During this lesson, students are
introduced to the issue of air and water pollution by sharing
prior knowledge and reading an overview of the global pollution
problems. Students will read different articles and then
prepare a brief summary of the situation to share with
classmates. This is the introductory lesson for the quarter
long unit of study on the relationship between air and
water currents, water and climate, and air quality.
of students in the topic of air and water currents by studying
the effect of pollution originating from different countries on
the rest of the world. Students will also begin to take
with reduced air and water quality.
will be able to:
1. Communicate and present findings in an oral format
2. Identify patterns of pollution flowing via air and water currents
Strand 3: Science
in Personal and Social Perspectives
• Natural ecosystems provide an array of basic processes that affect humans.
Those processes include maintenance of the quality of the atmosphere, generation
of soils, control of the hydrologic cycle, disposal of wastes, and recycling
of nutrients. Humans are changing many of these basic processes, and the changes
may be very detrimental.
• Many factors influence environmental quality. Factors that students might
investigate include population growth, resource use, population distribution,
over-consumption, the capacity of technology to solve problems, poverty, the
role of economic, political, and religious views, and different ways humans view
• Natural and human-induced hazards present the need for humans to assess
potential dangers and risks. Many changes in the environment designed by humans
bring benefits to society, as well as cause risks. Students should understand
the costs and trade-offs of various hazards--ranging from those with minor risk
to a few people to major catastrophes with major risk to many people. The scale
of events and the accuracy with which scientists and engineers can (and cannot)
predict events are important considerations.
weather and climatic changes are a result of global wind
and water patterns. In general warm
air and water rise and move. Colder denser air or water rushes
in to fill that space. It too is then heated and moves on.
As the warm air or water cools, it sinks back down to continue
the cycle. As air and water move in these currents they move
pollutants from one area to another. Thus North America sends
pollution to Europe and Canada. China sends pollution to
North America and India (depending upon where that pollution
The impacts of long distance pollution on local air and
water quality initiates a conversation concerning how our
health can be impacted and how we impact others health
by our practices.
and Resource Websites
NASA Satellites and Balloons Spot Airborne Pollution Train
Asian Pollution Cloud Changing Climate, Study Says
New Nasa/Csa Monitor Provides Global Air Pollution View
Bay skies to come alive with the dust of China: Gobi Desert
storm sends sand flying 7,000 miles
In the Air, don’t Be Afraid to
A Far-Reaching Fire Makes a Point About Pollution (To
get this you must register with nytimes.com for free)
Mercury in California rainwater traced to industrial emissions
Working Together For Cleaner Air
Mercury Pollution is a Growing Global Menace