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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.

  • Social Studies
    • Civics & Government
      • Civics & Government 1 (D2): Students understand the basic ideals, purposes, principles, structures, and processes of constitutional government in Maine and the United States as well as examples of other forms of government in the world by comparing how laws are made in Maine and at the federal level in the United States.
    • Geography
      • Geography 1 (F1): Students understand the geography of the community, Maine, the United States, and various regions of the world, and geographic influences on life in the past, present, and future by using the geographic grid and a variety of types of maps, including digital sources, to locate and access relevant geographic information that reflects multiple perspectives.
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