The Teacher Leadership Center (TLC) is a hub for educators to collaborate, communicate, and nurture student-centered learning.
The TLC hosts a variety of resources for loan – provided by the Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) – that can support you in your science teaching practice. Through the TLC Loan Program, educators can utilize curricular support and instructional materials, books, real natural objects and specimens, and more to spark wonder and curiosity in the natural world. These free, asynchronous resources emphasize local Illinois natural phenomena and are accessible to Spanish speakers and students of all grade levels.
Inquiry Kits are physical trunks with a variety of resources that are available for check out on a rolling basis from June 15 to September 15, 2022. Check out kit descriptions below to find the best match for your learners.
IDNR Insects and Spiders
Investigate the variety of local insects and spiders! Learn how to identify different species and catch your own for classroom observation. This kit includes models and literature resources to add to your student’s exploration.
Explore what pollinators can be found near you! Use the resources to learn more about local pollinators and how to identify them. Try to collect and observe your own pollinators with the tools included in this kit.
IDNR Wild Mammals
What mammals are native to our region? Use animal pelts, books, and field guides to find out what mammals might be living right in your own neighborhood.
Reptiles and Amphibians
Discover the reptiles and amphibians of Illinois! This kit includes field guides, skeletal specimens, and art activities to supplement your teaching.
Let your curiosity soar with our Birds kit! Investigate what birds we can find in our city and in all kinds of habitats. Learners can engage with field guides and many more tools.
If you are interested in checking out Inquiry Kits, please complete the interest form via the button below. Inquiry Kits are checked out and returned in person at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Inquiry Kit availability is subject to change; there is no guarantee that the kit you request will be available at your requested date. Please be aware that we ask for credit card information in the event of damaged or lost kit materials; borrowing the Inquiry Kits themselves is free of charge.
If you have additional questions, please contact the Nature Museum Teacher Leadership Center by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.