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  • Tell students that Activity 1 (Constructing an Argument) of the lesson Will the Air Be Clean Enough To Breathe? introduces the structure of the scientific argumentation they will be asked to do in the rest of the lesson. Tell students that Activity 1 will give them practice with analyzing a data set and making a good scientific argument from the evidence. Encourage students to review the questions and example best answers provided in Activity 1 before starting on the current activity.

  • Subjects & Disciplines

    • Science
      • Environmental
      • General science

    Learning Objectives

    Students will:

    • create a good scientific argument in the context of air quality science

    Teaching Approach

    • Inquiry-based learning

    Teaching Methods

    • Self-directed learning
    • Self-paced learning
    • Writing

    Skills Summary

    This activity targets the following skills:

  • What You’ll Need

    Materials You Provide

    • Computers with Internet connection

    Required Technology

    • Internet Access: Required
  • Background Information

    Prior Knowledge

    • None

    Recommended Prior Activities

    • None


    Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    claim Verb

    to state as the truth.

    concentration Noun

    measure of the amount of a substance or grouping in a specific place.

    crop yield Noun

    material produced by a farmer or farm, usually measured in weight per hectare.

    evidence Noun

    data that can be measured, observed, examined, and analyzed to support a conclusion.

    ozone Noun

    form of oxygen that absorbs ultraviolet radiation.

    pollutant Noun

    chemical or other substance that harms a natural resource.

    sorghum Noun

    type of grain.



National Science Foundation - HAS

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-1220756. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.