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Public Health


K, 1st, 2nd




60 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Air Quality and Your Health Lesson K-2

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
May 23, 2024
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In this lesson, students are introduced to the importance of monitoring air quality while staying active.

Inquire: Students discuss air and air pollution to build background knowledge.

Investigate: Students listen to the story Why is Coco Orange? to learn about air quality monitoring and health.

Inspire: Students discuss how they can use knowledge about air quality monitoring to continue to stay active and healthy despite challenges.
Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Teacher may choose to split this lesson into 2 days.

    • Day 1: Inquire and Investigate sections: Play/read the entire book, and discuss guided questions.
    • Day 2: Investigate section: Reread/ play the book and pause throughout to discuss story elements and complete the Inspire section.
  • This lesson can be taught during a unit on environmental health anytime during the year to help students understand how to stay active or as an Earth Day activity.

  • This lesson can be used to reinforce the skills of being self-aware of physical health, noticing respiratory triggers, and what you can do to keep yourself healthy.

  • This lesson highlights the importance of understanding the impact of air quality on a person’s health. The lesson empowers children to make behavioral changes that support their respiratory well-being and environmental actions to support better air quality for all.


  • This lesson is an introduction to air quality monitoring and health. Teacher can review air quality information by visiting the Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin’s webpage: http://www.chawisconsin.org/air

    • Watch a video on how to use the PurpleAir Real-Time map for directions on how to access, use appropriate ‘layers’, and understand the air sensor data.

    • AQI stands for Air Quality Index. Review your air quality sensor information to locate the number on the AQI. The color provides a visual for the quality of the air, associated health risks, and recommended action steps.

  • Review information on belly breathing if needed.

  • Students should have a basic understanding of air and what it means to be active outside.
  • The information provided in this lesson is to build knowledge about air quality monitoring and action steps. It should be emphasized that a child’s health plan and/or asthma action plan should always be referred to for personalized guidance per their provider.


  • The videos can be replayed or paused to allow students to review information from the text and images.

  • The CCSS ELA Essential Elements are listed alongside the English Language Arts standards to provide guidance for the inclusion of all students in this lesson.

  • Print the My Five Senses image from the Teacher Document and cut it into individual parts. 

    • Students can view one of the pictures and discuss ways that sense allows them to know about outdoor air.

    • Teacher shows an example of outdoor air pollution (visual or verbal) and students point to which of the senses the air pollution image relates to. 

  • Teacher can print or virtually provide a copy of the book for students to read individually or in small groups. You can also cut up a copy of the book to use as choices and manipulatives.

  • Differentiated worksheets are provided in the Student Document

    • Teacher can record information on the board, and students can copy or expand on their own sheets.

    • Students can work in pairs or small groups to write their own responses.

    • Students can be paired as advanced/struggling learners. Example: One student scribes or gives a copy of notes, per an IEP, and they can verbally explain the information to each other.
    • Encourage students to draw pictures or emojis to apply their knowledge. Example: Students can draw a picture next to the AQI chart color to remind them what to do.
    • Worksheets are provided for students working towards the Essential Elements Standards.
Scientist Notes

Students will learn about the importance of air and determine whether the air around them is clean or contaminated. After passing our science review process, the lesson is approved for use in classrooms.


Note On Standards:

This lesson is aligned to Wisconsin standards. Review the aligned standards directly in the lesson plan document and teacher slideshow.

Discover more on the Wisconsin Climate Education Hub.
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