Air Quality Health Index classroom kit

Educators can choose from six 30-minute learning centres for their grade 5 or 6 students, building skills in literacy, communication, reflection, and problem-solving. Developed directly from provincial and territorial curriculum documents, topics include: ways to prepare for and predict various weather and/or air quality conditions, how media, peers and family affect decisions, outdoor safety, and environmental health issues.

Quick Reference Guide

Read, Teal book


Smile, Orange camera


Think, Blue hot-air balloon in the shape of a light bulb


Redefine, Green buildings


Choose, Brown bicycle


Solve, Light green car surrounded by smog


Station 1. Science in the News 2. Behind the Scenes: Canada's Next Top Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) Model! 3. Jumping to Conclusions 4. Getting Ready for Work 5. Air Qualitopoly 6. Kids Know Best!
Summary Students read about science in the news and describe ways to respond to, prepare for, or choose outdoor activities for various weather conditions. Students use weather and AQHI to make choices about how to prepare for different outdoor activities. Students describe and predict local air quality conditions using real-time weather data. Then they write conclusions using a new twist to an old-fashioned fill-in-the-blanks. Students use narrative to reflect on how they make decisions and communicate their personal, family, and community attitudes towards healthy lifestyles and safety. Students use cooperative learning to design a board game on air quality and sun health. Students identify and solve local environmental health issues by engaging in a collaborative, problem-solving cycle.
Materials Highlighters (at least two colours)

3 hats or boxes

Digital camera



White paper




Tape or glue

2 or 3 dice

Bristol board (1 per group)


Game pieces




Additional resources with information to support each initiative.


Student Instructions

Handout 1 (1 per student)

Articles (1 per group)

Student Instructions

Handout 2 (1 per student)

Weather condition hat cards (1 per group)

Student Instructions

Handout 3A (1 per group or student)

Handout 3B (1 per group or student)

Bookmark website

Student Instructions

Handout 4 (1 per student)

AQHI Health Message chart (1)

Data Sheet (1)

Student Instructions

Handout 5 (1 per group)

Air Quality Impact Cards (1 per group)

Student Instructions

Handout 6 (1 per group)

Fact Cards (1 set)

Curricular Theme Outdoor Safety & Weather: Heat Exhaustion, Hypothermia, Wind, Air Quality Appropriate Dress for Conditions; Importance of Forecasts Describing and Predicting Weather; Recording & Interpreting Information Healthy life-styles, Decision-making, Attitudes on Safety Appropriate Clothing and Safety for Outdoor Conditions Effects of Environment on Human Health; Community Action

Book I: Health

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