School Programs at a Forest Preserve

Preschool, Kindergarten & Grade 1

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

My First Visit to the Farm

My First Visit to the Farm

A costumed guide introduces students to this 1890's farm and the people who care for it. Students learn about farming; explore fields, pastures and buildings; the purposes animals serve on a farm; and discover what makes farm animals different from wild animals. One-hour 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.K.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.K.6 Speaking and Listening: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
  • SL.1.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

Mathematics

  • K.CC.5 Counting and Cardinality: Count to Tell the Number of Objects
  • K.CC.6 Counting and Cardinality: Compare Numbers
Social Science
  • SS.IS.1.K-2 Inquiry Skills: Constructing Essential Questions
  • SS.G.1.K Geography: Human-Environment Interaction
  • SS.H.1.K History: Change, Continuity, and Context
  • SS.H.3.1 History: Perspectives

NGSS:

  • K-ESS2.E Biogeology
  • K-ESS3.A Natural Resources
  • K-ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems
  • K-LS1.C Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
  • 1-LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms
  • 1-LS3.B Variation of Traits

Pre-Activity Sheets:

Suggested Reading List (PDF)
Coloring Page (PDF)
Vocabulary List (PDF)

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.K.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.K.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.1.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
Mathematics
  • K.MD.1 Measurement and Data: Describe and Compare Measurable Attributes
  • K.MD.2 Measurement and Data: Describe and Compare Measurable Attributes

NGSS:

  • 1-LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms
  • 1-LS1.D Information Processing
  • 1-LS3.B Variation of Traits

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.K.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.1.1.A Speaking and Listening: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Social Science
  • SS.IS.1.K-2 Inquiry Skills: Constructing Essential Questions
  • SS.IS.2.K-2 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:

  • K-ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems
  • K-LS1.C Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
  • 1-LS2.B Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems

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 takes students on a guided tour of the outdoor wildlife exhibits and discusses the natural history of local wildlife as well as the individual stories of the animals living at the center. Willowbrook’s mission and an overview of how the animals are cared for both in the hospital and as permanent residents are discussed. One-hour guided tour for 10 - 30 students. $5 per student. 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.K.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.K.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.1.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.1.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • K-ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems
  • K-LS1.C Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
  • 1-LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms

Loan Box Links:

Illinois' Birds
Illinois' Wild Mammals
Owls

Willowbrook Adventures

Willowbrook Adventures

Due to construction of the new center, there will be no on-site programs after Jan. 1, 2023. A Willowbrook interpreter leads students on an adventure and activities exploring how the preserve changes throughout the seasons before concluding with a tour of the resident wildlife that live on Willowbrook's outdoor exhibit trail. One-hour interactive program for 10 - 30 students. $10 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.K.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.K.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.1.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.1.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • K-ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems
  • K-LS1.C Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
  • 1-LS1.A Structure and Function
  • 1-LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms

Loan Box Links:

Illinois' Birds
Illinois' Wild Mammals
Owls

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