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Topic(s):

Atmosphere, Elementary (K-4)

 

Scenario:

Keepers of the Air

It's time to make a difference. Time to make a choice.
It's time for you to stand up. Time to find your voice.
It's time to work together. It's time to show you care.
It's time to be Earth's keeper and help protect the air.

Don't believe that you're too little or simply just too young.
Or that your time for speaking out has really not begun.
You can make a difference with the choices that you make.
You can change the way things are with actions that you take.

Earth is home to everyone. Its air we all must share.
It's time to figure out how to care for the air that's everywhere.
It's time to keep your eyes wide open and go take a walk.
Out your door, down the street or maybe around the block.

Earth's air needs protected. A big job that's only just begun.
It's time to do some good, join others, even have some fun.
So look around until you've found a need that you can meet.
Help keep the air clear and clean from the sky down to the street.

It's time to make a difference. Time to make a choice.
It's time for you to stand up. Time to find your voice.
It's time to work together. It's time to show you care.
It's time to be Earth's keeper and help protect the air.

Stand Up sung by Sugarland


Keepers of the Air Essential Questions
As you work through this module see if you can find answers to these questions and questions of your own about protecting Earth's air:
  • How are the actions of people changing the air in your neighborhood?
  • Why is it important to protect the air in your neighborhood?
  • What can you do to help protect the air in your neighborhood?
  • What can you do to help protect the air in other places in the world?

 

Date: 6/15/2011

Scenario Images:

vampires
How many energy vampires are in your house? In your room? Turn out the lights. See those little red dots? Yep, you have energy vampires living with you. Getting rid of energy vampires can save money and help protect Earth's air. Images: clipart.com



smog
If your family drives 12,500 miles in a year, like the "average" American does, then your family car adds over 5 tons of carbon to Earth's atmosphere. That's a bunch of air pollution and that doesn't count the other polluting gases from your car. (EPA.) How you get from place to place and how many trips you take can make a difference in the air quality in your neighborhood. Images: clipart.com and AirNow.com



Light Bulbs
If every American home replaced just one incandescent light bulb with a compact florescent light bulb (CFL), we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, save about $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year (the amount from about 800,000 cars). Recycling CFL's will protect the environment, too. Images: clipart.com and energystar.gov



Resources:

 

Protecting the Air for Teachers (Cycle A)
The following sites provide information and resources about protecting Earth's air.

  • My Environment - EPA- Provides real-time and historical data about land, water, air and health issues in your neighborhood. Search by zip code, city name or county and compare values to state and national averages.
  • Learn the Issues: Air - This EPA site provides information about protecting the air. Has links to a variety of related resources and ways to get involved in air protection in your area.
  • Learn the Issues: Climate Change - This EPA site provides information about the causes and impacts of climate change. It has links to a variety of related resources and ways that you can be part of the solution.
  • Learn: Atmospheric Science Explorers - Cycles of the Earth and Atmosphere for Teachers. Information, lesson plans and more.
  • Air Pollution: What's the Solution - Ground Level Ozone and Particulates Primers and more.
  • Teaching Children About Air Pollution - Classroom resources, information and more.

 

Protecting the Air for Kids (Cycle A)
Want to learn more about Earth's air? These sites will help you.

  • My Environment - EPA- Provides real-time and historical data about land, water, air and health issues in your neighborhood. Search by zip code, city name or county and compare values to state and national averages.
  • Kid's Air - Air Quality Index? What's that? This EPA site is just for kids and explores air quality. Has links to more information about protecting the air.
  • Energy Quest - This is the energy place - what it is, how you use it, how to save it and more.
  • Energy Star Kids - Learn about energy and what you can do to use less of it.
  • Energy Kids - energy info, tips for saving energy and more from U.S. Energy Information Agency.
  • Climate Change for Kids - Explores the causes and impacts of climate change and how you can be part of the solution.

 

Becoming an Earth Keeper for Kids (Cycle B)
What does it mean to be an Earth Keeper? How can you tell others about what you want to do to protect Earth's air? How can you get others to help you make a difference? The following sites will give you ideas and let you see what other kids are doing.

  • Giving and Me - Join Ant Phil and learn how you can make the world a better place. Learn what philanthropy means and have some fun, too.
  • Service Learning Youth Site - Go here to see what others kids are doing, get ideas for your project and share your success with others.
  • Generation On for Kids - Go here to learn about what you can do to make a difference.
  • Kids for Saving Earth - started by a kid for kids. See what other kids are doing and learn more about you can help protect the Earth's air, water, land and living things.
  • Young Voices for the Planet - Looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint? Go here and see what other kids are doing and how to start your own project.

 

Service Learning for Teachers (Cycle B)
The following sites provide basic information about service learning.


 

K-4 Keepers: Air for Teachers (Cycle C)
Get ideas and supporting resources to design your own Keepers: Air project.

  • Anti-Idling School Program - Everything you need to start a program at your school.
  • Walking School Bus Program - Everything you need to get a program started in your neighborhood or school.
  • National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) - Curricula, information, graphics, and more to support your energy service learning project.
  • Cool School Challenge - The tools you need to help your school to accept the challenge to reduce energy use and pollution.
  • Energy Quest - For you, for parents, for kids - information, lesson plans and more.
  • Sunwise Program - environmental and health education program that aims to teach children and their caregivers how to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun through the use of classroom-, school-, and community-based components. Materials and more to start a UV service learning project at your school. From the EPA.
  • Green Education Foundation - Activities, posters, programs and more all focused on sustaining our planet.
  • Disney Planet Challenge - Inspires grade 3 and up students to be good stewards of the environment and empowers them to make a difference in their school, at home and in their local communities while teaching them about science, conservation and positive ways to impact the planet. Teachers are given the resources to create a standards-based curriculum that engages students in researching, managing and solving a real world environmental issue with their teachers.
  • PBS Learning Media - Looking for videos with complete lesson plans? Items can be searched by grade level and content area. Includes content from a variety of online sources. Registering allows you to create a collection of favorites.

 

Sample Investigations:

 

Join the Energy Patrol (Cycle A)
Protecting Earth's air can be as simple as turning off lights or changing light bulbs. The less electricity you use, the less electricity has to be produced. Less electricity production means less air pollution. To be a member of the Energy Patrol, you need to learn as much as you can about how you use electricity in your house. Get your family to help you complete this survey. Work together to think of ways to reduce your usage. Make a plan. Your job is to make sure your family follows the plan.

Share what you learned with your friends or classmates. Ask your teacher to start an Energy Patrol at your school to make an even bigger difference. Get busy and help protect Earth's air.

Energy Patrol for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Kill the Energy Vampires (Cycle A)
There are energy vampires out there and they might be in your room, your house and your school. You can get rid of them, but first, you have to find them. You need to go on an energy vampire hunt and decide which ones you want to kill and how to do it. You'll save energy and saving energy reduces air pollution. You can use this online tool to calculate your energy savings, too. But your math teacher would like you to do it with your brain.

Got your room or house vampire free? Share what you did and how you did it with your friends, family or classmates. Ask your teacher to help you start a Kill the Energy Vampires program at school. See how many energy vampires you can kill and help protect Earth's air!

Kill the Energy Vampires for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Reduce the Rides Drive (Cycle A)
Did you know that U.S. passenger cars add over one and a half billion tons of carbon dioxide to the air every year (EPA 2000)? Wow, that's a bunch of air pollution. Your family car? Well, if your family drives 12,500 miles in a year, like the "average" American does, then your family car adds over 5 tons of it alone. How you get from place to place and how many trips you take can make a difference.

See what you can find out about the driving habits of your family, friends' famlies or classmates. Learn more about air pollution from cars, trucks and other forms of transportation. Come up with ways to reduce the rides and share what you learned with others. Talk to your teacher about getting your whole class involved in a "Reduce the Rides Drive". Help protect Earth's air so we all can breath a little easier.

Reduce the Rides Drive for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Learn About Becoming a Keeper of the Air (Cycle B)
Work with your team to find answers to questions of your own and these Essential Questions about protecting the air:

  • How are the actions of people changing the air in your neighborhood?
  • Why is it important to protect the air in your neighborhood?
  • What can you do to help protect the air in your neighborhood?
  • What can you do to help protect the air in other places in the world?

Difficulty: beginner

 

Pick 5 for the Environment (Cycle B)
Earth's living things has never been simpler. Join the Pick 5 for the Environment network. You don't need an e-mail address. Just enter your town, zip code and the keyword to make your pledge. Use the tools at the site to get ideas about what you can do to protect Earth's living things. Learn as much as you can about the why's and how's of conserving and not polluting Earth's living things resources and habitats. Decide what you are going to do. Then get busy doing your Pick 5! Share what you are doing with others kids and see what they are willing to do to protect Earth's living things.

Pick 5 for the Environment for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Design a Keepers: Air Investigation (Cycle C)
Design an investigation of your own that will help students ask and seek answers to questions like these about protecting the air:

  • How are the actions of people changing the air in your neighborhood?
  • Why is it important to protect the air in your neighborhood?
  • What can you do to help protect the air in your neighborhood?
  • What can you do to help protect the air in other places in the world?

Difficulty: beginner

 

 

Standards:

  • Science
    National Science Education Standards - Science Content Standards http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses/html/overview.html#content The science content standards outline what students should know, understand, and be able to do in the natural sciences over the course of K-12 education.
    • K-12 UNIFYING CONCEPTS AND PROCESSES
      The understandings and abilities associated with the following concepts and processes need to be developed throughout a student's educational experiences:
      • Systems, order, and organization
      • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • Constancy, change, and measurement
      • Form and function
    • GRADES K-4 CONTENT STANDARDS
      • Science as Inquiry (Std A)
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • Physical Science (Std B)
        • Properties of objects and materials
        • Light, heat, electricity, and magnetism
      • Life Science (Std C)
        • Organisms and environments
      • Earth and Space Science (Std D)
        • Properties of earth materials
        • Changes in earth and sky
      • Science and Technology (Std E)
        • Abilities to distinguish between natural objects and objects made by humans
      • Science in Personal and Social Perspectives (Std F)
        • Types of resources
        • Changes in environments
      • History and Nature of Science (Std G)
        • Science as a human endeavor
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