"History of Acid Rain"
History of Acid Rain Lesson Title A brief history of Acid Rain Grade Level 6, 7, 8 Estimated Time Required Number of Days: 3 class periods of 50 mintues Number of Half-Hour Segments per Day: 2 Author Information Name: Nain Singh School: Carrington Middle School Brief Description of the Lesson Acid rain is a growing problem in the United States and many other countries. This lesson is designed to demonstrate and make students become aware about the problem, and its effects on the ecosystem. Acid rain is a term that is used to describe when precipitation from rainwater, snow, hail, fog, dew, or sleet is more acidic than normal, that is, with a pH below the 5.0-5.6 range. Acid rain includes both acid precipitation and acidic deposition from the atmosphere in its dry form. Rainwater generally has a pH of about 5.0 that is caused by carbon dioxide in the air combining with water to form a weak carbonic acid. However, the two biggest air pollutants that contribute to acid rain formation are sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitric oxides (NOx). The sulfur and nitrogen emissions come mainly from human activities such as cars, trucks, power plants, and smelters. Other sources of emission are from natural sources, such as, forest fires, volcanoes, and decaying organic matter. When these two gases are released into the atmosphere, they undergo a series of complex chemical reactions with moisture in the air to form sulfuric acid and nitric acid. This acidic precipitation lowers the soil pH, which in turn affects many agricultural crops, forests, aquatic animals as well as buildings and other structures. Some soils such as granite and certain types of sandstone are highly susceptible to damage by acidic precipitation. Acid rain can cause the release of toxic chemicals such as mercury, aluminum, lead, and cadmium from soils and rock. These toxic chemicals are then leached into rivers, streams, and lakes to cause harmful effects on fish and possible drinking water. Besides, microorganisms, snails, dragonflies, salamanders are all indicators of pollution. Lesson Plan Objectives Students will: 1. be able to define acid rain 2. be able to identify efforts to prevent further damage to the ecosystems 3. make choices to help reduce acid rain pollution 4. know the historical development of environmental science Skill Objectives: i. Analyze, interpret, and draw conclusions and scenarios ii. Develop interpersonal skills to work as a team iii. Create an action plan and make recommendations that might help to reduce acid rain North Carolina Social Studies Curriculum Alignment Grade 6 COMPETENCY GOAL 2: The learner will demonstrate an understanding of technological design. 2.02 Use information systems to: Identify scientific needs, human needs, or problems that are subject to technological solution. 3.08 Conclude that the good health of environments and organisms requires: COMPETENCY GOAL 7: The learner will conduct investigations and use technologies and information systems to build an understanding of population dynamics. 7.01 Describe ways in which organisms interact with each other and with non-living parts of the environment: Coexistence/Cooperation/Competition. Symbiosis. Mutual dependence. 7.03 Explain how changes in habitat may affect organisms. 7.04 Evaluate data related to human population growth, along with problems and solutions: 7.05 Examine evidence that overpopulation by any species impacts the environment. 7.06 Investigate processes which, operating over long periods of time, have resulted in the diversity of plant and animal life present today: Natural selection. Adaptation. Print and Non-print Materials Photococopied pages: “Acid rain timeline” from sourcebook Crayons Floppy disk for each group/student Technology Needs Computer with internet access Pre-Lesson Expectations Prior to Activity: Have students read the “Background information” and the information on “Acid Rain” from sourcebook provided by the teacher. Explain the terms “Acid/Neutrall/Base”, “pH scale”, “ Indicators”. Activities Procedure: i. Teacher will introduce the topic of acid rain and follow this up with some brief descriptions ii. Begin by asking questions: What is acid rain? What are some natural sources of acid rain? What are fossil fuels? Where do they come from iii. Arrange students in groups of three or four and assign each group a particular time period in acid rain history. iv. Each group, with help from the media coordinator, will then collect the resources for their assigned acid rain time period. v. Construct a time line for that particular period vi. Give a brief description of the importance of acid rain for each year within the time period. vii. Consider coloring any illustration/drawing on a single sheet. Assessment Teacher’s plan for assessing the activity is a flexible one to suit the situation. a. Already drawn up tests/quizzes on materials provided by teacher b. Quality of the project report submitted on hard copy. c. the graphics, drawing, and tables inserted into the report d. members of the group working together as a team e. Jeopardy among the different groups and a reward for the winning group : Culminating Activity Rubric SCALE 4 3 2 CRITERIA Supplemental Information for Teachers Harriett, Stubbs et al. 1998. “Acid Rain, A sourcebook for teaching about a major environmental problem.” North Carolina University, 1509 Varsity Drive, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606 Roa, M.L. Environmental Science Activities Kit: ready –top use lessons, labs, and worksheets for grades 7-12. The center for applied research in education, West Nyack, NY. 1993. Related Internet Resources www.epa.gov/docs/acidrain/ardhome.html www.carolina.com