Acid Rain Lesson Plan

National Standards: A, C, D,E, F, H

Grade Level: 4-8

� Students will cooperate in a group of four to complete all tasks
� Students will infer that soil can change the pH of a lake
� Students will infer that the level of acid in a lake can affect plant and animal life
� Students will relate the lake water of various soil types.

Process Skills: Observe, Compare, Communicate, Organize, Infer, Relate

Materials needed for EXPLORE for each group of four:
� 2 coffee filters
� 2 clear 8 oz. plastic cups
� 2 rubber bands
� 1 Ziploc bag with a specific type of soil (each bag will be labeled Type A,B, or C)
� Container of 1 cup of Acid Rain (Vinegar and Water)
� Container of 1 cup of Normal Rain (pure water)
� 2 strips of ph paper
� 2 plastic spoons

� Ask for volunteers to read an Acid rain play
� After reading play use thumbs up, thumbs down for the following questions
o Do you think that the type of soil in a lake makes a difference as to how acidic it will be?
o Do you think that acid rain can be damaging to plant and animal life in lakes?

� Students will be given various roles
o Number 1-pH tester of water
o Number 2-materials manager
o Number 3-recorder
o Number 4-rain maker
� Model
o Teacher will demonstrate how to fasten a coffee filter to one of the empty plastic cups
o Teacher will use a plastic spoon to place three scoops of soil into the coffee filter
? Teacher will explain that each group will need two, but for demonstration purposes we will just do one
o Teacher will pour normal rain water into the dirt
o Teacher will demonstrate using the pH strip to test the water
o Teacher will mark on the class data sheet the type of soil and pH level
o Teacher will restate group number roles and make sure every person knows their group number and role
? Number One raise your hand-what is your role? Etc.
o Teacher will allow materials managers to come and get materials
o Teacher will allow rain makers to go and get their rain
o Students will follow directions from direction cards
o Students will record findings on group and class data sheets

� Teacher will explain the significance of the pH factor
o The strength of acids and bases is measured on the pH scale
o Scale runs from 0 to 14, pure water is 7
o A score less than 7 is acidic, above 7 alkaline
o Each whole number increases by a factor of 10 (a scale of six is ten times more acidic than 7)
o Teacher will ask the following questions using thumbs up, thumbs down
o How many of you think that the soil type affects the amount of acid in the soil?
o Do you think it is important for us to know the level of acid in our water?
o Do you think the level of acid could affect plant and animal life?

� Have a class discussion on acid rain and the possible solutions or ways to improve this problem
o Look into what has already been done, what has worked or not worked and why?
o Why do some soils react differently to the acid than others? Research this topic as a class
� Look into more widespread affects of acid rain (such as on buildings or plant and animal life)

� Ensure that students complete small group data sheet and whole class data sheet
� Ensure that students are actively engaged and participating in class discussion and questions.

Class Data Sheet: How clean are our lakes?

After Acid Rain

pH Scale 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Table 1
Type A
Table 2
Type A
Table 3
Type B
Table 4
Type B
Table 5
Type C
Table 6
Type C

After Pure Rain

pH scale 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Table 1
Type A
Table 2
Type A
Table 3
Type B
Table 4
Type B
Table 5
Type C
Table 6
Type C

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