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Air All Around Me

Essential questions
How can we use our senses to observe air?
What can we create to have fun with air?
How can we contain air?
What do scientists do?

This module includes the following lessons:

Lesson 1: Eco-101: Sensing Air (Estimated time needed: Two 45-minute sessions)
In this lesson, students discover that air is everywhere, and they explore the fact that most living things on Earth depend upon it for their very existence. They learn that it is challenging to observe air with our senses because in its pure and still form we can’t see, smell, taste, hear, or touch air. However, through visual and hands-on activities, students soon find evidence of air. Then they build a windsock to further experience and enjoy the wonderful, life-sustaining substance that is air.

Lesson 2: Eco-Activity: Catching Air (Estimated time needed: 45 minutes)
In this lesson, students build on Lesson 1 by finding additional evidence that air exists. Acting as junior scientists, they observe a demonstration and then confirm that air can be captured within a bag that inflates. They also see and feel how air can escape from the bag with a simple pin prick. Next, they take the fun outdoors to observe how air fills a bubble from a soapy solution. Then they experiment to learn more about the relationship between air and a soap solution by applying a variety of bubble-blowing strategies. The lesson concludes with a guided reflection in which students consolidate what they have learned about air and scientific methods.

Lesson 3: Eco-Action: A Magic Show (Estimated time needed: 45 minutes)
In this lesson, students explore the magical way the invisible substance of air can transport objects from one place to another. They observe demonstrations with and then practice using their own magic wands and breath to make objects move. Finally, students participate in a magical car race by propelling mini cars toward a finish line without using their hands. The lesson ends with students summarizing how they know that air is not actually magical or mysterious because we can see it, feel it, and hear it.

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