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Government, Media Literacy


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Social Studies, Civics


150 minutes

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Naturally, We Have a Problem

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Apr 12, 2024
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In this lesson, students analyze videos about students challenging the government to protect natural resources, research why natural resources are a source of conflict, and create a video summarizing their findings. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students analyze two videos portraying young people who are suing the government for its lack of climate action.


Step 2 - Investigate: Students research a natural resource to determine why it's a source of conflict and how the United States has addressed the conflict in comparison to other countries' responses.


Step 3 - Inspire: Students create a short video explaining why a natural resource continues to be a source of conflict and how the United States is handling this conflict.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Students use their unique voices and perspectives to communicate a complex topic.

  • Students use their creativity and collaborative skills to create a video explaining their summary of the lesson.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The resources from Project Look Sharp require a free login to download the materials.

  • Laptops or other recording devices required.

  • One-to-one technology is recommended.

  • Students must have working knowledge of credible sources.


  • The length of the student videos can be lengthened or shortened depending on student ability. 

  • Students can be placed in mixed ability groupings.

  • The number of required citations can be increased or decreased depending on student ability.

  • Optional Extension: Videos may be sent to local, state, or federal government to increase the likelihood of change being enacted.

Scientist Notes

This lesson presents the public trust doctrine through two video resources and tasks students to produce their own videos that investigate how natural resources are a source of conflict. All of the materials are well-sourced, though the videos are a little out of date. The lesson also includes a list of credible sources to get students with their investigation. This lesson is recommended for teaching.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Primary Standard

  • Social Studies
    • U.S. History: America in the World - Geography, People, and the Environment
      • 6.1.12.GeoHE.16.a: Explain why natural resources (i.e., fossil fuels, food, and water) continue to be a source of conflict and analyze how the United States and other nations have addressed issues concerning the distribution and sustainability of natural resources and climate change.
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