Interactive Habitat

  • Habitat
    Interactive Habitat
    North Barrington School's Interactive Habitat Volunteer Program is a unique collaboration between teachers and parents that brings children outdoors and into nature. Our school is fortunate to have a living prairie, a beautiful courtyard full of many Illinois native plants, and a garden plot planted by our students each Spring ... just to name a few! Using the habitats around our school, parent volunteers help conduct hands-on experiences with our kids, teaching them about nature in a way that ties into the subjects they are learning in class! We invite you to be a part of this outstanding program!
    Here is how parent volunteers help at each grade level:
    Students will be exposed to the basics of plants. In the Fall, they will collect milkweed pods from our school prairie located on the southeast side of the building. In the Spring, they will learn about the important relationship between monarch butterflies and the milkweed plant, and they will spread the milkweed pods on our prairie that they collected in the Fall.
    First and Second Grade
    Students will participate in a Fall scavenger hunt through our prairie. In the Spring, students will plant sunflower seeds in the Three Sisters Harvest Garden and will have an opportunity to sign up with their family to watch and care for their garden during the Summer.
    Third Grade
    In addition to a Fall scavenger hunt on the prairie, in the Spring, students will plant the Harvest Garden, located in the back of the school by the playground. This garden will then be harvested by the same group of students when they return to school as fourth graders the next Fall. Third grade students are encouraged to monitor the season of growth that their crops will have during the Summer. Sign up opportunities will be offered to families in the Spring of the third grade year.
    Fourth Grade
    In the Fall, students will evaluate the results of their garden and will harvest the crop of beans, tomatoes, potatoes and squash that they planted as third graders. In the Spring, they will participate in a tree identification program on the NBS grounds.
    Fifth Grade
    The fifth graders will participate in a prairie plant identification scavenger hunt in the Fall, and they will have a Spring presentation as well (TBD). 
    We hope you will consider signing up to volunteer this year!
    There are two ways in which you can help. One is to participate in "physical projects" that deal with improving and maintaining the Harvest Garden behind the school. The second significant area of need for this committee is to help the students with their various habitat projects, both inside and outside of the classroom. We feel that these programs are a powerful way to enhance a child's innate awareness and appreciation of the natural world. We are passionate about maintaining these great programs and hope to see many familiar faces as well as new ones this year! Please contact our PTO Interactive Habitat chair for further information.

    All Things Monarch


    • A monarch caterpillar gains about 2,700 times its original weight, with a large caterpillar devouring an entire milkweed leaf in less than four minutes.
    • Monarch wings are orange to warn predators that the butterfly will taste bad or may be toxic.  Milkweed leaves contain toxins that monarchs accumulate in their bodies.
    • Monarchs fly 2,000 miles or more to the cool moist fir forests in central Mexico.
    • Each fall migrating monarchs are 3-4 generations removed from those that made the journey in the spring-yet they still navigate to a specific area of Mexico without a map!
    • The first three generations of monarch butterflies live 6-8 weeks. Yet, the 4th generation-known as the “Super Generation”-lives about 8-9 months, migrating south, overwintering in Mexico and starting to fly the journey north in spring.