Educator's Guide To Air - The Search For One Clean Breath

Since its premiere in 2008, the District film, Air – the search for one clean breath has been screened worldwide for hundreds of thousands of viewers. But there is something new.  Now you can download here the new guide for middle and high school instructors. It is an innovative way to increase our film’s reach and educate students about this precious natural resource.
The Guide, and accompanying classroom lessons, will enable students to not only see the film, but understand more about air quality by expanding upon the material presented in the film. The project was directed by the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District’s public information division. It was coordinated by the California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) and written and field-tested by California teachers.


About the lessons

The Guide contains nine original lessons that all meet California Educational Standards and Frameworks, as well as some national educational standards. NOTE: All the lessons can be taught independently. However, to maximize the educational benefits for students, we recommend viewing the film if possible.


The Introduction contains a matrix of California and national educational standards that correspond with the lessons.

These are the nine lessons for grades 6 through 12:
Commuter Match & Math - - Students learn about vehicle types and the carbon dioxide emissions they produce. Then, they test their knowledge with a classroom commuter activity.
Taking Action - - Students develop an action project to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
Analyzing Energy - - Students analyze the advantages and disadvantages associated with various energy sources: coal, natural gas, hydrogen, geothermal, hydropower, oil, solar and wind power, and nuclear energy.
Where does our Pollution go? - - Students use maps showing global air currents to trace the movement of pollutants around the globe, showing how one city’s pollution can affect the lives of others around the world.
Our Energy Diet - - Students use graphs to explore the population of various countries and their oil consumption. They then determine ways to reduce energy consumption and their own impact on the environment.
Effects of Global Warming - - Students read information on climate change and its effects on hurricanes, wildfires, animal populations, human health & allergies, and sea levels. They will fill in a graphic organizer and present information to the class in groups, after, each group will do an analysis or the causes, implications, and solutions to the eight different effects of global warming discussed in the articles.
Carbon Dioxide in Ice Core Samples - - Students make scientifically based observations with frozen ice cores, quantify data, do hands-on data collection, chart data into a graph, and analyze data from the graph.
Air Pollution Tragedy: A Case Study - - Students review historic accounts of Belgium’s Meuse Valley air tragedy, to build awareness that many disciplines of study and areas of interest can contribute to solving a public problem.
Navigating Opinion in Search of Facts - - Students use the Socratic Method to investigate global climate change.

Download the evaluation form in Word format.

Schedule a teacher workshop in Ventura County

A District representative will come to your school to present the film and the guide to teachers. At this meeting, teachers will see the film in high definition; hear background on the film and the teacher’s guide; and receive a copy of the DVD to show to their students.
To schedule a workshop, contact Barbara L. Page at (805) 303-4003


Field Instructor Comments

“Lesson content – excellent. Ease of delivery – excellent. . . students want to know what they and society can do to make changes.”

-Diana Petropulos, Santa Paula High School

“Discussion information connected well with Standard F – Environmental Quality, Human induced hazards. . . the content is important and is covered in our general 9th grade physical science.”

-Lorraine Wood-Newbury, Rio Mesa High School

“Overall the lesson was excellent as regards content, supporting materials, ease of delivery, and grade/subject appropriateness. The students felt they learned a great deal. . .”

-Mark Schmidt, Ventura High School

”The lessons were straightforward and grade appropriate. All of my students seemed confident that they would see a significant shift away from fossil fuels in their lifetime.”

-John Forte, Atascadero High School

“The lesson content was excellent. It fits in perfectly with ecology and meets state standards. The students made a clear connection between the activities and the film. What is nice about the film and activities is that you can also present them independently from each other.”

-Nathan Inouye, Adolfo Camarillo High School

“The movie is great, and the experiment with warm and cold water was a great visual! The standards tied in perfectly with the lesson.”

-Josh Rubin, Woodside High School, Woodside CA