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Author(s): Nancy P. Moreno, PhD, Barbara Z. Tharp, MS, and Judith Dresden, MS.

Photo © Thodsaphol Tamklang.

  • Grades:
  • 3-5

Physical Science, Life Science, Environment and Health

Students explore basic concepts related to air and the atmosphere, air quality, and associated issues, such as allergens in the places we live, study and work. Student sheets are provided in English and in Spanish.

The Science of Air Teacher's Guide is a complete set of science lessons, with assessments, that enable students to explore air, types of gases, which gases are in air, why air moves, how air moves in and out of the lungs, types of activities that affect breathing and heart rate, mold and fungi, and whether pollutants become concentrated indoors. This guide provides the following inquiry-based activities.

  1. What Is Air? - Pre-assessment

  2. Gases Matter - What is a gas?

  3. About Air - Which gases are in air?

  4. Moving Air - Why does air move?

  5. Breathing Machine - How does air move into and out of the lungs?

  6. Lungometer - How much air can be blown out of the lungs?

  7. Heart and Lungs - Do activity levels affect breathing and heart rates?

  8. Dust Catchers - What is in dust?

  9. Fungus Among Us - What does mold look like?

  10. There’s Something in the Air - Do pollutants become concentrated indoors?

  11. Healthy Homes - Post-assessment

The guide also is designed to be used with integrated components of the Air unit: Mr. Slaptail's Secret (storybook), Explorations: Air (student magazine), and two supplements, The Reading Link and The Math Link (language arts and mathematics worksheet activities related to the storybook).

Although the activities are most appropriate for use with students in grades 3–5, the lessons are easily adaptable for other grade levels. The guide also is available in print format.

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Download: The Science of Air Teacher's Guide

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  • Explorations: Air

    Explorations: Air Reading

    In The Science of Air: Explorations magazine, students learn about the properties of air, explore what can be found in dust, make a lung model, read about a pulmonologist, and more.

  • Mr. Slaptail's Secret

    Mr. Slaptail's Secret Reading

    Rosie's cousin, Riff, comes to visit for the summer, and they are intrigued by the activities of Rosie's mysterious neighbor.

  • The Math Link: Air

    The Math Link: Air Worksheets

    Math worksheets designed to meet common math objectives. Activities are integrated with the storybook, Mr. Slaptail's Secret.

  • The Reading Link: Air

    The Reading Link: Air Worksheets

    Reading and language arts worksheets with activities that are directly related to the book, Mr. Slaptail's Secret.

Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932