Pollution Classroom Activities

Teach kids the effects of pollution, like smog over a city.

Teaching our youth the effects of pollution and the importance of taking action is key to a cleaner earth for future generations. Hands-on activities, as well as descriptive discussions and lessons, can help further increase the students' knowledge regarding pollution and its effects on our planet. There are a handful of different activities you can incorporate into your classroom to teach kids about pollution.

1 Classroom Discussion

Hold class discussions regarding the pollution issue. Open discussion allows the children to state their personal view or experience about the topic, as well as learn from their peers based on other people's experiences. Ask students how they feel about pollution; ask them to use descriptive words regarding their concept of pollution and the causes of pollution. Most importantly, ask them what actions can be taken to change it.

Display a poster or web page with these questions in the classroom corridor or school computer network. Also, if possible, ask a specialist to come in to speak to students about the causes of pollution and the efforts of local agencies to decrease its effects in your local area.

2 Air Monitoring Station

Visit a nearby air monitoring station with the class. This will further introduce the students to the concept of pollution and how it affects humans and the environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created in 1970 and has since been protecting the environment in various ways. It measures a range of pollutants and each pollutant's impact on the environment and human beings, as well as the importance of weather conditions and how they affect the movement of air pollution in different areas. Contact the nearest EPA office to schedule a class tour of a facility near you.

3 Transport Survey Spreadsheet

Conduct a student survey to distinguish the number of students that ride a bike, ride in a car, walk or take public transportation or school buses to school. After the data is collected, discuss the direct impact of each different form of transportation. If possible, publish the data in the school newspaper or print data results for students to take home and share with their families.

4 Celebrity Heads

Celebrity heads is an interactive classroom activity and a fun way to learn about air pollution. Choose various words relating to pollution, such as "car," "bike," "truck," "bus," "smog" or "asthma." Select three or four students to go to the front of the classroom, and without them looking or hearing, choose one word or picture of a word. The students at the front then ask their peers yes/no questions. If they ask a question and the answer is "yes," they ask another, but if the answer is "no," they lose a turn and the next student gets to ask. This is a fun game that incorporates lessons about pollution.

Chris Newton has worked as a professional writer since 2001. He spent two years writing software specifications then spent three years as a technical writer for Microsoft before turning to copywriting for software and e-commerce companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Colorado.