We have experienced a significant episode of smog in recent days.
The situation “is likely to recur more and more often in the coming years due to increasing population density, global warming and the growing number of cars on the roads. "
Source: La Presse
The day's activities will provide a better understanding of air pollution caused by the accumulation of ozone in a cloud called “smog”.
At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Consult current affairs articles to familiarize yourself with the subject;
- Describe smog;
- Know its causes and consequences;
- Understand the differences between summer smog and winter smog;
- Use sources of information to compare air quality in different cities around the world;
- Enrich a concept map to summarize the things learned in the activities;
- Use the Internet effectively to find information.
ACTIVITY 1: What exactly is going on?
First, ask your students if they have noticed that the air is sometimes cloudy this week, or if they have heard of smog. Start a discussion to see where their current knowledge stands.
Show them pictures of cities full of smog. You will find some on Google. Let them speak out about what they see.
Then, invite them to learn more to validate or supplement their knowledge, using different sources, such as those proposed here.
Major smog episode in Quebec skies
TVA Nouvelles video report, 1min29
Air pollution harms the intellect of seniors
In fact, in addition to causing cardiovascular accidents and worsening respiratory diseases, polluted air harms the cognitive capacities of the elderly. At least that's the conclusion of research presented last week to the American Society on Gerontology.
In the Czech Republic too: Smog hits part of the country again
Part of the Czech Republic is suffocating in smog. While traditionally the industrial region of Moravia-Silesia suffers the most, meteorologists have just sounded the alarm bells for Central Bohemia as well.
Suggestions: group viewing, reading aloud, personal or small group reading followed by a summary to the rest of the class, etc.
Then ask students to summarize, orally or in writing, what they saw or read.
To do this, they could create a mind map (by hand or using software).
ACTIVITY 2: Smog
Ask students to describe smog. What does it look like?
Where does the word “smog” come from?
Ask them to identify the causes and consequences of these bad air quality episodes.
What are the best months of the year for smog formation? Why?
What are the differences between summer smog and winter smog?
To answer these questions, let them research the Internet in small groups. If they need help, here are some interesting references:
(Really well popularized): Winter smog: suspicious fog
Smog, on Environment Canada
Canadian Lung Association
Miscellaneous on smog
Suggest that students organize the presentation of their answers in a format of their choice:
- concept map (done by hand or with software)
- digital presentation (with appropriate software like Power Point, Impress, Keynote, Prezi, etc.)
- journalistic text
ACTIVITY 3: Air quality index
Some organizations monitor air quality and issue alerts when it exceeds a certain level of pollution.
This is the case here:
In Quebec : http://www.iqa.mddefp.gouv.qc.ca/contenu/index.asp#carte
In the USA : http://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.main
In Canada : http://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.canada
Show these cards to the students and compare the data for the different regions for a given day.