Air Quality Health Index classroom kit, grades 5 and 6, health: chapter 4

Station 1: Science in the News


Students read about science in the news and reflect upon their reading practices. They describe ways to respond to, prepare for, or choose outdoor activities for various conditions.

Real-World Connection

Connects science to everyday events in the news and teaches strategies for science literacy.

Curriculum Themes

A complete set of provincial and territorial curriculum links can be found at the end of the stations.

  • Describe ways to respond to, prepare for, choose outdoor activities for various weather conditions.
  • Identify safety precautions for activities and preventing ailments (e.g., effects of UVrays, hot sunny weather can lead to heat exhaustion and sunburn, cold weather and high windchill factors increase risk of hypothermia and frostbite, high AQHI can lead to respiratory problems).


  • Highlighters (at least two colours)


  • Student Instructions (1)
  • Student Handout 1 (1 per student)
  • Print one (1) copy per group of each of the following articles and place them at the station. The articles have been selected to provide a large variation in the level of reading difficulty and length to provide a challenge to all students.

Heat Exhaustion Study could help firefighters keep their cool. December 17, 2003. Doggy joggers: Tips for taking Rover on your run. August 28, 2008.

Hypothermia/Frostbite How to avoid a wintertime injury. December 30, 2008. Study says don't count too much on long-range forecasts. July 5, 2002.

Air Quality New air quality index measures health risk. July 13, 2011. Traffic pollution makes asthma symptoms worse in children: study. November 13, 2008.

Additional References

Creech, J. and Hale, G. 2006. Literacy in Science: A Natural Fit. Promoting student literacy through inquiry. The Science Teacher. 73(2): 22-27.

Station 1: Student Instructions

  1. There are a variety of news articles for you at this station. Choose a different article for each group member.
  2. Complete the handout, talking with each other about your work. How will you figure out the answers? What words or clues in the articles help you find what you are looking for?
  3. Share the safety tips for different conditions with the other members of your group.
Different news articles re: news, heat, AQHI and cold and literacy

Station 1: Student Handout

1. After you read the news story, fill in the boxes:

I read ...

I thought ...

I was confused by ...

This reminded me of ...

2. Is your news story based on scientific research?


3. How can you tell?

4. Highlight the main idea or conclusion of your news story. What clues did you use to find it?

5. In a different colour, highlight the safety tips given. Did the safety tips make sense? Why or why not?

6. On the back of this sheet, draw an important part of the news story. How did you choose what to draw?

7. What question would you ask the researcher or expert from this article?

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