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Publications - Educational Resources

Tidbits for Teachers and Students

Annelidically speaking, I'm S.K.WormConservation education material for teachers K-12

S.K.Worm teaches soils
It's a dirty job but someone has to do it—S.K.Worm, the official annelid, or worm, of the Natural Resources Conservation Service answers students' questions about soil. Even their teachers can't wiggle their way out of this one! Slither your way through these soiled questions and earn a very special diploma. You might even get hooked on Soil!


Listed below are educational resources available.
The Conservation Education Catalog and order form require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher.  Please contact the Public Affairs Staff at (217) 353.6609 if you need assistance.

Illinois Conservation Education Catalog (PDF 175 kb)
Catalog Order Form (PDF 96.4 kb)

America's Private Land — A Geography of Hope
You'll get the facts and figures on natural resources from A Geography of Hope, all woven into a framework of land stewardship and a vision for natural resource management in the 21st century. (7-12)

Backyard Conservation
Bringing conservation from the countryside to your backyard. - Whether you have acres in the country, an average-sized suburban yard, or a tiny plot in the city, you can help protect the environment and add beauty and interest to your surroundings. There is colorful publication can get you started and links to other sites to give you more information. Also, see "Tip Sheets" that help you use conservation practices at home and bring birds to your backyard. (4-12)

Backyard Conservation Lesson Plans
A series of lesson plans to teach students about Backyard Conservation through hands-on studies that promote field investigation and action.  Lesson plans are available for elementary grades 3 to 5, middle school grades 6 to 8 and high school grades 9 to 12.

Conservation History
The rich history of the Natural Resources Conservation Service is the firm ground which holds our bond with the land and its people today. (7-12)

Filtration Fact Sheet with Teacher Preparation and Student Exercise
This interactive lesson will help teach students how soil can filter and clean water. The ability of a soil to filter water is largely dependent upon particle size and how fast water flows through soil. Demonstration is suitable for kindergarten through college. Activity is designed for 5th – 8th Grade.

Living in Harmony with Wetlands
Wetlands do so many things — not only for us, but also for plants, animals, and the land. Discover the functions and values of wetlands.

National Association of Conservation Districts Education site

Dig In! Hands-On Soil Investigations — New Soil Education Publication
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announce the release of Dig In! Hands-On Soil Investigations. This lively, 129-page softbound book, a bestseller when it debuted at the 2001 NSTA convention in St. Louis, will soon assist educators across the nation in teaching scientifically accurate soil and soil conservation information in an enjoyable way. The book is available from NSTA by calling 1-800-277-5300 (7/24/01)

  • The book's target audience is Kindergarten through Grade 4 teachers. Dig In provides classroom-tested lesson plans, stories, and activities about soil formation, habitats, and land use. The book also discusses animals and plants that depend on soil. The book's activities are interesting and fun and lead to a greater appreciation of the value of soil. Activities meet National Science Education Standards.
  • NSTA is the world's largest organization promoting science teaching and learning for all. The 53,000-member association publishes four journals, a newspaper, and many books and publications for teachers.

PLANTS Database
The PLANTS Database is a single source of standardized information about plants. This database focuses on vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories.

Soil and Water Conservation Society

Soil Science Education
Helping People Understand Soils

USDA for Kids
Links to agricultural education sites