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The Education Office: Science Storylines of the Prairie Teacher Program

Science Storylines of the Prairie (3–5)
About the Workshop

Drive student learning with natural phenomena!

Teachers will engage in the three dimensions of NGSS and learn how to use natural phenomena to create student-generated storylines which will motivate learning through a sequence of investigations. The many classroom lessons and activities incorporate language arts, mathematics, science, social sciences, and art.

This NGSS-focused unit conveys the history of the Illinois tallgrass prairie and its community. The program includes a professional development workshop, an instructional unit, and a free Education-Facilitator-led field experience at Fermilab.

"Teaching with storylines has increased engagement and ownership in my students' learning through purposeful experiences."

"The unique Fermilab field trip experience offers both teachers and students an authentic learning opportunity"

"The hands-on experience my students gained was absolutely priceless!"

In the Classroom

Students use science and engineering practices to lead to an understanding of disciplinary core ideas which build science knowledge, reach performance expectations, and bring the beauty and appreciation of Midwestern ecosystems into the classroom.

The students learn how to drive their own investigations to answer their questions about the phenomena. They will learn what it means to become ecology stewards as they discover the environmental value of the prairie, bison and woodland biodiversity. They will also investigate the social importance of the prairie throughout Illinois history and what it means be a steward of the prairie, today. How can this responsibility transfer to the schoolyard, community and planet?

About the Field Trip

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. Use the Field Trip Request Form.

Teacher Workshop
Date:Canceled for summer 2020
Time:8:00 AM–4:00 PM
8:00 AM–5:20 PM (for graduate credit)
2 semester hours graduate credit available through the University of St. Francis (additional fee applies). Click here for more information.
ISBE recertification:22 PDHs (non-credit)

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