The EPA developed this set of grade-span lessons to accompany a website that has posted an air quality index (www.airnow.gov). The AQI uses a color-coded scale and maps to provide daily air quality information. The website posts the current air quality for most regions of the United States. These lessons make use of that information and add activities to raise awareness of the issues surrounding health and air quality and to teach data gathering and analysis.
Six lengthy pdfs on the CD contain three sets of lessons complete with student handouts in grade spans of K–2, 3–6, and 6–8. There is a comprehensive teacher's guide for the activities in all three sets and a fifth file with extra activities. The lessons are rich at the K–2 and 3–6 levels, with an outstanding milkweed survey activity and several simulations that teach sampling and data analysis. The activities are not as strong for the 6–8 levels. The lessons are valuable for the activities, but not for any of the included crosswords and vocabulary activities. There are many activities that can be adapted to a higher level, and adaptations are included in most lessons and in the additional activities file. This set of lessons would be a valuable first step toward full inquiry for elementary classrooms studying weather or pollution.