Lesson plan; Air Pollution in Europe: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions

Revealed: almost everyone in Europe is breathing toxic air


  • To raise students’ awareness of the problem of air pollution in Europe and its effects on health and the environment, and to encourage them to take action to reduce their exposure and impact.


  • The article from The Guardian, where you find the map of Europe showing the levels of PM2.5 pollution, the comprehension questions below and vocabulary exercises, a video clip about the causes and consequences of air pollution, a poster template for a campaign to fight air pollution.
  • Procedure:
    • Warm-up: Ask students what they know about air pollution and how it affects them and their surroundings. Elicit some examples of sources and effects of air pollution. Show them the map of Europe and ask them to identify the areas with the highest and lowest levels of PM2.5 pollution.
    • Read the article and answer the comprehension questions. Check the answers as a class and clarify any doubts or difficulties. Ask students to work in pairs or small groups and complete the vocabulary exercises. Review the answers and explain the meaning and usage of the new words.
    • Speaking: Divide students into groups of four or five and assign them a role: a politician, a scientist, an activist, a journalist, or a citizen. Ask them to prepare a short presentation or debate on how to tackle the problem of air pollution in Europe from their perspective. Give them some time to research and plan their arguments. Have each group present or debate in front of the class and invite questions and comments from the audience.
    • Writing: Ask students to work individually or in pairs and design a poster for a campaign to fight air pollution. Give them some guidelines and examples of slogans, images, and messages. Have them display their posters around the classroom or school and vote for the best one.

Wrap-up: Review the lesson’s main points and ask students to reflect on what they learned and how they can apply it to their own lives. Ask them to write a short paragraph about what they will do to reduce their exposure to air pollution and their impact on it. Collect their paragraphs and give feedback.

10 comprehension questions based on the topic of air pollution:

  1. What is air pollution?
  2. What is the atmosphere?
  3. What are pollutants?
  4. How many types of pollutants are there?
  5. What is the effect of air pollution?
  6. What is the cause of air pollution?
  7. How does air pollution affect human health?
  8. How does air pollution impact the environment?
  9. What are some sources of air pollution?
  10. How can individuals reduce their exposure to air pollution?

Fill in the blanks with the correct words from the list below. Use each word only once.

  • superconductor
  • reaction
  • levitation
  • skepticism
  • breakthrough
  1. A __________ is a material that can conduct electricity without resistance, which means it does not lose any energy as heat.
  2. The researchers claim to have created a new __________ by mixing lanarkite and copper phosphide in a sealed vacuum tube.
  3. The new material showed signs of __________ when placed on a magnet, which is one of the characteristics of superconductivity.
  4. The team’s claim has been met with __________ by the scientific community, as there have been many false reports of room-temperature superconductors in the past.
  5. If the claim is true, it would be a major __________ in physics and could revolutionize the fields of electricity and electronics.

Essay questions based on the topic of air pollution in Europe:

  1. What are the main causes and consequences of air pollution in Europe? Discuss the impact of air pollution on human health and the environment, and explore possible solutions to this problem.
  2. Critically evaluate the effectiveness of current air pollution policies in Europe. What are the strengths and weaknesses of these policies, and what can be done to improve them?
  3. Discuss the ethical implications of air pollution. Who is most affected by air pollution, and who bears the responsibility for addressing this problem? What are the challenges and opportunities for promoting environmental justice in Europe in the context of air pollution?

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