“Acid Rain” Demonstration Lesson Plan (DOC)

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					Vari, Jocelyn                                                             October 21, 2005
EDUC 422                                                                       Page 1 of 5
                                   Air Pollution
                       “Acid Rain” Demonstration Lesson Plan

Title: Air Pollution

Grade Level: 9th grade

Lesson Overview: This lesson will focus on human impact on the atmosphere. The
lesson will involve some lecture, some class brainstorming activity, a demonstration
illustrating the processes involved in the production of acid rain, and assessment based on
a written assignment.

Learning Outcomes: In the course of this lesson, I hope to impart to the students a
continuing knowledge about the delicate balance of our atmosphere and in particular,
how humans can impact this balance by producing air pollutants. I also hope to impart
knowledge of some of the specific processes that are of concern in our environment today
as a result of human impact: acid rain, ozone depletion, global warming, and smog. The
students will learn to reflect on their own practices and consider the positive and negative
effects that these practices have on human existence. Students will also learn to research
a topic and express the results of their research in a scientific written response.

       Learning Performances:
           Generate a list of sources of common air pollutants.
           Visualize the interaction of our atmosphere and hydrologic system by
             witnessing demonstration.
           Demonstrate understanding of the basic processes involved in acid rain,
             ozone depletion, global warming, and smog by diagramming the process
             and explaining it to others (Jigsaw).
           Demonstrate understanding of the effects of human impact on the
             environment and on human life (Jigsaw).
           Research one air pollutant in detail.
           Write a summary of their research and present points of interest to class.

       Related Standards:
           (NRC, 1996, F:4A/9-12) Natural ecosystems provide an array of basic
              processes that affect humans. Those processes include maintenance of the
              quality of the atmosphere, generations of soils, control of the hydrologic
              cycle, disposal of wastes, and recycling of nutrients. Humans are
              changing many of these basic processes, and the changes may be
              detrimental to humans.
Vari, Jocelyn                                                              October 21, 2005
EDUC 422                                                                        Page 2 of 5
               (NRC, 1996, F:4B/9-12) Materials from human societies affect both
                physical and chemical cycles of the earth. Many factors influence
                environmental quality. Factors that students might investigate include
                population growth, resources use, population distribution, over-
                consumption, the capacity of technology to solve problems, poverty, the
                role of economic, political, and religious views, and different ways
                humans view the earth.

Students’ Prior Knowledge or Experience: Based on the recent completion of other
lessons on the atmosphere, students should know:
     the composition of the atmosphere
     the nature of atmospheric cycling of materials
     the structure of the atmosphere
     the heat budget
Based on earlier science coursework, students will need to know:
     what a pollutant is
     what the atmosphere is
     what a gas is
     the concept of equilibrium
     the concept of acidity and pH
The extent of prior knowledge will be assessed continuously during the first few lessons
about the atmosphere and with a pre-unit knowledge assessment sheet (not to be graded).

Establishing Purpose: This lesson seeks to link the students’ own lives and actions with
the global functioning of the atmosphere. The purpose is for students to learn about the
delicate balance of the atmosphere and to come to terms with the fact that humans can
significantly effect this balance. I believe the lesson shows relevance to the students’
own lives because they can relate to the everyday activities that are cause for concern.
There is also likely to be inherent interest in the effects on their personal health and well-

Instructional Strategies:
    group brainstorming (document on chalk/white board)
    lecture
    jigsaw
    demonstration
    informal oral quiz
    self-directed reading
    written assessment

Materials Needed:
   classroom copies of Earth Science text book
   jigsaw worksheet
   computers
   article on hybrid cars
Vari, Jocelyn                                                                      October 21, 2005
EDUC 422                                                                                Page 3 of 5
       two glass jars with watch glasses
       tack
       matches
       scissors
       methyl orange
       long lighter
       rubric and report assignment sheet

Time Required: 95 minutes

Instructional Sequence:
        Introduction (10 min): I will introduce the lesson by stating what we will be
discussing today (air pollution) and how the class will be structured. I will ask the
students what an air pollutant is? Can they give me examples? Sources? These
responses will be written on the board in the form of a concept map (centered around air
        Lecture (15 min): Overview of air pollution (powerpoint, students will have
notes with blanks to fill in as we go.) We will discuss the types of pollution (particulate
matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, carbon monoxide) and their
associated sources.
        Demonstration (10 min): So what?!!! At this point we will discuss some
common effects of these types of air pollution. Take sulfur dioxide for example? What
makes up a match? What do you think will happen if we burn the match in this
atmosphere? Why did I have the other container there? What else might have been

                Sulfur and potassium chlorate  sulfur dioxide and potassium chloride.

                           3S(s) + 2KClO3(s) -----> 3SO2(g) + 2KCl(s)

        Jigsaw (30 min): Students will arrange themselves into groups of 3. They will
refer to their textbooks and answer the questions on their assigned global process.
Students will then share their answers with their group mates and all be expected to turn
in a completed sheet.
        Informal Quiz (concurrent with Jigsaw): when students are nearly done
discussing their answers, I will circulate to ask them something they learned from one of
the other group members. While students are finishing, they can read the Science and
Technology article.
        Classroom Work (remainder of class): Students will be handed their report
assignment and rubric. Using classroom computers, students will need to access the EPA
site in order to select an air pollutant to research with a partner or individually (Aerosols,
Asbestos, Carbon Monoxide, Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Ground Level Ozone,
Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), Lead, Mercury, Methane, Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Particulate
Matter (PM), Propellants, Radon, Refrigerants, Substitutes, Sulfur Oxides (SO2), Volatile Organic
Compounds (VOCs)). The report will include the following:
     Description
     Sources
Vari, Jocelyn                                                                 October 21, 2005
EDUC 422                                                                           Page 4 of 5
      Chemical reactions
      Environmental effects
      Human health effects
      Students should be prepared to give a brief presentation (<10 minutes) to the class that
       includes a description of your pollutant and three interesting facts about this type of air
       pollution. Include at least one picture of your pollutant or a source of your pollutant.

       Extra Credit: Why can new furniture be hazardous to your health!? Write one
paragraph and turn in with your report.

Assessing Student Understanding: Students will be assessed on three different
occasions during this lesson. The first informal assessment will occur during the
introduction when the students are asked to brainstorm a list of possible sources of air
pollutants as well as specific air pollutants. Although not every student will be assessed
during this process, a general idea of students’ prior knowledge can be gained. Students
will then be assessed by their answers to the jigsaw questions. These questions will be
turned in by each student. In addition, I will circulate during the jigsaw activity and
afterwards, to informally quiz students on the answer to a question other than the ones
they completed themselves. The third opportunity for assessment will be based on the
written report of the student’s chosen air pollutant. The purpose of this assessment is to
expose them to EPAs sites on air pollution and to have them gain in depth information on
some form of air pollution. The students will present their results to the rest of the class
by sharing 3 interesting facts and a brief description of their pollutants.

Cautions: Care should be taken to use only methyl orange or another non-toxic, non-
flammable pH indicator solution during the demonstration.

    Fong, Man Wai (2004). A demonstration of acid rain. Asia-Pacific Forum on
      Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 5, Issue 1, Article 4.
    Namowitz, S.N., and Spaulding, N.E. (2003). Earth Science. McDougal Littell,
      Evanston, IL. 378-385.
    EPA,

Student Resources:
    Earth Science textbook
    Science & Technology article
    EPA website

Rationale: I chose to do the demonstration after some lecturing because I felt that a bit
of background on air pollution would be necessary for the students to make the
connection between acid rain and atmospheric cycles. I wanted the lesson to involve a
variety of activities (lecture, group work, discussion, observation) because the class
period is lengthy and I want the students to remain engaged as much as possible. By
presenting the EPA website and the technology article, as well as the demo and some
Vari, Jocelyn                                                           October 21, 2005
EDUC 422                                                                     Page 5 of 5
vivid pictures which I will include in the powerpoint lecture, I hope I will have provided
a variety of visualizations and methods of learning. In addition, I think the students
exploration of the four major global processes that are affected by air pollution provides
them with several phenomena to consider.

My main concerns about my lesson plan involve the extent to which I could start to
discuss Henry’s Law (I would like to check with my mentor teacher) and in the
instructional sequencing of the lesson.

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