We will learn about the Illinois Prairie. This unit focuses on the tallgrass prairie that once was a major part of our regions ecosystem. At this point, there is less than 1% of natural prairie in Illinois. We will discuss the types of plants and animals that are native to prairies and what we can do to help preserve them.
In this unit we will apply what we learn in the classroom to help us figure out real-world issues. Students will make observations and inferences as they learn about what types of plants and animals thrive in this ecosystem. The students will participate in the prairie species reintroduction project in which they will collect data and do research that will be used to help select an organism that would be a good candidate for re-establishment in our school's prairie plot.
The culminating activity for this unit will be a field trip to the Douglas-Hart Nature Center in Mattoon provided through a grant from the IDNR.