University of Illinois Extension

Main Navigation

I Think Green in Your County

To find out if I Think Green is offered in your county, please select your county from the list below.

Nature Detectives

The Nature Detectives curriculum is one of the tracks designed to engage youth in learning about their environment through the I Think Green program. This program includes six activities, with hands-on science inquiry activities that are facilitated by University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists and 4-H volunteers with related subject-matter expertise.

The program is free to all classrooms and afterschool groups that commit to completing AT LEAST 4 activities from the curriculum, and agree to a short post-program evaluation survey.

The Nature Detectives curriculum was designed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and is being delivered through a partnership between Cornell and the University of Illinois Extension.

Activity 1: What's That Habitat?
This activity allows children to explore habitats of living creatures and then allows them to match animals to the different types of habitats on our planet.

Activity 2: Who Lives in Our Habitat?
Children play a Bird Bingo Game outside to observe behaviors of birds and are challenged to think about birds in their local habitat through a "Moving Opinion Poll".

Activity 3: Food Web Tangle
Participants build a food web to show the flow of energy from its source (the sun) through a series of plants and animals.

Activity 4: Create a Bird
Children explore the adaptations and physical characteristics of birds by creating their own bird for a specific habitat.

Activity 5: Build A Bird Feeder
Different birds eat different foods and children can learn their food preferences by creating a feeder and watching the birds who visit.

Activity 6: Bird Survivor
Explore how birds face challenges during their lifecyles- investigate how birds find a mate, make a nest and raise their young.