Atmosphere & Freshwater

Pachamama Teacher's Resource

Elementary, Middle, Secondary


Activity 1: Measuring Pollution (Basic level - gr.3 to5)

  • Students conduct basic sampling techniques for air and water quality in and around their school community.
  • Map skills are developed through the location of samples taken and key features in the school community.
  • Observations are made using the sense of sight and smell to distinguish any differences between samples. The samples are compared using a pollution rating scale (1 to 10 - cleanest to dirtiest).
  • Stutdents discuss the location of samples and the possible sources (natural or man-made) and level of pollution. Students are introduced to what scientists look for when studying air and water quality.

Activity 2: Learning Key Words and Concepts (Intermediate level - gr.6to8)

  • The depletion of the ozone layer is simulated.
  • Students discuss how the ozone layer protects living things from UV rays, the cause of ozone depletion, and what can be done about it at the student and the government level.
  • The effects of acid rain on plant life is demonstrated through a controlled experiment.
  • Students apply the 'scientific research method' to their investigations in a report.
  • Global warming is illustrated by doing a simple experiment to explain the working of a greenhouse.
  • Students discuss how carbon dioxide gas acts as an insulator to keep heat within the atmosphere and the consequences of heating the atmosphere.
  • Students write a scientific report on the experiment, make comparisons between the experiment and global warming and of global warming on Earth.

Activity 3: Human Health (Advanced level - gr.8/9)

  • Students form teams investigating the health of their community. Using a questionnaire the students gather information from peers, family members, and the general public about local environmental problems, and what, if any, is their direct link to health issues.
  • Students summarize questionnaire results and discuss environmental problems and health issues that arise.
  • Student groups analyze the results from their own investigation and make a report of their findings.

Activity 4: Water Distribution (Intermed/Advanced - gr.6-9)

  • Students study their local environment and personal use of water.
  • They research the different water problems countries face around the world and present their findings.
  • Students compare their water consumption with that of other regions around the world and suggest ways they and people in the country they studied can conserve water.

This teacher's resource serves as a companion to 'Pachamama: Our Earth - Our Future' available at


General Assessment

Themes Addressed

Relevant Curriculum Units