Teacher's Guide–Introduction

Ed Home - Sampler Index

What was Illinois like 200 years ago? Illinois, called the "Prairie State," was once covered by 40,000 square miles of tall grass prairie. This ecosystem was home to grasses, forbs and a diverse population of animals. But today less than 4 square miles of the Illinois' prairie still exist.

Fermilab, a National Environmental Research Park, is helping to preserve the heritage of Illinois by restoring the tall grass prairie and maintaining a bison herd. The Prairie - Our Heartland, Elementary Prairie Program for the Stewards of the Next Generation, is a multidisciplinary prairie adventure and gives upper elementary students an opportunity to be scientists, gathering data and making observations.

The curriculum provides standards-based activities in science, language arts, mathematics, social science and fine arts. Teachers, attending the workshop, may schedule Fermilab docent-led field trips for their students to do field studies in the prairie.

The hands-on, interactive focus of this program enlightens a future generation to this fragile, beautiful world. In so doing, we accentuate the students' responsibility to maintain what remains or is restored of our ancestors' prairie and become prairie stewards for the next generation.

We have prepared this sampler (1.5 MB) to give educators a preview of the unit. (PDF format) You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them.)

We have also prepared a list of online resources and bibliography (pdf - 90kB).