Brain Gain Module 8: It’s So Easy Being Green Day 4: Thursday
|Title: What’s In The Air?
Expectations and Rules
- Respect Others: Listen when others are talking, be encouraging and kind.
- Respect Yourself: Participate and try your best.
- Respect the Club: Leave your space clean and tidy
- Have fun!
- Have kids gather together, sitting (or standing) in a circle formation, and ask them to breathe in, following your example, and breathe out.
- To make this exercise more fun you can also have them see who can hold their breath for the longest etc.
Activity 1 (20 minutes)
- Ask kids if they’ve ever been in a place where they’ve found it more difficult to breathe. Examples can include places, buildings or cities.
- Ask kids if they can think of reasons that breathing more difficult in certain places or for certain people. Pinpoint that certain cities have more people living in them, and how that might affect the environment. Talk about how some people who might have breathing conditions (such as Asthma etc.) might have to be more careful in these cities.
- Use “What’s in the air gets around” worksheet to help the kids visualize what the process of air traveling globally looks like. Either print out individual sheets, draw on a whiteboard or pass the sheet of paper around as each kid reads part of the cycle that air goes through. http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/air_pdf/aircycleactivity.pdf
- In what ways can air pollution be harmful? (Possible answers: air pollution can trap heat on the earth and cause global warming, which in turn will harm people, plants, animals; air pollution can make people sick if they breathe too much of it; it can prevent plants from growing; it can eat away at stones that are used for buildings and statues.)
- What causes air pollution (Possible answers: cars, trucks, boats, planes, energy/electricity plants, factories).
- What can you do to prevent air pollution (Possible answers: ride bikes and walk instead of driving; carpool; take a train or bus instead of driving; save energy by turning off lights and other electronics; don’t leave cars running; use renewable energy, such as solar and wind electricity, whenever possible; buy fewer things and reuse as much as possible.)
- Explain to kids that the AQI (Air Quality Index) is a system used by the EPA (The United States Environmental Protection Agency) and state environmental agencies to measure pollution in the air, so they can tell people about it. The index ranges from 0-500, with 50 being considered “clean air.” The AQI uses colors, numbers and words to teach us about the air we are breathing.
- Use the website AirNow to look up the AQI for your home city and another larger city (Examples being Beijing, Dehli, Tokyo : http://aqicn.org/map/world/ )
- Ask the kids in your room to think about how their lives might be different if they lived in a city on the opposite spectrum of the AQI as they are currently living.
- Talk how some cities have warnings during certain times of days when children and people with breathing difficulties are advised to stay inside, and especially away from high traffic areas.
Activity 2: AQI Game Show (10 minutes)
- Visit AirNow website for their AQI Game show. Either play online as a class, or print out the questions and have 2-3 kids come up to compete with their knowledge of the AQI, air pollution and air quality which they’ve just learned.
- Visit AirNow website for AQI color game: Either play online as a class, or print out the questions and have 2-3 kids come up to compete with their knowledge of the AQI, air pollution and air quality which they’ve just learned.
- Hand out prizes to kids who are interactive, helpful and good sports.
Activity 3: The Clean Air Fortune Teller Game (10 minutes)
Members will now be able to test out their hypothesis:
- Have students gather at tables, or at designated areas to work on their fortune tellers.
- Have each student cut around designated areas and go over each step as they fold together their fortune tellers:
- Cut out the game along the outer dotted lines.
- With the printed side down, fold each of the 4 corners up to the center point so the pictures show (crease on solid lines).
- Turn the folded paper over. Then, once again, fold each of the 4 corners to the center so the text shows.
- With the text facing up, fold the square in half from left to right making a rectangle; crease and open. Then fold the square in half again from top to bottom.
- Using two hands, place thumbs and index fingers under the 4 picture flaps.
- Have each student find a partner and play the game with each other:
- With the game on your fingers, either you or a friend should pick a number (from 1 to 5) and a picture. For example, the number 2 and the picture “Be Cool-Carpool.”
- Open and close the game in alternating directions while counting to the number you chose. Then read the question that is next to the selected picture, and guess the answer.
- Lift the inside flap to read the correct answer. If playing with a friend, don’t forget to take turns reading and guessing.
- Try to answer all the questions… Everyone wins by learning about Air!
Have students clean up their areas, asking them if they remember which container their scraps of paper go into (Recycling, of course!)
Gather the group back together and ask the kids if they can tell you one thing they learned from their fortune-teller that they would like to share with the group.
Clean Up/Wrap Up – Have Club members help gather excess equipment, or anything from the floor that does not belong to that room. Recognize Club members who did an exceptional job of working as a team, following Club rules, or having a good attitude during the game. (5 minutes)