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Air: Lesson 2- Air Quality Picture Project

Secondary

Description

This lesson explores air quality, how it is measured and how humans affect it. After discussing methods used to determine air quality, students research sources of pollution and identify the human activities involved. Student photographers then take ten photos- five depicting activities that have a harmful effect on air quality and five that demonstrate positive impacts.

Groups of students are given one picture to analyze. They must determine what the pollution problem is, where within the community the picture was taken, and what action they can personally take to reduce the pollutant and its effects.

 

 

 

General Assessment

Strengths

Clear, concise background information is provided for the teacher. 

Students are examining a real, local problem.

Weaknesses

Assessment tools could be more fully developed for the teacher.  Student self-assessment prompts would be very appropriate for this activity.

The teacher should instruct students to look at the multiple dimensions of the causes of air pollution and the multiple benefits and impacts associated with reducing air pollution.  For example, if a factory is closed, people often become unemployed.  Empathy and respect for all involved could be fostered through questions that ask students to consider this costs associated with pollution reduction, in their presentations.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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    • Grade 9
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      • Science
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        • Environmental Chemistry
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    • Grade 12
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environmental Science 12: Human activities cause changes in the global climate system
  • Manitoba
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        • Senior 2 Science: Dynamics of Ecosystems
  • New Brunswick
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Advanced Environmental Science 120:Introduction to the human sphere
        • Introduction to Environmental Science 120: Investigating Environmental Issues
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        • Science 1206: Sustainability of Ecosystems
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        • Science 2200: Ecosytems
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        • Environmental Science 3205: The Atmosphere and the Environment
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        • Science 10: Sustainability of Ecosystems
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        • Environmental Science: Atmospheric Pollution
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        • Environmental Studies 35: Northern Environmental Issues
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        • Science (Academic):Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems
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        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Human Health and the Environment
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        • Science 431A: Life Science, Sustainability of Ecosystems
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        • Environmental Science 621A: Environmental Challenges and Successes
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        • Environmental Science & Technology: The Technological World
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        • Science 10: Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Yukon Territory
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    • Grade 12
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environmental Science 12: Human activities cause changes in the global climate system

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Air Pollution

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Satisfactory

Students identify a variety of different sources of air pollution.  They do not really investigate why the pollution is being emitted, the perspective of the emitter.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Satisfactory

The resource does not examine the economic costs of pollution reduction or the health costs of continuing to pollute. 

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Satisfactory
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Good

As part of the activity students identify what can be done to minimize emissions.  They determine personal lifestyle changes needed and barriers to implementation.  Students are not evaluated on whether they actually take this action.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Poor/Not considered
Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered
Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Satisfactory

Some students from the class go outdoors and take the pictures.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Very Good

Pictures/discussion reflect the local community.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good

The present is well covered.  In the extension it is suggested that students talk to elders about the state of air quality in the past.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Very Good

Students independently select subjects of their pictures and  carry out their own analysis.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Very Good
Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Satisfactory
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Very Good

Extension ideas for work with younger students and special needs and second language students are provided.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Very Good
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Satisfactory

There are assessment suggestions but rubrics are not provided.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Good
Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good
Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Satisfactory
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.