Air is There

“On average, one tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year. Two mature trees can provide enough oxygen for a family of four.”
– Environment Canada, Canada’s national environmental agency

Kids love the idea that trees breathe in what we breathe out, and even more that we breathe in what they breathe out. It is an elegantly simple yet extremely complex fact of nature, and one that gives many kids a tangible reason to care about trees and the state of our earth’s health.

Sometimes though, before activism can take root, we have to create a basic awareness of what is all around us every minute of every day. We have to create the understanding that air is even there. So. This week we talked about it.


Words that describe air.

We experimented with it. This was our second week as part of our Yoga 4 Classrooms residency. Miss Sharon presented us with a nice analogy for what happens in our bodies when we forget to breathe deep and become low on fresh oxygen. Our flame goes out!


A candle covered by a glass jar shows what happens to a flame when oxygen is depleted.

We observed air in action (a windy day also works well to illustrate this point). Can you make a ping-pong ball float? Air can!


The kids had fun trying this one out!

Now a foundation has been laid. We are ready to connect the idea that air is all around us to other learning. We can explore how trees breathe in the world outside our classroom. We can grasp what a deep breath actually does for our brain and body, and therefore our learning. Sometimes the first steps of that learning begins with an idea as basic as, “Air is there.”

“One acre of trees annually consumes the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent to that produced by driving an average car for 26,000 miles. That same acre of trees also produces enough oxygen for 18 people to breathe for a year.” – New York Times



About classroominthewoods14

Time flies! I am just beginning my thirteenth year as an elementary classroom teacher. The connections I make with students, families, and colleagues is what makes my job so fantastic. In my free time, I spend as much time as I can out in the natural world.
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