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The Clean Air Game

Elementary, Middle


Playing the Clean Air Game is a great way to initiate discussion of the importance of protecting the atmosphere and help students understand distinctions between air pollutants and greenhouse gases.

The objectives of the game are to acquaint students with sources and types of air pollutants, their impact on the health of people and the environment, and actions individuals can take to prevent air pollution. The game can be used in a number of ways: to spark discussion of how our energy choices create or ameliorate environmental problems; to highlight how non-living aspects of the environment change in response to human and other factors; and to assess the environmental impacts of technology.

To play the game the students, in groups of 4-5, will roll a dice and move their game piece around the board. As players land on spaces, they read aloud the description and add or remove pollutants from their atmosphere as directed. When landing on pollutant spaces, players must add one of those pollutants to their atmosphere. The team with the lowest score (cleanest air) wins the game.

General Assessment

Recommendation of how and where to use it

The Clean Air Game is intended to be used to introduce students to the terms of air pollutants and greenhouse gases. It can also be used at the end of a unit on these topics as a review of the information learned. 

Relevant Curriculum Units

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Themes Addressed

Air, Atmosphere & Climate (3)

  • Air Pollution
  • Climate Change
  • Ozone Depletion

Energy (3)

  • Alternative Energy
  • Energy Generation
  • Energy Use

Land Use & Natural Resources (1)

  • Transportation