Teacher Classes

Teacher Classes


Ready for a change of pace? Take a teacher class at Brookfield Zoo!
Our expert educators will inform, entertain, and engage you as you explore a wide range of topics. Classes address the Next Generation Science Standards. All classes carry PDCHs at no additional charge and many provide optional graduate credit for an additional fee. However, all participants must complete assigned homework in order to receive PDCHs or graduate credit.

Have you checked out our Advanced Inquiry Program Master’s degree? It’s fun and exciting, includes travel abroad, and is very affordable. Click here to check it out!

 

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2017 Teacher Classes at Brookfield Zoo


 

Special Promotion!  Bring a buddy to class and you’ll receive a $50 discount on your registration.  The individual you recruit must be a new attendee and not have attended a Zoo class in the past.  For details and how to register please contact Renee Anderson at 708-688-8372 or renee.anderson@czs.org.   
 

April 21 & 22: Friends, Families, Packs, and Prides

Friday, April 21 (4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m) and Saturday, April 22 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $160 fee, 1 optional graduate credits ($100 through Aurora University.)

One of a kind? Part of a pride? Some animals live in groups while others prefer to go it alone. Study the living arrangements of many different animals, from a pack of wolves to the solitary sloth. Discover the behavioral systems that operate in gorilla troops, wolf packs, and zebra herds to establish dominance and order. Understand how animals vie for leadership, friendship, food and mates. How do groups of animals (and kids!) get along? Compare animal systems to classrooms and learning communities, with a focus on nurturing kind and cooperative behaviors.

NGSS-3-LS2-1 Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.
NGSS-MS-LS2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
NGSS-HS-LS2-8 Evaluate the evidence for the role of group behavior on individual species’ chances to survive and reproduce.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Planning and carrying out investigations; engaging in argument from evidence; obtaining, evaluating and communicating information.
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns, systems and systems models, structure and function.

April 28 & 29: Animal Coloration: The Many Roles of Color in Species Survival

Friday, April 28 (4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m) and Saturday, April 29 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
Grades 6-12, $160 fee, 1 optional graduate credits ($100 through Aurora University.)

In this course, coloration will be a focus by moving through an NGSS Storyline unit. Using scientific phenomena like albinism, many life science content areas will be addressed in a cohesive unit driven by student inquiry. Participants will see firsthand how a storyline unit works and experience how topics like DNA, genetics, evolution, and more can be included in a single unit based on a phenomenon that draws students in and encourages them to ask thoughtful, meaningful questions.

NGSS-HS-LS1-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells.
NGSS-HS-LS3-1 Ask questions to clarify relationships about the role of DNA and chromosomes in coding the instructions for characteristic traits passed from parents to offspring.
NGSS-HS-LS2-8 Evaluate the evidence for the role of group behavior on individual species’ chances to survive and reproduce.
NGSS-HS-LS3-3 Apply concepts of statics and probability to explain the variation and distribution of expressed traits in a population.
NGSS-HS-LS4-4 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Engaging in argument from evidence.

May 5 & 6: Rainforests

Friday, May 5 (4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.) and Saturday, May 6 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $160 fee, 1 optional graduate credits ($100 through Aurora University.)

Spend one evening at Brookfield Zoo and one day at Chicago Botanic Garden learning about rainforests worldwide- why they are important, why some are disappearing and why we want to protect them. Join educators at Brookfield Zoo, seeking out animals of the rainforest in our cozy rainforest exhibits, and learn about their adaptations for survival. At Chicago Botanic Garden visit the warm steamy greenhouses to explore rainforest plants and their adaptations. At both places, learn hands-on art and science activities for use in the classroom. Teachers will explore rainforest through classroom activities that relate to language arts, math, science, social studies and fine arts.

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns, systems and systems models, structure and function.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Developing and using models; analyzing and interpreting data; obtaining, evaluating and communicating information.

May 19 & 20: Inquiry

Friday, May 19 (4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m) and Saturday, May 20 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $160 fee, 1 optional graduate credits ($100 through Aurora University.)

You are invited to become a scientist during this class. Scientists are empirical and skeptical. They test many ideas about what’s happening in nature. Come explore the cycle of inquiry by doing hands-on experiments, form hypotheses, experiment and explore some more and observe and make conclusions about the animals and plants at the Brookfield Zoo.

NGSS K-ESS3-1 Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals (including humans) and the places they live.
NGSS 2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Developing and using models; analyzing and interpreting data; obtaining, evaluating and communicating information.

June 21 & 22: Dinosaurs and Dragons

Wednesday, June 21 and Thursday, June 22 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. both days)
All Grades, $160 fee, 1 optional graduate credits ($100 through Aurora University.)

Do your students fawn over fern fossils? Do they think T-Rex is terrific? Then join educators at the Brookfield Zoo to learn more about prehistoric life. At Brookfield Zoo, you will experience a multi-sensory interactive exhibit that features dinosaurs that represent many of the creatures that roamed the Earth during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. You will also learn about dinosaurs in the context of today’s animals, learning about habitat, adaptations and other factors that allow animals to thrive no matter when or where they lived. Learn about the forests and fields of ancient Earth as well as plant evolution while doing hands-on activities that can be adapted for grades K-12.

NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts: Patterns; Scale, Proportion and Quantity; Structure and Function

June 26 - 30: Unique Animal Facts

Monday through Friday, June 26 - 30 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. all days)
All Grades, $400 fee, 3 optional graduate credits ($300 through Aurora University.)

This class looks at various forms of animal locomotion as examples of an adaptation. Hopping, swimming, climbing, flying, slithering animals are just a few of the movements featured. Examine the animal’s body parts to discover how and why they move the way they do. Hot or cold let’s look at how animals make it through the seasons without air conditioning or a hat and mittens. Which animal sleeps up to 20 hours a day? Who sleeps standing up? What do you call an animal that sleeps all day and comes out at night? Participants will experience the zoo chats, dolphin show, tram ride and more!

NGSS LS4C: Adaptation
NGSS LS2A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
NGSS LS1B: Growth and Development of Organisms

July 5 & 6: Exploring Nature

Wednesday, July 5 at Brookfield Zoo and Thursday, July 6 at Spring Valley Nature Center (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. both days)
All Grades, $160 fee, 1 optional graduate credits ($100 through Aurora University.)

Staff from Brookfield Zoo and Spring Valley Nature Center will guide you through activities as we explore nature in prairies, woods, the Zoo and even lawns and gardens! You don’t need to be an expert to investigate, discover and love nature. There is so much for children of all ages to see, to hear, and to smell at this wonderful time of the year. What else will you discover as this delightful visual safari transports you through the varied habitats of our planet? Share experiences with other teachers and have fun while learning. Bring back creative ideas to apply in your classroom and school yard to connect your students to nature.

NGSS LS2A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
NGSS LS4D: Biodiversity and Humans
NGSS ESS3A: Natural Resources
NGSS ESS3C: Human Impacts on Earths Systems

July 17 - 21: Fresh Water/Salt Water

Monday through Friday, July 17 - 21 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. all days)
All Grades, $400 fee, 3 optional graduate credits ($300 through Aurora University.)

Penguins, Otters, and Coral Oh My! “Dive” into the water to explore the difference between fresh water and salt water. Focus on how both plants and animals adapt to live in these environments. Learn more about how our Zoo animals, large and small, including our amazing marine mammals, camouflaged fish, and even tiny macro-invertebrates are specialized to live in habitats. Investigate the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of fresh water and salt water ecosystems. Participate in simple experiments and hands-on water-based activities that you can do with your students in the classroom. Activities will be aligned with NGSS and Common Core.

NGSS ESS2C: The Role of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes
NGSS ESS3C: Human Impacts on Earth’s Surfaces

July 24 - 28: S.T.E.A.M. (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) in the Zoo

Monday through Friday, July 24 - 28 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. all days)
All Grades, $400 fee, 3 optional graduate credits ($300 through Aurora University.)

Educators can reach ALL students with science, technology, engineering, art and math (S.T.E.A.M.). Clever and fun hands–on activities will help us cultivate a deep understanding of the science and engineering practices as defined by the Next Generation Science Standards relating to the K-12 classroom. Engaging professional discussion and collaboration coupled with hands-on experiences and planning aligned with NGSS and Common Core will prepare educators to take S.T.E.A.M. back into the classroom with confidence.

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Asking Questions, Defining Problems, Developing and Using Models, Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking, Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information.

August 1 & 2: Animals: Friends or Foes

Tuesday, August 1 and Wednesday, August 2 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. both days)
All Grades, $160 fee, 1 optional graduate credits ($100 through Aurora University.)

Explore the lives of animals that people love to hate: cockroaches, snakes, vultures, wolves and more. Some of these creatures give us the willies-and for good reason. But take a look at the flip side of their extraordinary skills and their special roles in nature. Then decide for yourself: Is this animal a friend….or foe? Have fun as we identify patterns in animal behavior and apply the concepts that explain these amazing animals to reading / writing activities. Participate in hands-on activities that you can take back to your classroom and use the next day!

NGSS LS2A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
NGSS LS4C: Adaptation
NGSS LS2D: Social Interactions and Group Behavior

August 3 & 4: Primate Behavior and Conservation

Thursday, August 3 – Friday, August 4 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. both days)
All Grades, $160 fee, 1 optional graduate credits ($100 through Aurora University.)

In this course we investigate primate behavior through direct observation providing a foundation for understanding research methods and conservation issues. Spider Monkeys, White Cheeked Gibbons, Orangutans, Mangabeys, Lowland Gorillas and other primates are ideal for comparative studies on topics ranging from social structure to communication.

NGSS LS2D: Social Interactions and Group Behavior
NGSS LS4C: Adaptation
NGSS LS2D: Biodiversity and Humans

August 7 - 11: Nature’s Architects

Monday through Wednesday, August 7 - 9: Online coursework
Thursday and Friday, August 10 & 11: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. both days at Brookfield Zoo
All Grades, $400 fee, 3 optional graduate credits ($300 through Aurora University.)

Animals can be creative, clever, and industrious builders! From bees to birds to burrowing animals, explore the amazing structures that animals create and why and how they build them. Examine the turtle’s home (its shell), spider webs, bird nests and some examples of man-made animal homes. Come explore the intersection of nature, science, function, and design. Participate in hands-on, inquiry-based activities and receive resources for your classroom. This class has an online component.

NGSS LS2A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
NGSS LS1A: Structure and Function
NGSS ESS2E: Biogeology



Have questions?
Contact Renee Anderson at 708-688-8372 or Renee.Anderson@czs.org or Julie Wozniak at 708-688-8367 or Julie.Wozniak@czs.org.


Refund Policy
All class fees include a $40 nonrefundable registration fee for 1-hour graduate classes and a $100 nonrefundable registration fee for 3-hour graduate classes. Class fees, minus the nonrefundable registration fee, can be refunded or transferred to another teacher class if we receive notice of this request at least two weeks prior to the date of the original class.