Designed by Janet M. Sheard

This lesson was created as a part of the SMART website and is hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology


Are you excited about a unique outdoor experience  to the Volo Bog State Nature Center?  If you are, then step into the Sheard Herd's magic capsule  and  become transported to 28478 W. Brandenburg Road, Ingleside, Illinois 60041. Just in case you have questions for them at the bog before we take off, please feel free to call the staff at (815) 344-1294.

Your first task before you arrive at the Volo Bog is to read background information, interpretive programs, and brochure about your adventure.  After you finish reading each article,  write a paragraph with six-eight sentence telling why you think a trip to the Volo Bog will be an  interesting place to visit.  


 Each student will be able to:

Rubric for each task and question.


Define a wetland. 

Search here  for a Dictionary Definition

Search here for Encyclopedia Information

Search here What exactly is a wetland?

Search here  Fact Sheet

Describe a bog.

Search here for a Dictionary Definition

Search  here for Encyclopedia Information

Search here to Compare Bogs and Fens

Search here for Articles on Bogs

Search here or here for Bog Information
Search here for Tamarack Bogs
Search here for The Curious Bog

Describe a marsh.

Search here for a Dictionary Definition
Search here  for Marsh Information 
Search here for more Marsh Information

Describe a swamp.

Search here for a Dictionary Definition
Search here  for Multiple Definitions
Search here for What do swamps do?


What is sphagnum moss?

Search here for a Single branch of Sphagnum Moss; see also
Search here for the Development of Sphagnum Moss
Search here for Encyclopedia Information
Search here for Description of Sphagnum Moss

What is peat?

Search here  for Dictionary Definition
Search here  for Peat Information
Search here for the Many Uses of Peat

How was the Volo Bog created?

The five zones in the Volo Bog: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

       Field Trip 

Your magic capsule has been transported to the Volo Bog.  Divide into equal teams.  Choose a tour guide for each area. Click on the highlighted words, and read the information provided. Make a journal entry describing the important facts for each area.  One or two questions are listed under each section on the journal information log to help you think of some ideas.  A group discussion will follow.  The tour guide will lead the discussion.

Review the five zones of the Bog before your trip:

Zone 1:  Herb Mat
Zone 2: Low trees and shrubs
Zone 3: Tamarack Trees
Zone 4: Tall shrubs
Zone 5: Marshland
What's important about each zone?

Rubrics for descriptive paragraph

Journal Observation Guide

Definitions of Terms

          Bog Locations in the United States (scroll to the middle of the page.)

          Creating a Bog

         The Bog Home Page

Extended Activities

  1. Extensions for teachers

  2. Research animals and plants of the Volo Bog

    Each student will identify the characteristics, cycle of life, food, human impact, and history of  one of the following in each category.  

    Make a visual.



    Dragonflies Cardinal Salamander
    Beaver Egret Snapping, Painted or Box Turtles **
    Muskrats Great Blue Heron  
    Red-Tailed Hawk Waterboatmen  

    ** All About Turtles


    Each student will identify facts about  the history, food chains, uses by humans and animals, life cycle, how the Venus flytrap and pitcher plant  catches its prey, or any interesting facts about one plant from each category. 


    Cattail   Tamarack Tree I    Tamarack Tree II
    Venus Flytrap   Poison Sumac 
        Pitcher Plant I        Pitcher Plant II



Go to the Journal Observation Log

Back to the SMART home page

© Janet M. Sheard