School Programs

School Programs

Bringing Lessons in History and Nature to Life

A visit to The Grove is a step into the past at the area’s most unique outdoor history and nature museum. The Grove was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976 and was the home of visionary horticulturist and educator, Dr. John Kennicott. It was here that Dr. John’s son, Robert, developed his love of nature that led to such accomplishments as exhibiting his specimen collection at the Smithsonian Institution, founding the Chicago Academy of Sciences and the exploration of Russian America that led to the purchase of Alaska. A portion of The Grove has been designated an Illinois Nature Preserve for its rich natural history, including oak-hickory savanna, wetland and tallgrass prairie ecosystems.

The Grove’s curriculum is meant to be an integral part of your students’ education. Our programs are uniquely hands-on and are developed in conjunction with Illinois Learning Standards. Students can learn first hand about the Native American tribes and settlers who lived on this land or experience daily life in the 1856 Historic Kennicott House, cooking, churning butter and making a candle. Perform pioneer s chores in our authentic log cabin or attend the one room Grove School with a costumed schoolmarm. A wide variety of environmental programming is centered in The Grove’s Interpretive Center where students will discover native animals, plants, and the natural history of the ecosystems that once dominated our Prairie State.

The Grove is a large site and we will do our best to accommodate multiple classes in a variety of programs to allow for consolidated bussing. The Grove has an outdoor picnic area that is available on a first-come, first-served basis.


To download a brochure with detailed information on these programs, as well as school programs at Kent Fuller Air Station Prairie and Wagner Farm, click here. 


Take a look at what a field trip to The Grove can offer your students

Each program fulfills Illinois Department of Education Standards indicated.

Social Studies Programs

Log Cabin

Students learn first-hand about pioneer life in The Grove’s circa 1850s log cabin. Activities may include grinding corn, chopping apples and drawing water from the well to wash clothes. Older students use antique tools to saw wood and drill holes. This program includes an introduction to cabin construction techniques with a model set of giant “Lincoln Logs.” Old time fun is included with pioneer toys and games and each student will make a tin-punch craft to take home.

Grade Level: 1-6
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 16.A.1a, 16.A.1c, 16.D.2b, 16.D.2, 16.E.1, 16.E.2a
Min/Max: 12/30
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Year round

Log Cabin Focus

A shorter version of our Log Cabin program geared to a younger audience. This charming program introduces students to pioneer family life and features hands-on activities inside and outside our circa 1850s log cabin.

Grade Level: pre K-1
Program Length: 1 hour
State Standards: 16.A.1a, 16.A.1c, 16.E.1
Min/Max: 12/30
Fee: $5.25
Availability: Year round

Native North Americans

Students take part in hands-on activities in our own replica of a Native American longhouse. The Potawatomi Indians used The Grove environs prior to the arrival of the Kennicott family. This unique program explores how this group of people lived and impacted the land, and looks closely at their culture and heritage. Topics include the importance of communal living, procurement and processing of foods and medicine, tool use, singing and dancing, handiwork and games.

Grade Level: 2-6
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 16.A.1a, 16.A.1c, 16.C.1a, 16.D.2, 16.D.2b, 16.E.1, 16.E.2a
Min/Max: 12/40
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Year round

Native American Focus

A shorter version of our Native North Americans program geared to a younger audience. This delightful program introduces students to Native American family life and features hands-on activities inside and outside our Native American longhouse.

Grade Level: pre K-1
Program Length: 1 hour
State Standards: 16.A.1a, 16.A.1c, 16.C.1a
Min/Max: 12/30
Fee: $5.25
Availability: Year round

Early Glenview

Take a “walk through time” to explore the changes in population and land usage in our area and specifically at The Grove. Students will learn about the Potawatomi Indians, early Illinois settlers, farmers of yesteryear, and people of today through visits to our Native American longhouse, log cabin, Kennicott House and Milwaukee plank road. Artifacts and activities will illustrate how different groups lived and changed the land over the ages.

Grade Level: 2-4
Program Length: 1 ½ hrs.
State Standards: 16.A.1a, 16.A.1b, 16.A.1c, 16.B.1a, 16.C.1a, 16.E.1
Min/Max: 12/90
Fee: $5.25
Availability: Year round

teacher

Schoolhouse

Students travel back in time to a school day in 1856 at The Grove’s reconstructed one room schoolhouse. A costumed schoolmarm or schoolmaster leads “scholars” through geography, history, spelling and math lessons. Activities may include reading from McGuffey Readers, writing on slate boards and using quill pens. Recess in the schoolyard features pioneer toys and old time games.

Grade Level: 2-8
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 16.A.1a, 16.A.1c, 16.D.2, 16.D.2b, 16.D.3b, 16.E.2a
Min/Max: 12/30
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Year round

 

Robert’s Trunkrobert kennicott

The Kennicotts, early settlers of this region, contributed richly to its growth and development. Young Robert Kennicott, Illinois’ first naturalist , was an accomplished explorer, author and scientist. Students explore his life through a fascinating trunk of artifacts, including natural history and geological specimens, Indian relics, letters, journals, maps and personal effects. A nature walk and visits to Robert’s Laboratory and The Grove’s Interpretive Center are included.

Please note: This program may be combined with Cora’s Trunk for a more diverse experience.

Grade Level: 2-6
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 16.D.1, 16.D.2b, 16.D.2c, 16.E.1 (US), 16.E.2a
Min/Max: 12/30
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Year round

NEW! Cora’s Trunk

The Kennicotts made their homestead at The Grove in 1836. Cora was the youngest Kennicott daughter and won many awards for her excellence in hand work. This program brings the past to life as students explore the contents of Cora’s enchanting trunk of clothing, linens, letters, personal effects and home essentials from a young lady of the 1800s. Costumed interpreters portray the role women had over 150 years ago. A garden walk and visits to Cora’s bedroom and the Kennicott parlor are included.

Please note: This program may be combined with Robert’s Trunk for a more diverse experience.

Grade Level: 3-6
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 16.A.2b, 16.A.2c, 16.D.1 (US), 16.D.2f, 16.E.1 (US)
Min/Max: 12/30
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Fall or spring

NEW! Pack Your Wagon

Westward Ho! What items were necessary for a family to go west to settle a new homestead? Students will learn about life in the 1800s and the reasons for westward expansion. Math, logic and problem solving skills will be utilized to determine what will be taken on the journey and what will be left behind. Students will actually pack their supplies into our covered wagon as they learn some of the hardships the pioneers faced during their migration.

Grade Level: 4-6
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 16.A.2c, 16.D.2b, 16.D.3a, 16.D.3b, 16.E.2a
Min/Max: 12/30
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Fall or spring

pioneer day web

Pioneer Skills

This program takes place in the historic Kennicott House. Each class prepares lunch over a wood burning stove including vegetable and beef stews, applesauce and cornbread with hand-churned butter. Emphasis is on the Kennicott family, the first pioneer settlers of The Grove, and their contributions to natural science, medicine, education and agriculture. Family life is explored through hands-on activities such as weaving, rope making, tin punching and candle dipping.

Grade Level: 5-8
Program Length: 3 ½ – 4 hours
State Standards: 16.D.2b, 16.D.2c, 16.E.2a
Min/Max: 15/40 (Groups of up to 100 students may be accommodated with a modified program)
Fee: $7.75
Availability: Year round

Note: Food is supplied by each visiting class. Supply list is included with confirmation. 

Digging Up the Past

Students take part in an archaeological “dig” in the basement of the historic Kennicott House to uncover secrets of the past. Here they will find genuine household tools and artifacts excavated from under the house during its restoration many years ago. This program introduces students to proper field methods, laboratory evaluation and interpretation techniques.

Grade Level: 4-8
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 11.A.2b, 11.A.2e, 16.A.2c, 16.D.2, 16.D.2b
Min/Max: 12/30
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Year round

NEW! Archival Studies

The Grove Archives Building houses over 30,000 letters, publications, photographs and artifacts from the Kennicott family and other residents of The Grove. Our historians have uncovered a wealth of information in these documents pertaining to the people and history of the site. Students will tour the Grove Archives vault to see some of the treasures it contains while learning the importance of historic preservation to our heritage. Activities may include letter transcribing, photo gridding and taking part in artifact preservation techniques.

Grade Level: 5-8
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 16.A.3b, 16.A.2c, 16.A.3c
Min/Max: 12/30
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Year round

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Seasonal Changes

Students delight in this opportunity to observe nature and explore the world around them. A guided walk through the woods will focus on plants, animals and the change of seasons. A visit to The Grove’s Interpretive Center includes an up-close experience with our animals and hands-on activities with natural artifacts. Many classes come for this program once in the fall and again in the spring to compare and contrast seasonal differences.

Grade Level: pre K-1
Program Length: 1 ½ hrs
State Standards: 11.A.1a, 11.A.1b, 12.A.1a, 12.A.1b, 12.B.1a, 12.B.1b
Min/Max: 12/75
Fee: $5.25
Availability: Fall and/or spring

Habitats and Life Cycles

Countless animals and plants make The Grove their home. This program introduces students to the basic needs of all living things and how a habitat meets these needs. An overview of the cycles of life includes seasonal changes, day vs. night and plant and animal life cycles. A guided trail walk explores woodland, wetland and prairie habitats and a close look at soil creatures allows the class to investigate a fascinating world of life just below their feet.

Grade Level: 1-4
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 11.A.1a, 11.A.1b, 11.A.1f, 11.A.2a, 11.A.2b, 11.A.2e, 12.A.1a, 12.A.1b, 12.A.2a, 12.B.1a, 12.B.1b, 12.B.2a, 12.B.2b, 13.A.1c, 13.A.2c
Min/Max: 12/60
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Fall or spring

Animal Adaptations

In this program, students take a close look at our furred and feathered friends to learn about adaptations for survival. First we explore the world of birds to discover beak and foot diversity and the unique characteristics of feathers. Then hands-on activities with mammal artifacts include investigating fur types, as well as carnivore, herbivore and omnivore skulls. A tracking activity and trail walk are included.

Grade Level: 2-6
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 11.A.1a, 11.A.1b, 11.A.1f, 11.A.2b, 11.A.2d, 11.A.2e, 12.A.1a, 12.A.1b, 12.A.2a, 12.A.3c, 12.B.1a, 12.B.1b, 12.B.2a, 12.B.2b, 12.B.3b, 13.A.1c
Min/Max: 12/60
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Year round

Reptiles and Amphibians

Herpetology literally means the “study of creeping animals” and that’s just what we’ll do in this program. Through interactive stations, students will learn about these two fascinating groups and compare and contrast reptile and amphibian body characteristics and life cycles. An identification activity uses a simple taxonomic key and features unforgettable encounters with our resident “herps.”

Grade Level: 3-8
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 11.A.1a, 11.A.1b, 11.A.1f, 11.A.2b, 11.A.2e, 12.A.1a, 12.A.1b, 12.A.2a, 12.A.3c, 12.B.1a, 12.B.1b, 12.B.2a, 12.B.2b, 12.B.3b
Min/Max: 12/30
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Year round

Ecosystems

The Grove’s natural areas are a haven for wildlife and native plants. In this program, students learn about the dynamics of various ecosystems and look closely at one of the many wetlands on the site. Field investigation includes collection of water samples and wetland organisms to observe more closely in the science classroom. Here, students use magnifying glasses, field guides and a dissecting microscope and record their observations of the rich wetland ecosystem.

Grade Level: 3-8
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 11.A.1a, 11.A.1b, 11.A.1f, 11.A.2b, 12.A.1a, 12.A.1b, 12.A.2a, 12.A.3c, 12.B.1a, 12.B.1b, 12.B.2a,12.B.2b, 12.B.2f, 12.B.3a, 12.B.3b, 12.E.1a, 12.E.2a, 13.A.1c, 13.B.2e, 13.B.3d, 13.B.3e
Min/Max: 12/60
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Early fall or late spring

Dynamic Earth

What forces have shaped the earth we live on? Students learn the basic concepts of geology including land formation, plate tectonics and soil make-up. Hands-on activities include rock, mineral and fossil investigation and a demonstration using a real frozen “glacier.” A guided trail walk focuses on some unique geologic features of The Grove, which sits atop the Park Ridge Moraine.

Grade Level: 3-8
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 11.A.1a, 11.A.2a, 11.A.1c, 11.A.2b, 11.A.3c, 12.E.1a, 12.E.2a, 12.E.3b
Min/Max: 12/30
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Year round

Change Over Time

Scientists explore change through time using the rich fossil record. In this program, students will learn about the history of the world, major extinction events and how animals and plants have adapted to survive over time. Hands-on activities with The Grove’s extensive fossil collection include fossil rubbings, matching ancient fossils to their modern relatives and the use of paleontological techniques to remove real fossils from their rock matrix.

Grade Level: 3-8
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 11.A.1a, 11.A.1b, 11.B.1a, 11.B.2a, 12.A.1a, 12.A.1b, 12.A.3c, 12.B.1a, 12.B.1b, 12.B.2b, 12.B.3b, 12.E.3a
Min/Max: 12/30
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Year round

NEW! GSI: Grove Scene Investigations

A mystery needs to be solved at The Grove – and your students are the detectives on the case! We’ll use forensic problem solving skills to gather clues, examine evidence, and draw conclusions about predator/prey relationships to solve the crime. Hands-on activities include owl pellet dissection and artifact examination.

Grade Level: 4-8
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 11.A.2a, 11.A.2b, 11.A.2e, 11.A.3f, 12.B.2a, 12.B.3b
Min/Max: 12/30
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Year round

Web of Life

All living things are part of the intricate interrelationships of the food web. This program focuses on plants as producers and the most integral part of this system. Through hands-on activities, students will learn about the role of plants as well as plant form, function and classification. A guided trail walk will include using taxonomic keys to identify some of The Grove’s trees or wildflowers.

Grade Level: 4-8
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 11.A.2b, 12.A.3c, 12.B.2a, 12.B.2b, 12.B.3a, 12.B.3b, 13.B.2f
Min/Max: 12/30
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Fall or spring

Insect Field Study

Insects make up most of the world’s species and are invaluable as plant pollinators and as a food source. This program teaches students how to identify and classify insects based on unique characteristics. Student entomologists then head outside to collect insect specimens in the field with sweep nets and insect jars (for later release.) Closer observations with magnifiers and field guides allow students to I.D. and catalog their finds.

Grade Level: 4-8
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 11.A.2b, 112.A.2a, 12.A.3c, 12.B.2a, 12.B.2b, 12.B.3a, 12.B.3b
Min/Max: 12/30
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Early fall or late spring

NEW! Restoration Stewardship

Here’s your chance to make a difference in the environment! Students will learn how this area has changed over time and some of the factors that have degraded our natural ecosystems. We’ll participate in some of the techniques conservationists use to bring back health and diversity once lost. Seasonal activities include brush cutting, invasive species removal and native seed collecting. A guided trail walk and hands-on activities make for a fun, well-rounded program. Many classes come in multiple seasons to experience different restoration techniques.

Grade Level: 4-8
Program Length: 2 hours
State Standards: 13.B.2f, 13.B.3e
Min/Max: 12/90
Fee: $6.75
Availability: Year round

Miscellaneous Programs

Grove Traveling Trunks

Our outreach educational programs will visit your school for a one hour presentation led by our trained staff. Topics include animal ambassadors, Native Americans and pioneer life.

Grade Level: pre K-adult
Program Length: 1 hour
Min/Max: 20/60
Fee: $80 minimum includes up to 20 people and $4.00 each additional person
Availability: Year round

Pumpkin Trail

What better way to celebrate fall? This program features a hayride, festive games, a decorated tipi and a visit with the animals in our Interpretive Center. Refreshments are included and each student will select and bring home his very own pumpkin!

Grade Level: pre K-1
Program Length: 1 ½ hours
Min/Max: 12/125 children and adults per time slot
Fee: $6.50 per person
Availability: Mid-October

Registration Information

  • Program content and activities are geared for the specific grade level registering. All programs can be adapted for a particular focus, special needs or a diverse audience. Homeschool groups are always welcomed.
  • Fees are subject to change without notice.
  • Schools within Glenview Park District boundaries are eligible for discounted fees based on the Glenview Park District Annual Recommendations.
  • For all programs, teachers and aides may participate free of charge. In addition, one chaperone per 15 students may participate free of charge. We recommend bringing one adult for every 10 students. Because many program activities take place outdoors, students should arrive dressed for the weather. Closed-toed shoes are recommended. Nametags are helpful to us to identify your children. Please allow time for students to pick up a souvenir of their visit at The Grove Museum Store.
  • Photos and videos are periodically taken of people participating in Glenview Park District programs and activities. All persons registering for park district programs/activities or using park district property thereby agree that any photograph or videotape taken by the part district may be used by the park district for promotional purposes including its electronic media, videotapes, brochures, flyers and other publications without additional prior notice or permission and without compensation to the participant.
  • Upon booking, you will receive a confirmation with specific information about your program and any pre-trip or post-trip activities that may apply.

To register for Grove programs or for more information, please call or e-mail Kris VanVoorhis at 847-299-6096,  kris.vanvoorhis@glenviewparks.org or Janet Franke at 224-521-2114, janet.franke@glenviewparks.org .