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Welcome to the Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Catch the Pollution

Lesson Description:
Students will be able to…
  • Describe air as a mixture of invisible gases that surrounds us.
  • Identify and describe air pollution as an environmental problem.
  • Identify and describe particulate matter as one cause of air pollution.
  • Identify the four cardinal directions (north, south, east, west). 
  • Record observations and interpret information using their own words and drawings.

Lesson Type:
  • Experiment

Sustainability Topic:
  • Climate Change
  • Energy

GEF Program Category:
  • Green Energy Challenge

Time Needed:
30-45 minutes, then observation time 1 week later
Standards Addressed:
  • Science standard 10: understand force and motion.
    • Benchmark # 1: know the effects of forces (e.g., wind) in nature.
  • Science standard 12: understand the nature of scientific inquiry.
    • Benchmark # 1: know learning can come from careful observation and simple experiments.
    • Benchmark # 2: know that tools (e.g., magnifiers) can be used to gather information and extend the senses.
  • Technology standard 3: understand the relationship among science, technology, society and the individual. 
    • Benchmark # 3: know that man-made materials, products and systems can have an adverse affect on the environment.
  • Geography standard 1: understand the characteristics and uses of maps, globes and other geographic tools (e.g., compass) and technologies.
  • Geography standard 14: understand how human actions modify the physical environment.
    • Benchmark # 1: know how people affect the environment in negative (e.g., pollution) and positive (e.g., using alternative forms of energy) ways.
  • Language arts standard 1: use the general skills and strategies of the writing process.
    • Benchmark # 8: writes for different purposes (e.g., to communicate ideas).

Materials Needed:
  • Food can (make sure it has something in it to make it heavy, such as beans or peas. or, if the can is empty, fill it with stones).
  • Double-Sided Scotch tape 
  • Marker 
  • Magnifying lens 
  • Directional compass 
  • Science journal/ paper 
  • Pencil

School or Group:
Green Education Foundation (GEF)
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf CatchthePollution.pdf

The Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse is brought to you in partnership with

Center for Green Schools