I open the lesson by handing out one strip of the Air Sayings (either a saying or a meaning) to each student as s/he enters the classroom. I tell the students that some of them have received a strip with a "saying", while others have received a description of what the saying means. I ask the students to walk around and find their partner. Each pair should consist of a matching "saying" and "meaning". After all the students have found their partners, I have the students return to their seats and ask them to read their sayings and meanings aloud to the rest of the class.
In order to build relevance and activate background knowledge, I ask the students if any of them ever watch or have dreams of participating in the Olympics. I explain that, in 2008, there were huge concerns over the health of the athletes and spectators at the Beijing Olympics due to extreme air pollution in the city. I read the article, Bad Air in Beijing aloud to the students to provide a description of the air quality during this event. I also play the video Hazardous Air Pollution Shrouds Beijing to show the current status of the air quality in China.
Next, I explain that the city officials in Beijing have submitted a bid to host the 2022 Olympic games and are working to improve the air quality. In fact, they have guaranteed that a significant improvement will take place well before the games. I ask students to discuss whether or not they feel that Beijing should be allowed to host again.
After each student on group has looked at their own data, we compile data from all the student groups to identify and compare areas with high and low amounts of particles in the air. I have students hypothesize where the particles in each area might come from that float in the air.
Now that students are more aware of what is in their air supply, I want them to see how it can actually affect their health. I introduce the students to the Lung Attack Simulation, which demonstrates the effect of particulates and carbon monoxide on the lungs. I provide them with approximately 10 minutes to run the simulations.
After running the simulation, I direct the students back to the handout to work on the reflection questions. (These questions are the same ones we discussed during the "engage" section of the lesson, but students should now be able to respond with greater detail.)
Next, we discuss the questions as a class. I select a random student to respond to each question, and then select another random classmate to elaborate on what their peer has said. This holds all students accountable for potentially providing a response, for actively listening to their peers, and for preparing additional information to share in response to their classmates' answer.
As a final demonstration of understanding, I pass out the bookmark containing Clean Air in 10 Easy Steps and have the students read through the steps on their own and explain (in writing) why each of the tips will contribute to the reduction of air pollution. I also have them add three of their own tips that are not mentioned on the bookmark.