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Lesson #2 of Air Quality Unit


Body Systems, Fiction, Self Awareness


3rd, 4th, 5th


English Language Arts, Health, Social-Emotional Learning


45 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides

How Can Air Pollution Affect Our Bodies? (Air Quality #2)

Created By Teachers:
Last Updated:
Oct 2, 2022


In this lesson, students learn how to analyze characters in stories, reread Why Is Coco Orange?, and complete a journal entry. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students learn about character traits and practice identifying them in characters from the movie Inside Out.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students read Why Is Coco Orange?

Step 3 - Inspire: Students identify character traits in Coco and Coco's friends. Then students complete a journal entry, choosing one of three provided options.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson allows students to explore their own personality traits and relate them to the characters in the story.
  • This lesson shows students the best ways to support their classmates who have asthma.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the vocabulary in the story. You can use the vocabulary words slideshow with your students to review the words or play games with the words.
  • Analyzing the characters in Inside Out is an easy way for students to begin practicing character analysis.


  • You can choose to read the book aloud to your students, watch the video read aloud as a class, or have students read the story independently or in groups.
  • You could print the vocabulary cards for students who need to refer to them during the read aloud.
  • Students could read their journal entries to the class after they have finished. Some students may want to share their own journeys with asthma or how they are supporting friends and family with asthma.
  • Students who finish early could conduct more research on ozone and its impact on the respiratory system.
Scientist Notes

This lesson lets students learn about air quality, how to analyze characters in a story, and how to tell a story about the impact of air quality on human health. This lesson has passed the science review process and is recommended for teaching.

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Literature (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.2 Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.3 Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
10 minutes
  • Teacher introduces the topic of character traits. Students describe character traits, including personality traits and physical traits.
  • Students watch a video clip from Inside Out. Students write sentences analyzing the characters and their traits.
15 minutes
  • Students write in their journals about the character traits of Coco and Coco's friends.
  • Students complete a journal entry, choosing from one of the following three options:
    • Story Writing: Tell a story from the point of view of one of Coco's classmates. How does the classmate feel when they first hear about Coco's asthma? What actions do they take to help?
    • Awareness Poster: Design a poster to raise awareness about the effects of air quality on humans. Give advice on how everyone can help! Be sure to include a diagram of the air quality chart.
    • Narrative Writing: Tell about your own experience with asthma. What is it like? How can others help? If you don't have asthma but know someone who does, write about them!


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