Pollution and Acid Rain

A reading comprehension lesson on pollution and acid rain. Includes printable teaching lesson worksheet.



• Students will be able to define pollution.

• Students will be able to describe the effects of smog on people’s health.

• Students will understand what ozone is, why it is important and how it can be harmful.

• Students will be able to define acid rain.

• Students will be able state the requirements of the Clean Air Act.

• Students will understand why CFCs are dangerous.


Suggested Grades:

4rd Grade - 5th Grade - 6th Grade

Lesson Procedure:

Print the reading comprehension passage and questions (see below).

Students should read the passage silently, then answer the questions. Teachers may also use the text as part of a classroom lesson plan.


Lesson Excerpt:

Pollution occurs when harmful substances are released into the air. Humans do many things that cause pollution. For example, when fossil fuels are burned for energy, waste material from the burning pollutes the air. Burning trash also pollutes the air. So does dust from construction sites and chemicals from factories.

There are also things that happen in nature that pollute the air. When volcanoes erupt, they shoot gases into the air that pollute the environment. Forest fires can spread smoke into the environment.

When pollution builds up, it forms thick clouds called smog. Smog is a mix of smoke and fog. It can irritate people’s eyes and make breathing difficult. Ozone can also form inside smog. Ozone is a layer of gas that can protect the Earth from UV rays when it is high up in the atmosphere where it should be. However, when ozone forms close to the Earth’s surface, inside a layer of smog, it can make people sick because it is poisonous.



Lesson Printables:

Print this printable worksheet for this lesson:

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