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Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD, Barbara Tharp, MS, and Judith Dresden, MS.

Healthy Home Survey

Complete instructions for conducting activities in this slide set, including materials needed, setup instructions, student sheets (in English and in Spanish), answer keys and extensions, can be found in The Science of Air Teacher’s Guide, which is available free-of-charge at

Part 1. Getting Started

1. Ask students to mention some things they have learned about indoor air. If you have used the Air unit’s Explorations magazine and/or read the story, Mr. Slaptail’s Secret, one or the other might serve as a basis for beginning a discussion. Otherwise, initiate a class review of different sources of indoor air pollution.

2. Mention that we can do many things to improve the quality of the air we breathe at home. Stress that before trying to solve problems of this type, we must look for possible sources of indoor air pollution. After those sources are identified, we can decide which actions are needed to make improvements.

3. Give each student a copy of the “Healthy Home Survey” student page. Ask students to take their pages home and use them to conduct a survey of possible air pollutants inside their homes. Stress that an older family member or friend should help them conduct the survey. Students should circle or color different areas on their sheets in which they have found potential sources of indoor air pollution. Encourage them to draw any additional pollutants that they encounter during their surveys.

Part 2. Looking at Results

1. Invite students to share their survey results with the class. Create a list on the board of different home air quality hazards identified, or make a transparency of the “Healthy Home Survey” sheet and make annotations while you project it as an overhead.

2. After the list is complete, have students suggest ways in which hazards can be decreased or eliminated. Do this as a whole-class discussion, or ask each student to write a paragraph about ways to improve indoor air quality.

3. Refer students to pages 28–29 of the storybook, Mr. Slaptail’s Secret. Ask them to find the different ways Mr. Slaptail’s neighbors were able to eliminate air pollution inside his house.

4. Display the students’ surveys.

Part 3. Post-assessment

1. Hand out students’ pre-assessments, completed at the beginning of the unit. Ask students if there are any questions that they would answer differently now.

2. Have students use a different color ink to circle any new responses. On a separate sheet of paper, have students explain the reasoning behind their changes. Discuss students’ new responses as a group.

Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932

Houston Endowment Inc.

Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education