School Programs at a Forest Preserve

Grades 2 & 3

Visit a DuPage forest preserve with your students where they will learn about natural sciences and DuPage County's cultural history. These programs are designed to meet national learning standards, including Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.

Program reservations for the 2022 – 2023 academic year are now open. We offer programs throughout the academic year (Sept. 1 through June 2), and most are available Monday through Friday.

The Forest Preserve District is committed to making its programs available to all groups. Please mention any accessibility needs or concerns when you reserve your program.

View the available guided school programs and descriptions below. Then, click the green button to complete and submit a program request form. 

The Forest Preserve District follows all state and federal guidelines regarding COVID-19.

Guided School Programs

Guided school programs require a three-week advance reservation and have a minimal per-student fee.

Request a Guided School Program

Day at the Farm

Day at the Farm

Students participate in a wide variety of lessons and activities presented by costumed guides. Visit an 1890s farmhouse to see how families lived more than a century ago. Interact with farm animals and explore fields to learn how farmers used the technology of the 1890s to raise crops and livestock to feed a growing nation. From seasonal chores to pastimes of the past, four hours is barely enough time to see and do it all! Four-hour interactive program for up to 350 students. $10 per student.

2022 - October 20 ,21 & 24
2023 - May 18, 19 & 22

Monday, Thursday & Friday
Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago

Standards explored (may vary by season)

  • Common Core:  
    • ELA/Literacy 
      • SL.2.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration 
      • SL.2.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration 
      • SL.3.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration 
      • SL.3.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration 
    • Social Studies 
      • SS.EC.1.3 Economics and Financial Literacy: Economic Decision Making 
      • SS.H.1.2 History: Change, Continuity, and Context 
      • SS.G.2.3 Geography: Human-Environment Interaction: Place, Regions, and Culture 
      • SS.G.3.2 Geography: Human Population: Spatial Patterns and Movements 
      • SS.EC.3.2 Economics and Financial Literacy: Exchange and Markets 
      • SS.G.3.3 Geography: Global Interconnections: Changing Spatial Patterns 
  • NGSS:   
    • 2-LS2.B Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
    • 3-LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms
    • 3-LS3.B Variation of Traits

Farm Food Chain

Farm Food Chain

Students explore the role of water and what plants need to grow; meet lambs and learn what they need to grow and develop; observe the honeybees and learn how bees help pollinate our crops; investigate how food is produced and how transportation changed how people are supplied with food; and learn how farmers changed the land to grow food more efficiently. Ninety-minute guided tour for 10 - 30 students. $5 per student.

Academic year
Monday, Thursday & Friday
Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago

Standards Explored
Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  •  SL.2.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.2.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.3.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.3.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

    Social Studies

  • SS.H.1.2 History: Change, Continuity, and Context
  • SS.EC.1.3 Economics and Financial Literacy: Economic Decision Making
  • SS.G.2.3 Geography: Human-Environment Interaction: Place, Regions, and Culture
  • SS.EC.3.2 Economics and Financial Literacy: Exchange and Markets
  • SS.G.3.2 Geography: Human Population
  • SS.G.3.3 Geography: Global Interconnections 
NGSS:
  • 2-LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • 3-LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms
  • 3-LS3.B Variation of Traits

Pre-Activity Sheets:

Suggested Reading List (PDF)
Baby Farm Animals (PDF)
Vocabulary List (PDF)

Get Outside: Outdoor Education Day

Get Outside: Outdoor Education Day

Students explore a variety of nature content while rotating between stations and activities. Teachers pre-select the activities from the list below. Four-hour interactive program for 50 - 120 students. $10 per student.

Academic year
Thursday & Friday
Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook or St. James Farm in Warrenville.

Activities to choose from include: bird banding, bird watching, food chains & food webs, guided nature hike, habitat restoration, insect investigation, nature art, plant powers, team challenge, tracking, and tree ID.

Standards Explored

Will vary based on activities selected.

Are you looking for suggestions on how to pair your activities? 

Biodiversity – food chains & food webs, guided nature hike, habitat restoration, or insect investigation 

Community Action – bird banding, birdwatching, habitat restoration, insect investigation, or team challenge 

Creativity & Problem Solving – guided nature hike, nature art, team challenge, or tracking 

End of the Year Fun – bird watching, habitat restoration, insect investigation, nature art, or team challenge 

Plants – food chains & food webs, guided nature hike, nature art, plant powers, or tree ID 

Wildlife – bird banding, birdwatching, guided nature hike, insect investigation, or tracking 

Nature Hike

Nature Hike

Students increase their awareness of nature and their interest in the natural world through observation and discussion. Activities and discussion will vary by season and by forest preserve. One-hour guided hike for 10 - 30 students. $5 per student.

Academic year
Monday – Friday

Take a guided nature hike at one of the preserves listed below. Each of these preserves includes school-group friendly amenities including bus parking, picnic areas and public restrooms. If you plan to eat lunch onsite and/or require a picnic shelter reservation, please indicate this on your program request form.

Preserve

Town

Acres

Shelters

Trails (miles)

Blackwell

Warrenville

1387

5

9

Churchill Woods

Glen Ellyn

265

3

2

Danada

Wheaton

825

0

6

Dunham

Wayne

374

0

1

Fullersburg Woods

Oak Brook

226

1

4

Greene Valley

Naperville

1414

2

14

Herrick Lake

Wheaton

896

4

7

Hidden Lake

Downers Grove

393

1

2

James ‘Pate’ Philip State Park

Bartlett

501

1

4

Mallard Lake

Hanover Park

953

1

4

Mayslake (Peabody Estate)

Oak Brook

90

0

1

McDowell Grove

Naperville

465

2

7

Pratt's Wayne Woods

Wayne

3474

1

8

Salt Creek Park

Wood Dale

93

1

1

Springbrook Prairie

Naperville

1829

1

9

Waterfall Glen

Darien

2492

1

12

West Branch

Bartlett

725

0

3

West DuPage Woods

West Chicago

462

0

4

Wood Dale Grove

Wood Dale

185

2

1

 

Standards Explored (may vary by season)

Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  • SL.2.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.2.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.3.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.3.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
NGSS:
  • 2-ESS2.A Earth Materials and Systems
  • 2-LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • 2-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans
  • 2-PS1.A Structure and Properties of Matter
  • 3-LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms
  • 3-LS2.D Social Interactions of Group Behavior
  • 3-LS3.B Variation of Traits
  • 3-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans

Loan Box Links:

Field Trip Pack

Sap to Syrup

Sap to Syrup

Students learn the historical importance of maple syrup in the midwest and try their hands at making syrup the way folks did in the 1890s. 45-minute guided tour for 10-30 students. $5 per student.

March 2 - 31
Monday, Thursday & Friday
Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago

Standards Explored
Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  • SL.2.1 Speaking and Listening: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
  • SL.2.3 Speaking and Listening: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
  • SL.3.1 Speaking and Listening: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
  • SL.3.3 Speaking and Listening: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
  •  
Social Science
  • SS.IS.1.3-5 Inquiry Skills: Constructing Essential Questions
  • SS.IS.2.3-5 Inquiry Skills: Determining Helpful Sources
  • SS.G.1.K Geography: Human-Environment Interaction
  • SS.H.1.K History: Change, Continuity, and Context
  • SS.H.3.1 History: Perspectives

NGSS:

  • 2-LS2.B Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
  • 3-ESS3.A Natural Resources
  • 3-LS3.B Variation of Traits

Wildlife Exhibit Hike

Wildlife Exhibit Hike

Due to construction of the new center, there will be no on-site programs after Jan. 1, 2023. A Willowbrook interpreter will take students on a guided tour of the outdoor wildlife exhibits and discuss the natural history of local wildlife as well as the individual stories of the animals living at the center. Willowbrook’s mission as a center will be discussed as well as an overview of how the animals are cared for both in the hospital and as permanent residents. One-hour guided tour for 10 - 30 students. $5 per student. At this time, all Willowbrook indoor facilities are closed to the public.

Academic year
Monday – Friday
Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn

Standards Explored
Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  • SL.2.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.2.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.3.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.3.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • 2-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans
  • 3-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans

Loan Box Links:

Illinois' Birds
Illinois' Wild Mammals
Owls

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