What is Acid Rain and How Does It Affect Me? (Grades 11 and 12)

Subject: Chemistry

Topic: Acid Rain

Time Frame: 50 – 60 minutes


  • Students will be able to explain the causes of acid rain
  • Students will be able to describe the effects of acid rain on water supplies
  • Students will be able to explain why different areas of Saskatchewan and Canada are more susceptible to acid rain


  • Independent Study
  • Class Discussion


  • Computers with Internet access
  • Student worksheets

Space Requirements:

  • This lesson requires the use of a computer room for the students to conduct their research.

Background Information:

  • Student should have the basic skills in using computers and the Internet.


  1. Explain to the students that acids play an important role in our lives.  This is especially true of acid rain.  Acid rain is the cause of the changing pH in our waters as well as the corrosion of statues and cars.
  2. Hand out the students’ worksheets for the students to complete by researching acid rain on the Internet.

  3. Once students are done researching acid rain, discuss, as a class, the information found by the students.
    Example: Identify and describe things in your community that have been affected by acid rain.

  4. Closure – Ask the students to watch for articles in the newspaper or on the news about acid rain that the class could discuss at a later date.

Formal Assessment– Marking of students’ worksheets on acid rain.
Informal Assessment– Observation of student behaviour on the computers.

Acid Rain Worksheet

  1. What are the chemical compounds that react with water to produce acid rain? Write out the chemical reactions.

  2. What produces sulfur dioxide emissions?

  3. What produces nitrogen oxides emissions?

  4. How does acid rain damage the environment?

  5. How is acid rain harmful to people?

  6. Where in Canada would you find the most damage due to acid rain? Why?

  7. What are some regulations in Canada that are helping to reduce acid rain?

  8. How do we measure acid rain?

  9. Where/when did one of the worst recorded acid rain falls occur? What was the pH?

  10. Is northern or southern Canada more susceptible to acid rain? Why?