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Photo by Ronan Furuta via Unsplash

Author

Young Voices for the Planet

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Social Studies, Civics, English Language Arts, Health

Resource Type

  • Videos, 6 minutes, 6 seconds

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, Connecticut

Young Voices for the Planet: Words Have Power

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Synopsis
  • This video presents the story of Jaysa Hunter-Mellers, a young activist from Bridgeport, Connecticut whose testimony helped shut down a coal-fired power plant.
  • Students will see that children can fight for environmental justice and address environmental threats through civic actions and words. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This video and the additional links in the description can inspire students to take action to protect the environment.
  • This video has a powerful message related to environmental justice, environmental racism, and one person's ability to make change.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the following concepts: air pollution, environmental racism, activism, and burning fossil fuels.
  • Teachers can check out the various articles and videos on Jaysa's awards, projects, and press releases.
  • The coal plant in Bridgeport, CT was officially closed in June 2021.

Differentiation

  • In ELA classes, the teacher could show students the video and ask them to write a paragraph about the impact of words to make a positive change.
  • In art classes, the teacher could ask students to make a piece of art that depicts the powerful words Jaysa Hunter-Mellers.
  • This video can be used for a class discussion about environmental racism.
  • It can be used as a starting point for a lesson on action to restore the environment or on air pollution and its impacts on human health.
Scientist Notes
This resource is a story of climate activism. Additional links are also recommended to inspire students to lead in climate conversations and take urgent action to restore their environment.
Standards
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.11-12.3 Understand and evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
  • Social Studies
    • Geography
      • SS.Geog4.a.m Explain how place-based identities can change places over time. Investigate how place-based identity results from the characteristics of a place and can sometimes result in stereotypes of people from a specific place. Describe students’ perceptions of a place that are based on indirect sources (e.g., television, movies), versus on direct sources (e.g., residing in a place, visiting a place).
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