Interaction with Atmosphere

Lesson Plan Title

Human Impacts on the Earth's Atmosphere

General Goal(s)

This lesson will introduce the variety of ways in which humans impact the earth's atmosphere.

Specific Objectives

Use a computer presentation to explain the ways in which humans impact the atmosphere. Specifically:

  • Greenhouse gases
  • Ozone depleting species
  • Air pollution

Complete a hands-on activity by building a spectroscope - example of instrument used to view dispersion of various light sources.

Required Materials

computer and projector, blank cds, card stock paper with printed spectroscope template , scissors, tape, box cutter for cutting slit in template, variety of light bulbs, coloured pencils, photocopy of worksheet

Atmospheric Impacts Lesson Plan Gr. 6-8 PDF
Atmosheric Impacts Power Point Gr. 6-8 PDF
Atmosheric Impacts Power Point Gr. 6-8 (Teacher Notes Included) PDF


The teacher could introduce the lesson by leading a quick question and answer section on the atmosphere in the news to see what students already know.

Step-By-Step Procedures

  • Lead in (5-10 min)
  • Deliver computer presentation (25 min)
  • Give an explanation of how spectroscopes work and how they can be used. (10 min)
  • Have students build spectroscopes (10 min)
  • Have students use spectroscopes to analyze light and record their results on the worksheet. (15-20 min)

Plan for Independent Practice

Have the students take the spectroscopes home to analyze other types light sources. Provide a question sheet about the activity.

Assessment Based on Objectives

  • Collect worksheet and or question sheet for marking.
  • Did students accurately draw spectra?
  • Do students understand the meaning of the difference between the spectra?
  • Can students draw assumptions from learned information?

Useful Links

Build a Spectroscope

Ozone Layer Fact Sheet

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Spectroscope Activity Sheet


Environment, impacts, interaction, radiation, weather, wavelengths, infrared, ultraviolet, absorption, atmosphere, pollution, ozone layer, climate change