PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • determine the necessity of reducing pollutants that can harm the air quality.
  • describe the makeup of air quality reports.
  • recognize the need to be aware of and to make public the pollutants in the air we breathe.
  • Crushed colored chalks (separated according to color) on sheets of paper
  • Large glass jar (minimum 64 oz. size) with lid
  • Air tight rubber sheet or plastic wrap secured with elastic band
  • Straw
  • Take a Stand/Position graphic organizer (Handout One)
  • Copies of Homework Sheet – Getting the Message Out (Handout Two)
  • Student journals or sheets of lined paper
  • Poster size or individual copies of the Assessment Rubric (Handout Three)
  • Display area or chart paper
  • Copies of Air Quality Reports from local newspapers, local weather forecast, internet, or U. S. Weather Reports (See Bibliographical References)
  • Sentence strips with pre-written question: Would you like to breathe the contents of the container on a daily basis?
  • Half sheet of paper for question- Would you like to breathe the contents of the container on a daily basis?
  • Vocabulary List - may include allergens, air quality, pollutants, individual rights, community, responsibility, philanthropy
Home Connection 

Interactive Parent / Student Homework: See Handout Two, Getting the Message Out Learners will create a thirty-second script that will be used to video tape a PSA (Public Service Announcement) about Air Quality to share in or outside school and the communityExplain that these are due the next day to allow you time to conference withlearners over the next two days and corrections to be done in class.


  1. Anticipatory Set: Tell the students that something exciting will be happening in a few minutes. As quickly as possible create a “cloud of confusion”- use the jar and fill it with the crushed chalk. Place the plastic wrap around the opening in the jar; secure it with the elastic (rubber bands). With the straw, make a hole in the plastic wrap. Blow into the jar through the straw, creating a “cloud of confusion.”Turn to the students, say; “I want each of you to record what just happened? Do not speak out loud or discuss your answers with others. In your journals or on a sheet of paper, describe what you just observed.”Allow about 2 minutes for the recording.

  2. Call on two or three volunteers to read their descriptions. Thank them for their contributions.Adding, “Now that we have had a sharing of minds, I would like to have each of you take a stand”.

  3. Affix the sentence strip: Would you like to breathe the contents of the container on a daily basis? to a display area for learners to see.

  4. Have learners respond using Take a Stand/Position Graphic Organizer (See Handout One).

  5. Teaching Note: If students are not familiar with this type of organizer, take a few minutes to explain before it is used.

  6. Allow a few minutes for this activity.

  7. Ask: “Is it your right to breathe clean air? Why or why not? What are the responsibilities of the community to keep the air quality clean? Note their responses on chart paper.

  8. Develop understanding of air quality by listing the following on chart paper or the chalk board: smog, global warming, pollutants, and allergens. Solicit definitions from learners. Attempt to build a common understanding for the terminology.

  9. Lead a discussion by asking the following set of questions. Note the responses on chart paper.

    1. What is the EPA?
    2. What is the Clean Air Act?
    3. How effective have agencies been in deterring problems with our air supply?
    4. What can be done to increase the quality of air we breathe?
  10. Distribute copies of the air quality reports and explain how they are read. Emphasize how pollens and pollutants affect the makeup of the air that is breathe. Ask students to tell how mold will affect breathing and which people would be concerned about it?

  11. Ask: What can be done to eliminate pollutants from the air we breathe?

  12. Refer students back to the "cloud of confusion" from the Anticipatory Set.

  13. Build the background for the next activity by asking students if they have seen a PSA (Public Service Announcements. Explain why a PSA is used. As examples, use several popular ones such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers); Brain on Drugs, etc. Ask: “How many remember the Woodsy Owl and the PSA slogan – “Give a Hoot-Don’t Pollute.”What do you think it meant? While Woodsy was concerned with not polluting the land, would it apply to air quality too? Is it a slogan that we need to bring back?

  14. Describe the homework assignment Getting the Message Out (see  Handout Two)


Learners will use a graphic organizer to defend a position about air quality. (See Handout One: Take a Stand/Position) The teacher will use the Rubric for the Graphic Organizer (See Handout Attachment Three) to evaluate the learners work.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify the relationship between individual rights and community responsibilities.