Elementary & Middle School

Cross-Curricular Programs at the Preserves:

Full-Day Field Trips

For a well-rounded education experience, schedule two programs for your class in one day. Up to two classrooms (60 students) can be accommodated. Or, you can schedule a historical program and visit the one-room schoolhouse on the same day! For example, in the morning, one class could attend a Plant Science program while the other attends a Historical Education program. Both classes eat lunch, and then switch programs in the afternoon.

Participants must bring their own sack lunches. Fees are per student per program. For example, the fee for two programs for a Champaign County school is a total of $3 per student. Time slots are limited, so please call early.

Prairie Adventures

Prairie Adventures integrates science and social studies, providing an interdisciplinary learning experience for students grades 3-6. This program explores the interdependency of Illinois prairie animals, plants and people in the past and present. Prairie Adventures is offered September through October at the Museum of the Grand Prairie, Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden and Buffalo Trace Prairie in Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve in Mahomet.

Programs begin around 9:30 a.m., break for lunch, and ends at 1:00 p.m. Up to three classes can be accommodated. Fees for the program are $3 per student for Champaign County schools, and $4.50 per student for out-of-county schools. Teachers and chaperones are free.

Reservations made by Aug. 20 call early for reservations-this program fills up fast, contact Katie at ksnyder@ccfpd.org or (217) 586-2612.

Environmental Programs at the Preserves

CCFPD offers a variety of programming topics focused on the disciplinary core ideas and cross-cutting concepts in the Next Generation Science Standards (IL. Standards for Science). They are coupled with active learning experiences modeling a number of science and engineering practices. Develop, Plan and Analyze with us! Please contact Stacey Clementz, sclementz@ccfpd.org, to discuss how to adapt our programming to fit your needs.

Aquatic Ecologist

Students will discuss how watersheds are related to water quality. Then they will test water quality using simple kits and compare results with the aquatic organisms they collect. Pre-trip review of vocabulary is essential for this program.
Mid-April - Mid-October
Grades 3-8
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Common Core: RI1, SL1&3

Birds of a Feather

Students will learn basic bird identification and explore their amazing adaptations. Then we'll go on a hike to find birds living in the preserves.
Year-Round
Grades K-8
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Common Core: SL1&3

Branching Out With Trees

Students will broaden their knowledge about trees as they hike and learn to identify trees through distinguishing characteristics such as bark and leaf shape.
May-November
Grades K-8
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Common Core: SL1&3

Frog Follies

Explore the frog and toad life cycle. Have a hoppin' good time while singing in a frog chorus and turning a classmate into a frog.
Mid-April - Mid-October
Grades K-4
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Common Core: SL1&3

Hatchet

This program is designed to complement Hatchet, a story of a young boy's adventure in the wilderness by Gary Paulsen. Students will interpret the book through hands-on activities, including basic survival skills. Program is available only at Homer Lake Forest Preserve.
Year-Round
Grades 4-6
Program Length: 2 hours
Common Core: RI1, RL1&3, SL1&3

Illinois Mammals

Learn about Illinois mammals and how the presence of wildlife has changed since Illinois was settled. We will transform a classmate into a mammal and then search for clues left behind by area mammals.
Year-Round
Grades K-8
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Common Core: SL1&3

Into Insects

Students have the opportunity to go searching for these six-legged creatures. Discover what makes an insect unique and where these creatures are hiding.
April - November
Grades K-5
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Common Core: SL1&3

The Nature of Winter

Take a break from being indoors and gain a new appreciation for this surprisingly active time of year. Students will explore physical and behavioral adaptations that allow local flora and fauna to survive winter, and then hike to observe these firsthand.
December - March
Grades K-5
Program Length: 1-1.5 hours
Common Core: SL1&3

Prairie Patterns

Students will explore the plants, animals and history of the Illinois prairie as we hike through the forest preserve. Watch as we turn a student into a prairie animal!
June-November
Grades K-8
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Common Core: SL1&3

Remarkable Reptiles

Learn more about the anatomy and adaptations of these ancient creatures. Students get an opportunity to meet our resident reptiles.
April - October
Grades K-8
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Common Core: SL1&3

Sights and Sounds of Nature

Students will hike and explore the wonders of our natural world. Students will be engaged in a variety of hands-on discovery activities using their senses.
Year-Round
Grades K-8
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Common Core: SL1&3

Historical Programs at the Museum of the Grand Prairie:

FEATURED PROGRAM

This year students will have the added benefit of touring the 2018 special exhibit,
“1968: A Time for Every Purpose.” At the Museum of the Grand Prairie (May to December 2018). And the students at the Homer Lake Interpretive Center may view its special exhibit, “From Rail to Trail.” (April to December 2018).

Holidays Past

How did Germany influence Christmas in America? Has Santa Claus always looked the same? What do you know about Hannukah? Dabble in the history of the holidays, and make an historic holiday decoration to take home.
Grades K-8
Program Length: 1 hour 
Common Core: SL1, SL2, SL3, SL4

Discovering Champaign County’s Lincoln

Before Lincoln became one of our country’s most revered and respected presidents, he was a simple country lawyer riding the Eighth Judicial Circuit through several Illinois counties, including Champaign. This program helps your students discover Lincoln’s connections to our community, where he worked, made friends, and built his political career.
Grades K-8
Program Length: 1 - 1.5 hours

First Illinoisans

Native Americans lived in Central Illinois for thousands of years before the Euro-Americans arrived. What was life like for these first Illinoisans. How have things changed. Through hands-on activities, students will learn some of the many life-ways of native peoples.
Grades 3-5
Program Length: 2 hours
Common Core: SL1, SL2, SL3, SL4

The Civil War through Illinois Eyes

Although no major Civil War battles were fought in Illinois, the war had a huge impact on our region. Learn about the effect of the war in Illinois and what it was like to be a soldier; and enjoy a special surprise ending!
Grades 3-8
Program Length: 2 hours
Common Core: SL1, SL2, SL3, SL4

Artifact Discovery

Primary sources are not just documents! Students learn to analyze the who, what, where, and why of historical artifacts by handling objects from the education collection of the Museum of the Grand Prairie.  Artifacts can be chosen to suit the period you are studying from the Revolutionary War to the 1950s. 
Grades 6-12
Program Length 1-2 hours
Common Core: SL1, SL2, SL3, SL4

Life on the Grand Prairie

Through discussion, exhibits and hands-on activities, we will explore life in Central Illinois during the 1800s. Specific subject matter and activities are flexible to meet teacher needs and will be determined when you register.
Grades K-5
Program Length: 1.5-2 hours
Common Core: SL1, SL2, SL3, SL4

People Moving Out, People Moving In

How did people get here? Where did they come from? How did they survive when they arrived? East Central Illinois was built by immigrants. You and your students will learn about the abundant richness of immigrant communities right in their own backyard from the 19th century to the Great Migration.
Grades 3-8
Program Length: 1 hour
Common Core: SL1, SL2, SL3, SL4

Women's Rights from Suffrage to Today

In this field trip, students will explore the Women's Movement in Champaign County and throughout the United States from the fight for Suffrage to the present day. Students will explore physical artifacts, music and visual arts that tell the story of the movement
Grades 5-8
Program Length: 1 hour
Common Core: SL1, SL2, SL3, SL4

School House, School Days

Were all teachers once mean and strict? Were all children polite? Find out in our old-time schoolhouse! Spend a morning or afternoon traveling back in history with one of our schoolmarms or masters. This program is available in early October and mid-April through May. This program does not include a museum tour.
Grades 2-5
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Common Core: SL1, SL2, SL3, SL4

Civil Rights in Champaign County and Beyond

We'll explore Civil Rights in Illinois and Champaign County from the 1860s to present day in this field trip. Students will examine primary source artifacts and examine the ways in which citizens have responded to fight for Civil Rights through the arts and other means of expression, throughout history and today.
Grades 5-8
Common Core: SL1, SL2, SL3, SL4

Wagons Ho/Westward Expansion

Pack a wagon, write with a quill, play a trading game! Learn how to get to Oregon and find out what a skid, an heirloom, and a tinderbox have in common. Wherever you are on your Westward Expansion unit, this program will provide your students a better perspective.
Grades 3-8 
Program Length: 2 hours
Common Core: SL1, SL2, SL3, SL4

Writing Historic Tales

Learn some secrets of writing historic fiction; then study museum artifacts and begin writing a story based on what you saw! In this program, a local children’s author teams up with our educators for storytelling and writing activities. Available dates are subject to author’s schedule. An additional author’s fee of $2-$4 is required. (This program is also available as an in-classroom activity).
Grades 3-8
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Common Core: SL1, SL2, SL3, SL4, SL6; and W1, W2, W3, W6, W7, W8

Plant Science Programs at the Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden:

Botany Basics

Explore the world of botany. Learn why plants are important and study their diverse structures and adaptations. Students will participate in a learning activities followed by a planting activity.
Year-Round
Grades 3-5
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Common Core: SL1&3

Seed Safari

Students will explore plant life cycles and plant diversity, and experience the Botanical Garden through games, drama and a hands-on activity.
Year-Round
Grades K-2
Program Length: 1.5 hours
Common Core: SL1&3

Soil Science

Students will learn about the importance of decomposers, such as bacteria, fungi and worms. Soil types will be investigated, and then students will plant seeds in gardening soil they have mixed to take home and grow.
Year-Round
Grades 1-5
Program Length: 1 hour
Common Core: SL1&3