This lesson discusses the research findings that show people of color are exposed to more pollution from almost every type of pollution source, and highlights the racial inequities associated with air pollution in particular.
The scientific article can be downloaded and includes vocabulary terms, reading comprehension questions, references, and other resources.
Videos are included to help support student learning and engagement.
The videos within this resource are engaging and address various aspects of the impacts of air pollution.
The article provided is a colorful PDF with charts, graphs, a glossary, and a check for understanding.
In order to access the Teacher's Key, teachers must provide some basic information, including name, school, and email address.
Once signed up, teachers will have access to all of the resources and must then scroll in order to find the relevant resources.
Since the first video consists of a narrator reading aloud the provided article and highlights key words and important facts, consider having students who may need reading support follow along with the video while allowing stronger readers to read the article independently.
After giving students an opportunity to watch the videos and read the article, put students in pairs to discuss the "Check Your Understanding" questions before asking them to provide written answers in order to assess their understanding of the content.
As an extension activity, students can listen to this podcast and participate in group discussion about the far-reaching impacts of air pollution on the brain.
While air pollution is a concern across most of the planet, data shows that people of color are disproportionately affected by bad air quality. This research shows that when you break down air pollution by location and source, it is more often coming from areas close to where people of color live. This resource is heavily sourced and researched and is recommended for teaching.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 2: Civics
D2.Civ.10.6-8 Explain the relevance of personal interests and perspectives, civic virtues, and democratic principles when people address issues and problems in government and civil society.
Dimension 2: Geography
D2.Geo.4.6-8 Explain how cultural patterns and economic decisions influence environments and the daily lives of people in both nearby and distant places.
D2.Geo.6.9-12 Evaluate the impact of human settlement activities on the environmental and cultural characteristics of specific places and regions.
Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
D4.6.6-8 Draw on multiple disciplinary lenses to analyze how a specific problem can manifest itself at local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the problem.
D4.7.9-12 Assess options for individual and collective action to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
National Health Education Standards
Standard 1: Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
1.8.3 Analyze how the environment affects personal health.
Standard 2: Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health behaviors.
2.12.10 Analyze how public health policies and government regulations can influence health promotion and disease prevention.