Classroom Items for Loan

Supplement your classroom with these hands-on resources developed by teachers, for teachers.

Content Detail

The Morton Arboretum has developed free loan resources for teachers to check out and implement in their classroom instruction. Each Discovery Bin contains materials, tools, and lessons to bring the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) alive in your classroom. Bins are organized by grade-level and are aligned with our current field trip offerings.

Check out a bin before or after your trip to extend your students’ learning. These bins are available on a loaning basis and can be borrowed for up to two weeks at a time. 

You can reserve one of the nine bin types. Limitations apply. Please allow 7 days to process your request.

 

Tree-rific Tree Bin

Grades PreK through Second | Field Trip Alignment: Trees in a Nutshell, Terrific Trees

Help your students “take root with this bin. Increase student’s understanding of trees and seeds. This bin includes activities focused on seed growth and dispersal, tree life cycle, and habitat characteristics.

  • This program emphasizes the following Next Generation Science Standards:

    • K-LS1-1: Survival
    • 1-LS1-1: Survival and adaptations
    • 1-LS3-1: Young plants and parent plants
    • 2-LS2-2: Dispersing seeds and pollination
    • 2-LS4-1: Diversity

    Register now to reserve your Educator Discovery Bin today!

  • $0.00
    This is a free lending resource.

    This bin can be borrowed for up to two weeks.

    Educators must arrange a day and time to pick up and drop off this bin at The Morton Arboretum.

Animal Discovery Bin

Grades Second Through Fourth | Field Trip Alignment: Animal Homes, Eco Explorers

Examine this hands-on collection of animals’ structures with this bin’s collection of pelts, skull replicas, and x-ray images. This bin includes activities and materials that focus on habitats and adaptations.

  • This program emphasizes the following Next Generation Science Standards:

    • 2-LS2-2: Dispersing seeds and pollination
    • 2-LS4-1: Diversity
    • 3-LS4-3: Survival
    • 4-LS1-1: Adaptations

    Register now to reserve your Educator Discovery Bin today!

  • $0.00
    This is a free lending resource.

    This bin can be borrowed for up to two weeks.

    Educators must arrange a day and time to pick up and drop off this bin at The Morton Arboretum.

Itty Bitty Science Bin

Grades Third Through Fifth | Field Trip Alignment: Eco Explorers, Energized Ecosystem

Magnify your student’s use of scientific tools with this bin. This bin contains a set of 10 microscopes and pre-made slides. Design your own experiment and have students collect their own samples to examine under the microscope. Doing a lab program as part of your field trip? This bin will help you prep your students for how to use a microscope during their visit.

  • This bin is not aligned to specific Next Generation Science Standards.

    Register now to reserve your Educator Discovery Bin today!

  • $0.00
    This is a free lending resource.

    This bin can be borrowed for up to two weeks.

    Educators must arrange a day and time to pick up and drop off this bin at The Morton Arboretum.

Plant Adaptations Bin

Grades Second Through Fourth | Field Trip Alignment: Eco Explorers, Eco Comparisons, Plant Structural Adaptations

Learn about structural adaptations of plants and how their different characteristics allow them to survive and reproduce. Introduce your students to a world of plant adaptations through hands-on activities, playing a board game, studying different plants’ anthropomorphized social media profiles, and more.

  • This program emphasizes the following Next Generation Science Standards:

    • 2-LS2-2: Dispersing seeds and pollination
    • 2-LS4-1: Diversity
    • 3-LS3-1: Adaptations
    • 3-LS3-2: Environmental influence on survival
    • 3-LS4-4: Environmental influence on adaptations
    • 4-LS1-1: Adaptations

    Register now to reserve your Educator Discovery Bin today!

  • $0.00
    This is a free lending resource.

    This bin can be borrowed for up to two weeks.

    Educators must arrange a day and time to pick up and drop off this bin at The Morton Arboretum.

Be a Field Ecologist Bin

Grades Fourth Through Eighth | Field Trip Alignment: Eco Comparisons, Woodland Ecosystem Study

Teach your students to be field scientists! This bin includes soil probes, wind meters, light meters, and thermometers. Prepare your students for our Eco-Comparisons field trip, or create your own classroom experiments with these tools.

  • This bin is not aligned to specific Next Generation Science Standards.

    Register now to reserve your Educator Discovery Bin today!

  • $0.00
    This is a free lending resource.

    This bin can be borrowed for up to two weeks.

    Educators must arrange a day and time to pick up and drop off this bin at The Morton Arboretum.

Adaptive Aves Bin

Grades Fifth Through Eighth | Field Trip Alignment: Plant Structural Adaptations

Teach students about animal structures and adaptations using a variety of activities with the theme of birds. This bin includes several examples of different birds’ feathers, an interactive lab that examines beak adaptations, a hands-on exploration of bird’s feet, and so much more!

  • This program emphasizes the following Next Generation Science Standards:

    • 5-LS2-1: Movement of matter
    • 5-PS3-1: Energy
    • MS-LS1-4: Adaptations and reproduction
    • MS-LS2-1: Resource availability
    • MS-LS2-2: Interactions among organisms

    Register now to reserve your Educator Discovery Bin today!

  • $0.00
    This is a free lending resource.

    This bin can be borrowed for up to two weeks.

    Educators must arrange a day and time to pick up and drop off this bin at The Morton Arboretum.

Tree Health Tool Kit Backpack

Grades Sixth Through Twelfth | Field Trip Alignment: Trees Humans and Climate, Trees and Climate, Woodland Ecosystem Study

This backpack contains materials and activities for you to do with your students to identify and monitor trees in your schoolyard or neighborhood. Classroom prep activities aligned to Next Generation Science Standards are included to build background knowledge.

  • This program emphasizes the following Next Generation Science Standards:

    • MS-LS2-4: Physical and biological diversity
    • MS-LS2-5: Maintaining biodiversity

    Register now to reserve your Educator Discovery Bin today!

  • $0.00
    This is a free lending resource.

    This bin can be borrowed for up to two weeks.

    Educators must arrange a day and time to pick up and drop off this bin at The Morton Arboretum.

Aquatic Invasive Plants of the Chicago Region Bin

Grades Seventh Through Twelfth | Field Trip Alignment: Aquatic Ecosystem Study, Plant Structural Adaptations

Students will get hands-on experience with handling specimens that scientists use to study and identify species. This box includes aquatic plant specimens of invasive plants and their non-invasive look-alikes, and teaches how they impact ecosystems.

  • This program emphasizes the following Next Generation Science Standards:

    • MS-LS2-4: Physical and biological diversity
    • MS-LS2-5: Maintaining biodiversity
    • HS-LS1-2: Hierarchical organization
    • HS-LS4-3: Adaptations
    • HS-LS4-5: Natural selection

    Register now to reserve your Educator Discovery Bin today!

  • $0.00
    This is a free lending resource.

    This bin can be borrowed for up to two weeks.

    Educators must arrange a day and time to pick up and drop off this bin at The Morton Arboretum.

Tree ID & Tree Census Bin

Grades Eighth Through Twelfth | Field Trip Alignment: Tree ID Backpack

Use real data to engage your students in the Urban Tree Census. This bin includes tree identification resources, tree measuring tapes, and lessons to bring NGSS alive with real scientific data.

  • This program emphasizes the following Next Generation Science Standards:

    • MS-LS2-4: Physical and biological diversity
    • HS-LS2-7: Human impact on environment and biodiversity

    Register now to reserve your Educator Discovery Bin today!

  • $0.00
    This is a free lending resource.

    This bin can be borrowed for up to two weeks.

    Educators must arrange a day and time to pick up and drop off this bin at The Morton Arboretum.

The Morton Arboretum is a check-out site for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Biodiversity CDs and trunks on topics, such as “Illinois Invasive Species,” “Illinois Wild Mammals,” “Illinois Trees,” and “Illinois Prairies.” For questions related to the IDNR trunks, contact Megan Kuhl-Horbin, Coordinator of School Programs, at 630-725-2118 or mkuhl-horbin@mortonarb.org.

 

Aquatic Illinois

Fifth through ninth grade

This trunk includes many items to help you teach about the biological, historical, chemical, and other aspects of water.

  • Register now to reserve an IDNR lending trunk.

  • $0.00
    This is a free resource.

Field Trip Pack

PreK through third grade

Field packs are backpacks with resources to support learning outdoors. This pack contains materials that encourage early childhood students to explore nature.

  • Register now to reserve an IDNR lending trunk.

  • $0.00
    This is a free resource.

Illinois' Amphibians and Reptiles Field Pack

Kindergarten through tenth grade

Field packs are backpacks with resources to support learning outdoors. Amphibians and reptiles are fascinating creatures. Learn about them and look for them with the contents of this pack.

  • Register now to reserve an IDNR lending trunk.

  • $0.00
    This is a free resource.

Illinois Birds

PreK through eighth grade

This trunk is filled with items to help you teach about birds, including track and egg replicas, CDs with bird songs and calls, and even bird replicas that sing!

  • Register now to reserve an IDNR lending trunk.

  • $0.00
    This is a free resource.

Illinois Fossils

Seventh through tenth grade

Explore Illinois’ natural heritage of the past with the fossil molds, fossil hunt kit, video, fossil reference collection, field guides, posters, and other items contained in this trunk.

  • Register now to reserve an IDNR lending trunk.

  • $0.00
    This is a free resource.

Illinois Insects and Spiders

PreK through sixth grade

Insects and spiders fascinate students. Encourage them to learn more about these organisms by using the resources in this trunk.

  • Register now to reserve an IDNR lending trunk.

  • $0.00
    This is a free resource.

Illinois Invasive Species

Seventh through twelfth grade

With this resource trunk, you and your students can learn why invasive species are detrimental, how they arrived in Illinois and what actions can be taken to control them.

  • Register now to reserve an IDNR lending trunk.

  • $0.00
    This is a free resource.

Illinois Prairies

Fourth through eighth grade

Make your students aware of the wonders of prairies with the lessons and supplemental resources of this trunk. Discover what it was like to live on the prairies by using the pioneer resources.

  • Register now to reserve an IDNR lending trunk.

  • $0.00
    This is a free resource.

Illinois State Symbols

Kindergarten through sixth grade

Are you teaching about Illinois? Then this trunk is perfect for you! Photos, replicas, actual samples, activity books, information, and other items are included for your use. There’s an Illinois facts section too!

  • Register now to reserve an IDNR lending trunk.

  • $0.00
    This is a free resource.

Illinois Wild Mammals

PreK through eighth grade

Track and scat replicas, fur samples, and skulls are just some of the items available in this trunk.

  • Register now to reserve an IDNR lending trunk.

  • $0.00
    This is a free resource.

Illinois Trees

PreK through tenth grade

This trunk includes many items for instruction about trees, forests, forestry careers, and the forestry industry.

  • Register now to reserve an IDNR lending trunk.

  • $0.00
    This is a free resource.

People and Animals of Illinois' Past

PreK through sixth grade

Prehistoric mammals, extirpated mammals, and Native Americans and their relationship with nature are all topics you can teach about by using the items in this resource trunk.

  • Register now to reserve an IDNR lending trunk.

  • $0.00
    This is a free resource.

The Sterling Morton Library has many resources available to teachers. With floor-to-ceiling windows and curved, cherry-wood bookcases, it holds 28,000 nature-related books and journals.

Visit the Sterling Morton Library in person or browse through the library’s collection using SWAN

Don’t see what you need? Contact the Education Department at 630-725-2118, or contact the library by email at library@mortonarb.org, by phone at 630-719-2429, or ask a librarian.