Lesson Plans

What is Particulate Matter?

Overview

Students watch videos and/or review articles related to particulate matter and how this pollutant is monitored and measured, then provide their understanding individually or in groups.

Materials Required

Choose one of the following options to use with students.

Procedure

What is particulate matter

Instructions: Use this lesson as an introduction or review for particulate matter.  Students may work individually or with groups of 2 or more.

  1. Students will access either a video or an article. These can be assigned, or the students can be given a choice from the resource links listed.
  2. Students add details that they have learned from the resource to the document chosen by the teacher (Google slides, whiteboards, or poster paper). The videos are of a similar level of difficulty, while the articles would be more challenging. The expectation is a contribution to a document. 
  3. After students document their findings, lead a class discussion reviewing what was discovered from each resource.
    • What is similar?
    • What is different or new as you go through? 
  4. If using the slides, the box will expand as they type. If students are sharing their slides with other students, they need to be sure not to overwrite their contributions.

Exit Ticket: In your own words, explain what particulate matter is?

Videos to select from:

Articles to select from:

Answers:

Teachers who are interested in receiving the answer key, please complete the Teacher Key Request and Verification Form. We verify that requestors are teachers prior to sending access to the answer keys as we’ve had many students try to pass as teachers to gain access.

Sources:

  1. NASA's Earth Minute: My Name is Aerosol. (2017, January 13). YouTube. Retrieved September 1, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eh6IKahbok
  2. What is Particulate Matter. (2018, February 3). YouTube. Retrieved September 1, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea3YTCoRrwM
  3. NASA Tracks Volcanic Ash With Satellites. (2016, May 12). YouTube. Retrieved September 1, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAXvSoo3F8A
  4. NOAA Satellites. (2015, July 15). Earth from Orbit: Wildfire Smoke Blankets U.S. YouTube. Retrieved 08 15, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iswHFEBbcl8&t=13s
  5. Smoky Skies and Satellites - EO Kids. (2021, April 30). NASA Earth Observatory. Retrieved September 1, 2022, from https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/eokids/wp-content/uploads/sites…
  6. Air Pollution. (n.d.). NASA Earth Observatory. Retrieved September 1, 2022, from https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/eokids/wp-content/uploads/sites…
  7. Pratt, S. E. (2022, March 14). No Breathing Easy for City Dwellers: Particulates. NASA Earth Observatory. Retrieved September 1, 2022, from https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/149580/no-breathing-easy-for-c….

Students will be introduced to particulate matter and how this pollutant is monitored and measured, then provide their understanding in groups.

What is Particulate Matter?

  • Internet Required
  • One-to-One (tablet, laptop, or CPU)
  • One-to-a-Group

Complementary Mini Lessons

Grade Band

  • 6-8

Time

  • 30 minutes

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