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Public Health


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th




60 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Air Quality, Health, and Justice

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Feb 25, 2024
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This lesson introduces the connections between air quality and environmental justice. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students consider how air quality and public health are related. 

Step 2 - Investigate: Students complete a playlist of five activities, exploring air quality, public health, environmental justice, and New Jersey's efforts to create a cleaner and more just society. 

Step 3 - Inspire: Students engage in a fishbowl discussion and share ideas to support initiatives related to air quality, public health, and environmental justice.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson utilizes student choice, active listening, and active participation.
  • Students are guided through a Fishbowl discussion which facilitates respectful listening and exchanging of opinions.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers should feel comfortable offering choice, allowing students independence and autonomy in their learning. This lesson encourages open conversation and monitoring regarding student held discussions.
  • This resource is helpful for facilitating a Fishbowl discussion.
  • Students will need access to the Teacher Slideshow in order to conduct their independent work.


  • Students are able to work at their own pace and order for the playlist activity, but teachers can scaffold certain steps for students who need additional support.
  • Teachers can create a sample guide for the independent playlist activity.
  • Teachers can embed the necessary adjustments into the playlist and check boxes for students with special needs or considerations.
  • Teachers can add a sixth check box that includes a chat with the teacher so that questions and checks for understanding can be incorporated.
Scientist Notes

This lesson illustrates how air quality is related to cardiorespiratory health and how environmental injustice exacerbates these issues in marginalized communities. A well-sourced list of resources is provided where students can learn about human respiration, environmental justice, air quality in New Jersey, and what is being done to address environmental injustice by both the state and the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance. Students are tasked with reviewing these sources and then sharing what they learned in a fishbowl discussion. This lesson is recommended for teaching.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Primary Standards

  • Comprehensive Health & Physical Education
    • Personal and Mental Health
      • 2.1.12.CHSS.6: Evaluate the validity of health information, resources, services, in school, home and in the community.
      • 2.1.12.CHSS.7: Describe how individuals and local, state, and global advocacy organizations can collaborate to address common local and global health and social issues (e.g., hunger, clean water, organ/tissue donation).
      • 2.1.12.CHSS.8: Investigate how local, state, and global agencies are addressing health issues caused by climate change and share this information in an appropriate setting.
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