MuseumLink Project Info
  Teacher Orientation    
Prairie Ecosystems
Prairie Restoration
Planting a Prairie Garden
Human Voices
Inspiration for Art
Restoration Game
Teacher Orientation
      Museumlink Prairie presents information on prairie ecosystems in Illinois. It includes presentations on the climate, plants and animals, the history of the prairie, and the effect of people on the prairie.


Use the expanding menu in the upper left-hand corner of your screen to proceed through the module, or click on any of the links in the menu. There are no NEXT or BACK buttons on the Web pages, so learning to navigate the menu is important for your students. If links to more detailed information take you out of Prairie, use the back button of your browser to return to your original page.

Underlined words are glossary entries. Click your mouse on these words to get a popup window with the definition. There are many images that facilitate the understanding of the text.

Reading Level

This module is written at about the sixth grade level.


The section on Ecosystems describes all the components that go into a prairie —landforms, climate, plants, and animals, and how they are interdependent.

  • Prairie plants offers an online field guide to prairie flowers arranged alphabetically and in sections according to flowering season.
  • Prairie Plants also explores the adaptations that prairie plants have developed.
  • There is a guide to prairie animals for younger students (grades 2-6), and a link to more animals in the Museum’s Midewin Prairie Web site (written at a higher level).

Prairie Restoration, Growing a Prairie Garden, and Prairie Restoration Game are sections that relate how people today are preserving, restoring, and creating prairie areas. The Game acts as a review of the content of the text.

Human Voices contains three types of writing that may inspire your students to keep a prairie garden journal, write a descriptive passage about something on the prairie, or tell a story.

Inspiration for Art is a page of five images from the Illinois State Museum’s fine arts collection that depict scenes of the prairie. It can be used as a springboard for a drawing trip to the prairie or another prairie-related art activity. Looking closely at the images can also provide clues to prairie life in the early twentieth century.

Resources and Activities include a glossary, reading lists for children, Web links for more information on related topics, and hands-on activities in science (adaptations), language (poems), and art (dye plants and quilts).

All activities address specific Illinois State Board of Education Standards and Goals. The list is accessible in pdf and html forms. Standards for each activity are found near the end of each lesson plan.

Behind the ScenesArtNative AmericanForestPrairieSite Index Home
Contact Us

© 2000 Illinois State Museum