Resources trunks/field packs from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Education are Illinois-specific units on 13 topics. Available for loan statewide, they are filled with items for hands-on learning. See the topics and descriptions below. Teachers, homeschooling educators, scout and youth group leaders, nature center personnel, librarians, day care center staff and families are among the people who can successfully use these resources. A two-week loan period is suggested. There is no charge to borrow the trunks/field packs, although a refundable deposit may be requested. Lessons are correlated to the Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Standards and Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards, as appropriate. Suggested grade levels are provided but modifications can be made for use at other grade levels.

The IDNR resources listed below is available to loan through the Boone County Conservation District.

Fill out the online form here to reserve your materials today!

Illinois Prairies

Prairies were once the dominant landscape in Illinois. Now they are very rare. Make your students aware of the wonders of prairies with the lessons and supplemental resources of the Illinois Prairies Resources Trunk. Field guides, books, DVDs, posters, bison artifacts and many other items are included. Discover what it was like to live on the prairies by using the pioneer resources.

Targeted Grades: K – 8

Illinois’ State Symbols

Are you teaching about Illinois? Then the Illinois State Symbols resources trunk is perfect for you! Photos, replicas, actual samples, activity books, information and other items are included for your use. There’s an Illinois Facts section, too.

Targeted Grades: K – 8

Illinois’ Invasive Species

Invasive species cause tremendous ecological problems. With the Illinois’ Invasive Species resources 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

Field Trip Pack

The Field Trip Pack contains many items to assist your early childhood students as they explore nature. Hands-on equipment will encourage self-initiated learning. Ideas for incorporating natural-resources activities into your lessons are also included.

Suggested Grades: Pre-K – 3

Aquatic Illinois

The Aquatic Illinois resources 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: 3 – HS

Illinois Birds

Studying birds can jump-start your students’ interest in nature and conservation. The Illinois Birds resources 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: 3 – Middle School

Illinois Fossils

Borrow an Illinois Fossils trunk to help your students 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.

Suggested Grades: 3 – Middle School

Illinois Insects and 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.

Suggested Grades: PreK – 8

Illinois Wild Mammals

Are you teaching about mammals? Borrow an Illinois Wild Mammals resources trunk to supplement your lessons. Each trunk is filled with field guides, CD-ROMs, a DVD, fur samples, skulls, track and scat replicas, lessons, activity sheets, posters and other items.

Suggested Grades: K – Middle School

Illinois Trees

Want to learn more about the forest? Grab an Illinois Trees resources trunk! The trunks include many items teachers can use to instruct students about trees, forests, forestry careers and the forestry industry.

Suggested Grades: PreK – 10