Custom Professional Development Workshops

PHOTO: Custom Professional Development Workshops

We invite you to increase your understanding of plants and nature, build your repertoire of teaching techniques, and enliven your classrooms! The Chicago Botanic Garden offers a variety of standards-based professional development workshops scheduled specifically for your group.  Perfect for teacher institute days, curriculum meetings, or professional development, workshops can be held at your school or at the Garden. Choose from the following topics or suggest one of your own.

Schoolyard Ecology
NGSS: ESS3.C, LS1.A, LS1.C, LS2.A, LS2.B, LS2.C, LS2.D, LS4.D | CC-ELA K-12: W10
Schoolyards hold a wealth of opportunities for nature and science explorations, helping students make stronger connections to their surroundings. Through nature walks, journaling, experiments, and investigations, learn to use school grounds to teach a variety of topics and get students excited about science. Note: This workshop can also focus on connecting your school garden to your curriculum.

Midwest Ecosystem Explorations
NGSS: LS1.C, LS2.A, LS2.B, LS2.C, LS4.C
Take your students on an exploration of the ecology of prairies, woodlands, wetlands, and urban ecosystems found here in the Midwest. Learn to use local resources to teach general ecosystem concepts. Take away hands-on, place-based lessons that will inspire outdoor exploration. Focus on just one ecosystem or any combination.

Science and Literacy
NGSS: LS1.A, LS1.B, LS1.C, LS2.A, LS2.B | CC-ELA K-12: RI, W, RL
Discover techniques for fostering literacy through science and science through literacy. Learn how to incorporate nonfiction science books into your curriculum, conduct science activities connected to those books, and encourage your students to write about and discover science and nature.

Kitchen Science
NGSS: LS1.A, LS1.C, PS1.B, PS3.D | CC-Math K-12: MD
Explore science through food! Through simple hands-on activities and experiments, explore topics in biology and chemistry including plant parts, nutrition, freezing points, yeast, and much more. Note: This workshop can also focus on growing fruits and vegetables in your school garden.

Botany Basics
NGSS: LS1.A, LS1.B, LS1.C, LS4.C, LS4.D
Explore the amazing world of plants! Learn about topics from germination, flower structure, and plant parts to plant needs and adaptations. Discover classroom gardening and propagation techniques and use plants across the curriculum.

Experimenting with Plants
NGSS: LS1.A, LS1.B, LS1.C, LS4.C | CC-Math K-12: MD | CC-ELA K-12 W
Plants provide a natural way to explore science questions and foster science process skills.  Learn how to use plants to help your students learn questioning skills and the scientific process.  Applications to science fair will be included.

Custom Workshop Fees:
$200/hour for up to 30 teachers
$300/hour for 30 to 60 teachers (dependent on instructor availability)

There is a two-hour minimum. Workshop fees include staff time, workshop supplies, curriculum resource materials, and travel expenses. Teachers will receive packets of lesson plans and teaching resources. Food is not included.

For more information or to schedule a custom workshop, call (847) 835-8253 or e-mail Click here to show mail address.