Understanding Biomonitoring

Part of the "Air Pollution Detecting Gardens" Collection


Students will learn about biomonitoring and its use in monitoring air pollution.

Estimated Time

45 Minutes

Setting Required



  • S3L2. Students will recognize the effects of pollution and humans on the environment.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.2. Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.9. Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.


  1. Challenge students to determine the meaning of the word biomonitoring using what they know about the meaning of “bio” and “monitor.”
  2. Provide students with one of three informational paragraphs that describe different methods of biomonitoring.
  3. Ask students to compare the texts and use evidence from the texts to develop a definition for biomonitoring.
  4. Explain to students that biomonitoring means using plants, animals, or ecosystems to tell if our environment is polluted.