In Classroom Programs

Severson Dells Nature Center offers a variety of programs which are designed to be done in the classroom. Descriptions of our programs are listed below. Our programs address several Illinois State Learning Standards. These are indicated by the brackets following each program.

All of our presentations include interactive, hands-on learning, therefore we limit our presentations to one class at a time, with the exception of the Lewis and Clark program. Our fees are the same as last years: the first program given each day at a school is $45. Additional presentations at the same school on the same day are $25 each.

Feel free to mix and match programs and grade levels. The Lewis and Clark program can be adapted to two classes at a time. The adjusted fee for the larger group is $50 for the first program and $30 for each additional one. We usually do these programs in December, January, February and March, but will do our best to accommodate your schedule.

If you have any questions, need more information or would like to schedule a program(s), please call Severson Dells Nature Center at 815-335-2915 or e-mail

Severson Dells in-school programs

The following programs are designed to be done in the classroom. Enclosed in brackets are Illinois State Learning Standards addressed in that program.

The Unhuggables (Pre-School and Kindergarten) 30-35 minutes
Learn about skunks, opossums and raccoons; familiar animals that don’t seem very loveable. Puppets, activities, real skins and other things introduce young students to these uncuddly creatures. [4A, 4B, 12A, 12B]

Room for Salamanders (Kindergarten – 2nd Grade) 30-40 minutes
This presentation on amphibians and their habitats takes a look at what makes them unique. The children’s book, The Salamander Room, is used to explain the needs of amphibians and why they don’t make good pets. Interactive story methods are used in this presentation. [4A, 4B, 12A, 12B, 17B]

Bats Incredible! (Kindergarten -6th Grade) 30-45 minutes
Bats are gentle creatures that have gotten a “bat rap”. Because of misinformation, bats are often misunderstood and even feared. Actually they are good neighbors and provide numerous benefits for humans and their environment. Get the straight guano and have some fun learning about bats. [4A,4B, 12A, 12B]

Owl Moon (Kindergarten-6th Grade) 30-50 minutes
Flying silently while using their eyes and ears to find food, owls have been called mousetraps with wings. They are skillful hunters with many special tools. This program will look at owl adaptations and behavior through use of mounted specimens, wings, pellets and sound recordings. [4A,4B, 12A, 12B]

Hop To It (Grades 1-4) 30-45 minutes
Do frogs really say “ribbit”? Why do frogs lay so many eggs? Where have all the toads and frogs gone? Jump right in and get answers to all these questions and more. This fun, interactive program helps students understand the importance of our amphibian friends. [4A, 4B, 12A, 12B]

Life is a Competition: Adaptations to WIN! (Grades 3-6) 30-40 minutes
Food chains, top consumers, niche habitats, predator/prey relationships, it’s a big game out there and it’s good to be on top! Learn how animals and plants have developed tricks to win the game of life. Pictures, furs and simulation activities are included. [4A, 4B, 12 A, 12B]

Trees of Your Backyard (Grades 4-6) 30-40 minutes
What is growing in your backyard or at your school? Learn basic identification techniques that will help you understand the world around you. Students are encouraged to bring in leaves of trees that they are interested in identifying. Learn how and why trees grow where they do. Pictures, and pressed samples of leaves are included. [4A, 4B, 12A, 12B]

Think Life A Mountain (Grades 4-6) 30-40 minutes
This program teaches students about the “father of conservation”, Aldo Leopold. Students will hear about how Aldo created a new science and developed from an old chicken coop, A Sand County Almanac, his most famous book. Pictures, simulations, activities and readings are included. [3C, 4A, 4B, 15E, 17D]

Lewis and Clark (Grades 4-6) 50-75 minutes
This program tells the incredible story of the exploration of the western United States. Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery were on this amazing journey for over two years and they traveled thousands of miles through unknown territory. These two explorers made tremendous contributions to the development of the United States, and also to science, geography and human history. Find out why and how.
[4A,12B, 13A, 15D, 16E, 17C]

To schedule a program or for more information

Call severson dells 815-335-2915