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  • Education

    From feathers and shells to honks and howls, Fox Valley Wildlife Center education programs bring the wonders of native wildlife to you!

    Fox Valley Wildlife Center's education programs are fun and informative! You and your group will learn about conservation, ecology, wildlife rehabilitation, and the importance of coexisting with our wild neighbors.

    Education Programs

    Our programs are suitable for classrooms, after school clubs, youth groups, home school groups, libraries, nature day at summer camps, assisted living centers, festivals, birthday parties, and more.

    Please see below for more information about our program offerings.

    Wildlife in the Classroom

    Through activities, discussions and live animals, students will advance their knowledge of herpetology, ornithology, mammalogy, and ecology.

    Fur, Feathers & Scales

     All Grades

    Overview: Students will have the opportunity to explore animals’ different physical characteristics. Students will begin to notice similarities and differences in animals and be able to group them by various traits. Older grade levels will investigate the connectedness and interdependence of species within local ecosystems. This program includes an ambassador animal representing each of the following: mammals, birds and reptiles.

    TIME NEEDED: 60 minutes

    STANDARDS:

    NGSS: K-LS1, 1-LS1, 2-LS4, 3-LS1, 4-LS1, 5-LS2, MS-LS2.A

    Tiny Talons & Raptors

    Tiny Talon- Grades PreK-2; Raptors- Grades 3-8

    Overview: Students explore the characteristics that make a raptor different from other birds. While examining real biofacts, students learn about the adaptations these birds use and their role in the food chain. This program includes an animal ambassador visit.

    TIME NEEDED: 60 minutes

    STANDARDS:

    Common Core: RI.5.7, SL.4.5, SL.5.5, SL.8.1, SL.8.5

    NGSS: K-LS1, 1-LS1, 2-LS4, 4-LS1-1, 4-LS1-2, 5-PS3-1, 5-LS2-1, MS-PS4-2, MS-LS1-1, MS-LS1-4, MS-LS1-8, MS-LS2-2, MS-LS2-3, MS-LS2-4, MS-LS4-4, MS-ESS3-3, MS-ESS3-4

    Wild About Senses

    Grades PreK-5

    Overview: Students will use their senses to explore various biofacts as well as learn about animals that have adapted heighted abilities in one or more of their senses. Program can include an animal ambassador visit, requiring 20 additional minutes for the program. *This program requires access to an outdoor natural space. *

    TIME NEEDED: 60 minutes

    STANDARDS:

    NGSS: K-LS1, 1-LS1, 2-LS4, 3-LS1, 4-LS1, 5-LS2

    Amphibians & Reptiles

    Grades 2-8

    Overview: Students will explore the similarities between ectotherms, how scientists group them and the unique characteristics of herps. This program includes activities, discussions, and animal ambassador visits.

    TIME NEEDED: 45 minutes

    STANDARDS:

    Common Core: ELA/Literacy SL.2.1, SL.2.3, SL.3.1, SL.3.3 L.4.6, SL.4.1, SL.4.3, SL.5.1, SL.5.3

    NGSS: 2-LS4-1, 3-LS1-1, 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3, 3-LS4-4, 4-LS1-1, 4-LS1-2, 4-ESS3-1, 5-LS2-1, MS-LS1-4, MS-LS1-5, MS-LS2-3, MS-LS2-4

    Animal Olympics

    Grades PreK-5

    Overview: Can you jump like a frog? Run like a deer? Stand like a heron? Flap like a hummingbird? During this interactive program students will learn about incredible feats in the animal kingdom, how these feats are useful in the animal’s life and test their abilities to outperform these animals.

    TIME NEEDED: 60-90 minutes

    STANDARDS:

    NGSS: K-LS1, 1-LS1, 2-LS4, 3-LS1, 4-LS1, 5-LS2

    Yuck!

    Grades 1-5

    Overview: Did someone say vulture vomit? Insect spit? Frog burps? Students will take an in-depth look at the “gross” things our neighbors do and how these adaptations help their everyday lives. This program includes a classroom visit from one of our animal ambassadors.

    TIME NEEDED: 45 minutes

    STANDARDS:

    NGSS:1-LS1, 2-LS4, 3-LS1, 4-LS1, 5-LS2

    Winter Survival

    Grades 1-5

    Overview: Winter survival showcases the unique abilities of our native wildlife. Students will learn more about who stays and who leaves as cold weather approaches as well as what tools and traits are needed to survive the snowy, cold months of winter in Northern Illinois. Students will learn about hibernation, migration and adaptations. This program will include a classroom visit from one to three (depending on availability) of our animal ambassadors.

    TIME NEEDED: 60 minutes

    STANDARDS:

    NGSS:1-LS1, 2-LS4, 3-LS1, 4-LS1, 5-LS2

    Mammals

    Grades 1-8

    Overview: Calling all Carnivores, Omnivores & Herbivores! This hands-on program will introduce students to the many adaptations of native mammals. Skulls and pelts provide students the hands-on experience to aide in their growing knowledge of fellow mammals. An animal ambassador is included in this program (depending on availability).

    TIME NEEDED: 60 minutes

    STANDARDS:

    NGSS: 3-LS1, 4-LS1, 5-LS2, MS-LS2

    Owls

    Grades 1-8

    Overview: The unique survival techniques of owls will amaze students during this hands-on lesson. Students will have the opportunity to dissect and assemble an owl pellet. An animal ambassador will round off this engaging lesson.

    TIME NEEDED: 90 minutes

    STANDARDS:

    NGSS:1-LS1, 2-LS4, 3-LS1, 4-LS1, 5-LS2, MS-LS2

    Winged Wonders

    Grades 3-8

    Students will discover unique bird adaptations such as flight, song and nest-building as well as the importance of migration. Students inspect biofacts such as feathers, skulls and nests as well as learn to identify a few common bird calls.

    Students will design their own unique species of bird. The program will include a live encounter with one of our ambassador birds.

    TIME NEEDED: 90 Minutes

    STANDARDS:

    NGSS: 3-LS1, 4-LS1, 5-LS2, MS-LS2.A

    Animal Communication

    Grades 6-12

    Overview: Scat can tell a “story” of one animal to another. During this program, students will learn about various ways animals communicate with each other including scents, sounds, and movements.

    TIME NEEDED: 45 minutes

    STANDARDS:

    NGSS: MS-LS2.A, HS-LS2

    Web of Life

    All Grades

    Overview: Through the construct of a food chain, with the help of an animal ambassador or two, students will discuss the interconnectedness of animals’ lives as well as the delicate balance of survival of the individual and the collective wildlife within a habitat.

    TIME NEEDED: 60 minutes

    STANDARDS:

    NGSS: K-LS1, 1-LS1, 2-LS4, 3-LS1, 4-LS1, 5-LS2, MS-LS2.A, HS-LS2

    Predator Prey

    Grades 4-8

    Overview: Students will learn about the food chain and populations in nature using an interactive game.

    TIME NEEDED: 60 minutes

    STANDARDS:

    NGSS: 4-LS1, 5-LS2, MS-LS2.A

    Storytime Special Guest

    PreK-K

    Overview: A member of our education staff will come to your school to read a story to your students. Storytime will end with a special meet and greet with one of our ambassador animals.

    TIME NEEDED: 30-45 minutes

    “You Choose the Ambassador” Program

    All Grades, Up to 3 ambassadors may visit your classroom.

    Overview: A member of our education staff will bring an ambassador of your choosing to your classroom. Program will include information on the work performed at FVWC, natural history of the chosen ambassador and the story behind why the ambassador now lives at FVWC.

    TIME NEEDED: 30 minutes for one animal, 10-15 minutes for each additional ambassador.

     

    Scouts

    FVWC’s Scout Programs take place at a location of your choosing. Below is a list of programs we offer to help your troop earn their badge. Please do not hesitate to inquire about other topics you have in mind. Programs are 1 hour in length. Limited on-site programs available.

    Opportunities are available to fulfill eagle scout & girl scout gold or silver award projects. ex: building new enclosure for animals, squirrel boxes, replace and build new fencing.

    We also encourage groups to contact us in order to earn a unique FVWC patch. 

    Girl Scouts

    Outdoor Art Maker

    Bugs, Eco Friend, Outdoor Art Creator

    Animal Habitats, Outdoor Art Explorer, Bird Watcher

    Night Owl, Outdoor Art Apprentice

    Eco Explorer

    Outdoor Art Master

    Boy Scouts

    Bird Study

    Mammal Study

    Reptile and Amphibian Study

    Nature

    Cub Scouts

    Mountain Lion, Rumble in the Jungle

    Backyard Jungle, Tigers in the Wild

    Fur, Feathers & Ferns

    Walkabout, Into the Wild

    Birthday Parties

    Make your birthday "Wild"! FVWC would love to be the guest of honor at your birthday celebration. Birthday parties include a visit from one of our wildlife ambassadors.

    Assisted Living Centers

    We offer a one hour ambassador meet and greet. We have several animal ambassadors and are willing to make regular visits to your center to teach about all our animals.

    We also enjoy working with centers to complete service projects and supply drives.

    Looking for our family friendly public programs and special events? Visit our Events Page for more information.

    For questions or to book a program, please fill out the form below or email our education manager at education@fvwc.org.