incorporate language arts, mathematics, science, social sciences, and art.
"I have learned so much and am so excited to teach this unit. Who knew the prairie could be so interesting?"
"It enhanced my science and social studies teaching and I found some great ideas for writing too."
In the Classroom
The students learn the importance of the prairie throughout Illinois history. How did Native Americans and settlers value the prairie? What effect have human actions had on the prairie? What does it mean to be a steward of the prairie today?
"The whole experience is fabulous & fits our curriculum perfectly. Thank you for a great experience."
About the Field Trip (3-5 Grades Only)
Teachers who attend the workshop may bring students to Fermilab for free field trips every year. Students will use scientific practices as they observe the bison herd and explore the prairie and woodland ecosystems including the soil, plants, and insects. When scheduling a field trip, consider the season chosen for prairie study. The fall prairie offers the most varied array of mature plants while spring studies may revolve around woodland wildflowers and prairie emergence.
"The docents were so informative—everyone commented on the plethora of information they gave. Thank you for another great field trip..."
"The hands-on experience my students gained was absolutely priceless!"
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