Resources for PreK-8 Activity 36 – Pollution Search

Here’s a way for your students to take a closer look at pollution: what it is, what its sources are, and what people can do to reduce it.

This is one of 96 activities that can be found in PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s PreK-8 Guide. Below are some supporting resources for this activity. 

STUDENT PAGES

Download the copyright free student pages that are included with this activity:

Pollution Scene (PDF)

 

Spanish Student Page(s):

Escena de Contaminacion (PDF)

STEM STRATEGIES

Engage students in real-world applications of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education.

Try these STEM Connections for this PLT activity:

RECOMMENDED READING

Expand your students’ learning and imaginations. Help students meet their reading goals while building upon concepts learned in this activity with the following children’s book recommendations:

FAMILY ACTIVITY

Try a simple variation of this activity to engage children in the outdoors at home. Download this fun and easy-to-do family activity.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:

  • Earth Now

    If your students have an Apple or Android device and are interested in Earth Science, Earth Now is a free, 3D app that displays real-time global satellite data of the planet. Students can view carbon dioxide conditions, gravity anomalies, ozone levels over Antarctica, and more. Find more science apps to use with your students in our article 12 Engaging Science Apps for Middle and High School Students and make screen-time fun and educational for them!  

  • PHYLO: The Ecosystem Trading Card Game

    A study 20 years ago found that British kids were better at identifying Pokemon than real wildlife. So a Canadian professor of teaching has crowdsourced ideas and created a competitive card game that teaches kids about ecosystems.

    Learn more about this scientific Pokemon-type card game called Phylo: The Ecosystem Trading Card Game. Download rules and a starter deck for free and watch this video to learn how to play.

  • The FreshAiR App

    Download the FreshAiR app to explore the world around you with augmented reality. FreshAiR™ is a location-based storytelling and gaming app that reveals hidden stories about the areas around you as you drive, walk or play! In Hidden History, discover amazing stories as you drive down the interstate. Or use Search To Survive, an interactive mobile game to see if you can survive in 1607 Jamestown. The app couples hands-on outdoor learning with educational content about the location you are investigating such as a National or local park. You can also challenge students to create their own Reality to share with others. For example, create a tour of your local park or playground by adding images, text, or videos and use an in-app assessment tool to help assess your students’ learning.

  • Discover Inspiring Women in Science: Rachel Carson

    We all know Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize for pioneering research on radioactivity. But there are many more women scientists, mathematicians, and engineers who have made incredible advances in their fields. Beyond Curie is a celebration of 40 of these amazing women in STEM fields, including 16 Nobel Peace Prize winners. Each one has overcame countless challenges in the pursuit of knowledge, understanding, and impact. Use these posters to share their stories and inspire your students to consider field in STEM. Pair this activity with a poster of Rachel Carson

  • The Power of Trees

    For a quick estimate of how trees in your area offset carbon emissions, reduce flood risks, and improve air quality, check out this Power of Trees tool developed by Climate Central. Choose your city from the dropdown menu to quantify the benefits of trees in terms of number of tons of CO2 equivalent removed; number of gallons of storm runoff avoided; and number of pounds of air pollution absorbed. The Power of Trees tool utilizes i-Tree software, developed by the U.S. Forest Service, that measures the impact of trees on many scales. PLT recently developed an accompanying Teaching with i-Tree unit for middle and high school students to discover and analyze the many ecosystem services that trees provide. Students input data they collect in their neighborhood to calculate the dollar value of the benefits provided by a tree, or a set of trees. Educators can download this Teaching with i-Tree unit for free.

  • Investigate Solutions to Abandoned Mine Drainage

    For a variation on PLT’s popular activity “Forest Consequences,” have your students engage in a mock debate using this role playing activity Abandoned Mine Drainage in Pennsylvania from the Lehigh Environmental Initiative at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. Students investigate drainage issues from abandoned mines from differing perspectives, identify problems, search for a solution, evaluate options, and decide on a course of action to treat and clean up contaminated streams and rivers across Pennsylvania.

  • Offset Carbon Emissions

    Want to help cut back on carbon emissions and slow the pace of global climate change? Check out this NASA produced educational game called OFFSET, appropriate for all ages. In the game you will see how CO2 is produced from burning coal and by gasoline powered cars. Playing the game, you will have to offset these carbon emissions by investing in clean wind energy farms, solar power, and/or electric cars.

  • The Chemistry of Clean Water

    This video, The Chemistry of Clean Water, from the American Chemistry Council demonstrates some of the ways chemistry keeps the water supply clean. Chemistry helps to purify, protect, and conserve water for safe consumption. The video helps students draw connections to elementary chemistry concepts and STEM.

  • Fresh Solutions: Water Use and Conservation

    Videos from California Academy of Sciences explore today’s environmental issues related to water use, from water shortage to waste water recycling. Intended for middle school students, these short videos come with background information for better understanding. You can extend the concepts covered by facilitating a student-led discussion or making connections to the Next Generation Science Standards.

  • Municipal Solid Waste

    This U.S. EPA website provides in-depth information on solid waste generation, recycling, and disposal in the United States.

  • Chemicals Around the Home

    This EPA website lets elementary and middle school students can learn about everyday chemicals found in the home. The website includes information on what to do when a chemical accident occurs in the home, ten frequently asked questions about household products, and a Test Your Knowledge quiz.

  • Safe Drinking Water Foundation (SDWF) Educational Materials

    Safe Drinking Water Foundation (SDWF) Educational Materials offers many different hands-on drinking water kits, and more, that relate content to science, social studies, and math, investigating the topic from various perspectives to include economics, social, and health issues.

  • EPA Drinking Water Info

    Consumers have many questions about their drinking water. How safe is my drinking water? What is being done to improve security of public water systems? Where does my drinking water come from, and how is it treated? What can I do to help protect my drinking water? Answers to these and other questions are addressed in Water on Tap: What You Need To Know.

  • Tox Town

    Tox Town uses color, graphics, sounds, and animation in lessons that show the connections between chemicals, the environment, and the public’s health. It lists everyday locations where you might find toxic chemicals, gives nontechnical descriptions of chemicals, gives additional links, etc.

  • US EPA Wastes Website

    US EPA Wastes Website is divided into four sections – What You Can Do, Resource Conservation, Hazardous Waste, and Nonhazardous Waste – this EPA website contains information to spark classroom conversations about waste.  For example, What You Can Do has categorized resources to help consumers generate less waste in the home, in the community, at the office, in industry, and at the store.  In Your Home tells how to make environmentally friendly choices at home by “green scaping” yards and gardens and properly discarding household medical waste, electronics, used motor oil, and more.

  • EPA Tools

    EPA tools let computer users “see” air quality information on a virtual globe:

  • Water1der

    Available for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices, the free Water1der application features questions related to conservation, irrigation, water cycle, watersheds, pollution prevention, and more. For use with middle level and older students, the app uses popular game-playing formats (multiple choice, true and false, matching, etc.)

  • Environmental Justice Video: Reducing Pollution through Organizing

    Be inspired by the latest video in EPA’s 20th Anniversary Environmental Justice Video Series that features Penny Newman of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice. Penny’s 5-minute video describes the environmental justice concerns of the Inland Valley communities in Southern California, and the ways local residents are making positive changes to protect the health of their families and neighbors. 

  • Superfund for Students

    At this EPA website, students can learn about four different types of hazardous waste (groundwater contamination, surface water contamination, soil contamination, and air contamination) and how to clean up each type. Later, students can test their knowledge of hazardous wastes with the Superfund Scavenger Hunt or Superfund quiz.

  • Energy Quest

    Energy Quest is an effort by the California Energy Commission to provide resources to teachers and students all about energy: its different forms, how it is generated, its sources and how to protect and conserve it. The Energy Quest website is arranged in easy-to-use tabs that lead to a rich, comprehensive supply of teaching material. The website’s interactive interface is useful and educational to both teachers and students alike.

  • AllTrails

    A free app that can be downloaded onto Apple and Android devices. AllTrails helps users to get out and discover the outdoors. Use it to plan a national park visit, find a hiking path near home, or map a new trail of your own! AllTrails can help you find local places to run, hike, bike, fish, and more in the outdoors. You can even upload photos and images to trails you create.

  • Easy Chart

    A free app that can be downloaded onto Apple or Android devices. This is a good tool for teachers and classrooms. Easily create bar, line and pie charts that you can customize, save and e-mail or upload. The charts you create can be saved using multiple color schemes and in multiple sizes. The app also works without an internet connection.

  • The Anthropocene—Human Impact on the Environment Poster

    An epoch is one of the smaller divisions of geologic time. Our current epoch, the Holocene, began about 11,600 years ago. There is evidence that we are entering a new epoch that could be named the Anthropocene because it is marked by extensive human impacts on the environment. This free, downloadable poster explores evidence that future geologists might use to define the Anthropocene. Take this brief survey by November 9th and receive a free printed classroom copy.

  • PBS Kids Plum Landing

    A PBS KIDS environmental science project, PBS PLUM LANDING offers educators fun and engaging resources to get kids outside and connected to nature. Encourage kids to explore their local water systems, find out what happens to life in the desert, and investigate nature’s sounds and smells. Download PLUM LANDING’s free summer camp resources, including interactive games and videos. Furthermore, all of PLUM’s lesson plans are Next Generation Science (NGSS) standards aligned and easy for educators to plug and play throughout their summer programming.

  • Why Trees? Video

    As we know, trees represent more than just beautiful natural elements of our land, they also provide shade, manage water, stop erosion, protect streams, soothe the soul, clean the air, protect the quality and health of water, and attract homeowners, renters, and shoppers. Check out this Doodle Lecture created by Alabama Cooperative Extension that unveils the many benefits of having trees in our communities.