Air Lesson for Kids: Definition, Properties & Facts

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  • 0:04 What Is Air?
  • 1:13 Properties of Air
  • 1:35 Air Fun Facts
  • 2:50 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

Air is all around us and it is one of the most important things in our lives, but how much do you actually know about air? Come and learn the definition and properties, as well as some fun facts about air.

What Is Air?

Right now, take a large, deep breath. Inhale. Exhale. Do it again. Inhale. Exhale. Let's think about what exactly is happening in your body that is allowing you to breathe. Well, when you inhale, or breathe in, your lungs fill up with oxygen that is passed to your bloodstream. Aside from your lungs, what do you need in order to breathe? Air, of course! Air is a gas that provides us with oxygen, but oxygen isn't the only element in air. In fact, only about 21% of air is oxygen, while about 78% is nitrogen and less than 1% is a mixture of other gases. Without air, living things would be unable to survive, including plants, animals, and human beings.

Did you know that the layer of air that covers the earth is about 400 miles high? This is called the atmosphere. The atmosphere is made up of five layers: the troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere, the thermosphere, and the exosphere. We live in the troposphere, which is the lowest layer and is about seven miles thick. The second lowest layer is the stratosphere, which blocks some of the Sun's heat from the earth so that we don't get overheated down here.

Properties of Air

Just because you can't see something, doesn't mean that it isn't there. Yes, air can't be seen, smelled, or tasted. Even though the air is invisible, it actually takes up space and has weight. Have you ever blown up a balloon before? Think about it. At first, the balloon is small, flat, and deflated. However, when you blow air into the balloon, it grows in size and is heavier than it was before you blew it up.

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