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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, Health

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 46 seconds, CC
  • Worksheets

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, California


Google Docs, PDF

Mapping Air Pollution in Oakland, CA

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  • In this lesson, students will learn about air pollution associated with vehicle traffic, watch a short video, answer questions, and complete a heat map of Nitric Oxide (NO) air pollution in Oakland, CA.
  • The resource discusses how air pollution affects some communities more than others and how regulatory decisions can affect which communities are affected by certain types of pollution.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource is great for virtual learning as it includes a video and Google Doc for students.
  • The lesson plan is very detailed and comprehensive, so minimal planning is required.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers need to make a free account to access the materials.


  • The Google Doc can be modified for English language learners or students at different ability levels.
  • Science students could use this resource to augment a lesson about diffusion, as the heat map activity shows students the patterns of diffusion and the changing concentration of nitric oxide with increasing distance. 
  • Social studies and civics classes could use this resource to highlight the benefits of environmental regulations for community health. 
  • Other resources about environmental pollution include this article and this video.
Scientist Notes

In the activity, colors used in drawing the isolines for each interval for the production of a heat map are appropriate. This resource is recommended for teaching.

  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.12.6-8 Assess specific rules and laws (both actual and proposed) as means of addressing public problems.
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.2.6-8 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions, and changes in their environmental characteristics.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.7 Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
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