Borrow Illinois Department of Natural Resources Education Trunks

Illinois' Amphibians and Reptiles
Amphibians and reptiles are fascinating creatures! The Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Division of Education has developed an educational tool to help you learn about and observe these animals in their natural environment. Binoculars, magnifying glasses, field guides, observation equipment, a head lamp, frog call recordings, field trip tips and many other hands-on items are included in the pack.

Studying birds can jump-start your students’ interest in nature and conservation. The Illinois Birds Trunk is a great way to enhance your lessons. This trunk is filled with field guides, books, track and egg replicas, CD-ROMs, videos, DVDs, CDs with bird songs and calls and even bird replicas that sing! Suggested grades: PreK - 8, but can be modified for other grade levels. All items are correlated to the Illinois Learning Standards and the Illinois Early Learning Standards.

Want to learn more about the forest? Grab an Illinois Tree Trunk from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources! These trunks are available for loan to teachers and youth group leaders. The trunks are large storage containers that include many items teachers can use to instruct students about trees, forests, forest careers and the forestry industry. The Illinois Tree Trunk has just been revised and many new lending locations are available! You'll find items that help support the Illinois Learning Standards from grades PreK through 10. A correlation to the Illinois Learning Standards for each item is included.

Borrow an Illinois Fossils Trunk to help your students of grades four through eight explore Illinois’ natural heritage of the past. Each trunk contains fossil molds, a fossil hunt kit, a video, a fossil reference collection, field guides, posters and more. Lending locations are listed below. Contact the lending site to make your reservation. The suggested loan period is two weeks, although it varies by lending location.

Wild Mammals
Are you teaching about mammals? Borrow an Illinois Wild Mammals Trunk to supplement your lessons. Developed by the IDNR Division of Education, these supplemental kits are available for loan to educators at lending locations statewide. Each trunk, which is a large plastic container, is filled with field guides, CD-ROMs, a DVD, fur samples, skulls, track and scat replicas, lessons, activity sheets, posters and other items. Suggested loan time is two weeks. Contact the lending location nearest you to make your reservation.

People & Animals of Illinois’ Past
Prehistoric mammals, extirpated mammals and Native Americans and their relationship with nature are all topics you can teach about by using the items in this resource trunk.
Targeted Grades: K-3.
Contents include: mammoth and mastodon tooth replicas; species replicas; Native American games; activities; mammoth hair; posters; replica pottery; a video; reference books; and natural items used by Native Americans.

Insects & Spiders
Insects and spiders fascinate students. Encourage them to learn more about these organisms by using the resources in this trunk. Books, CD-ROMs, student activities, field guides, posters, insect/spider observation equipment and a video are just some of the items included. Targeted Grades: K-6.

Illinois Prairies
Are you teaching about prairies or the people who inhabited the prairies? Then borrow the Illinois Prairies trunk! Field guides, activity books, reference manuals, bison artifacts, CD-ROMs and numerous lessons are included for your use.  Targeted Grades-4-8, but can be modified for other grade levels.

Illinois' State Symbols
Photos, replicas, actual examples. activity books, and other items are included to assist you with teaching about the state insect, bird, tree, flower, and other symbols of the state of Illinois.  
Targeted grades: K-6, but can be modified for other grade levels.

Aquatic Illinois
The Aquatic Illinois trunk includes many items to help you teach about the biological, historical, chemical and other aspects of water. Books, posters, water sampling tools, CD-ROMs, videos, DVDs and activities are among the contents of this trunk. Suggested grades: 5 - 9. Correlations to the Illinois Learning Standards are provided.

Field Trip Pack
The Field Trip Pack includes many items to assist your early childhood students as they explore nature. Hands-on equipment will encourage self-initiated learning. Suggestions for teachers on how to incorporate natural-resources activities into your lessons are also included.
Suggested grades: prek - 3.

Illinois' Invasive Species
Invasive species cause tremendous ecological problems. With this resource trunk, you and your students can learn about why they are detrimental, how they arrived in Illinois and what actions can be taken to control them. Field guides, books, lessons, DVDs, specimens, replicas and other items are included. Targeted Grades: 7-12.

For more information on these educational trunks see the IDNR website.