Middle School Lesson Plans

This is a list of lesson plans for middle school grade level.

More Than Meets the Eye  (Grade 6)

 Demonstrations include revealing by-products of combustion, creating smog, and observing fine, air-born particulates. Students will play a game with foam balls representing particulate matter. Students representing cilia must block the foam balls from entering the lung. Students will observe the cilia’s ability to block different quantities and sizes of particles from reaching the lungs. Students work in teams to create PM monitoring devices to different sites around the school. At the end of the week, students complete data sheets and a class comparison table and results from all the monitors are compared and discussed.

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Our Lungs, Our Air, Our Health: The Health Effects of Air Pollution (Grade 6)

Students are introduced to the human respiratory system. The teacher leads a review of how air moves into and through the body. Students will be directed to online animations depicting the respiratory system and how air pollution affects the lungs. Students will then conduct before and after measurements to see the effects that exercise has on their own heartbeat and breathing rates. Results are discussed and related to human activity on pollution alert days and the AQI.

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Air Quality Index  (Grades 6-12)

This lesson examines how data related to pollutants in the air are collected and reported. The AQI, or Air Quality Index, is derived from daily calculations of four major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act. These are ground-level ozone, particle pollution (also known as particulate matter), carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide. The activity explains the index values, which range from 0–50 (Good) to 301–500 (Hazardous); describes each pollutant and identifies its sources; and details its health effects, including which populations are at greatest risk.

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Compare Your Air  (Grades 6, 7, 8)

Students will gain an understanding of the Air Quality Index. Divide students into groups to collect data about 2 locations over 5 years. Using the numbers of days with air quality rating of good, have the students draw a best fit curve to show trends in air quality in each location. Students will also calculate mean, modes, medians of number of days with good, moderate, unhealthy air and make predictions about the future and compare locations to each other.

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Every Breath You Take  (Grades 6, 7, 8)

Students will explore the nature of the air we breathe by observing petri dishes that have accumulated particulate matter from the atmosphere. At the end of one week, using a microscope, have students count the number of particles in each square and observe particle size. Students should tally totals and find the average number of particles. Students will learn about the respiratory system and how air travels through the body. The class will discuss how air quality can affect breathing.

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What do Light Bulbs Have to do with Air Pollution?  (Grade 6)

Students conduct a home energy audit. Students learn about conserving energy by using certain bulbs. Students will learn how to calculate the amount of CO2 is emitted from each light bulb. Students will investigate issues associated with the use of compact fluorescent bulbs, including recycling. Students will calculate the impact of energy conservation where they live by making small changes in their home.

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Every Breath You Take  (Grade 7)

Students will learn about the parts and function of the respiratory system. Students make a working lung model then learn about how air pollution affects the respiratory system. Students will learn about populations that are at highest risk from pollution.

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Lung Power and Air Pollution  (Grade 7)

Students will learn about the respiratory system and the impact air pollution has on the human body. Students will determine the air quality for their area by analyzing data from monitoring stations. Students will learn about the impact of air pollution by doing vital capacity on good air days and bad air days and develop strategies to protect their respiratory system.

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Ozone, Particulate Matter, and Carbon Monoxide- Oh My!  (Grades 6-8)

During this lesson, students will observe the formation of ozone and the effects of ozone, particulate matter (PM 2.5 and PM 10), and carbon monoxide on the lungs. The purpose of this lesson is to give students the opportunity to explore the creation of ozone, and the effects of different pollutants on the lungs.

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Pollution  (Grades 6-8)

During this lesson, students will clarify their understanding of weather and pollution through Internet research. The purpose of the lesson is to allow students the opportunity to explain how weather and pollutants are related.
 

Pollutant Posters  (Grades 6-8)

During this lesson, students will apply their understanding of weather systems, air currents, and pollution to create an informational poster that will be presented in a mini science forum. The purpose of this lesson is for students to apply knowledge and skills to create posters that inform the public about a specific pollutant and suggest where people with specific respiratory illnesses might want to relocate (if they were able to) in order to alleviate symptoms.

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Vehicles and Pollution  (Grades 6-8)

During this lesson, students will share prior knowledge about the relationship between vehicles and pollution to engage them in the study of air quality and human health. The purpose of the lesson is to engage the students in a discussion about the relationship between specific vehicles and pollution.

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Taking Action  (Grades 6-8)

During this lesson, students will write a formal communication to a target audience suggesting regulations to improve air quality by restricting CO emissions. The purpose of the lesson is for the students to be able to apply knowledge of convection, inversion layers, CO emissions, and city growth to plan a possible solution.

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CO Buildup City  (Grades 6-8)

During this lesson, students will use a computer simulation at Air Info Now or Smog City (for advanced students) to explain the relationship between city size, temperature, and air quality. The purpose of the lesson is to explain how city size, temperature, and pollution are related to the air quality.

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     City size protocol

     Time of day protocol

What’s the Connection Between Convection and Inversion? : Convection Currents and Temperature Inversion  (Grades 6-8)

During this lesson, students will watch a demonstration and conduct an experiment to see the relationship between temperature and inversion layers. The purpose of the lesson is to explore the relationship between temperature and inversion layers.

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     Student handout

     Demonstration set-up