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


Science, Social Studies, Civics

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Oregon, Eastern Oregon, Southern Oregon, Willamette Valley / Portland Metro


YouTube Video

Oregon Already Has a Climate Refugee Crisis

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  • This video examines the destruction and displacement caused by the 2020 Labor Day wildfires in Oregon and explores the connection between these fires and global climate change.
  • Students will learn that these wildfires were abnormally destructive and aggravated the housing crisis that existed in Oregon before 2020.
Teaching Tips


  • This video allows students to hear firsthand accounts from Oregonians who survived the 2020 Labor Day wildfires.
  • This resource displays a connection between climate change, government policy, and human impacts.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be somewhat familiar with the concept of climate change and global warming.
  • Students should understand that there is a connection between climate change, an increase in natural disasters, and an increase in the severity of natural disasters.


  • This video could be used to show the consequences of any government policies that have negatively impacted our climate.
  • This video could be used by students as supporting evidence for a multimedia research project about the effects of climate change on communities or the disproportionate effects of climate change on those least able to recover from the changes occurring.
  • Students could also use the video for a research project that focuses on climate change's influence on human activities and vice versa.
  • After watching the video, a classroom discussion could be facilitated with a mix of opinion-based and fact-oriented questions to help students decipher why Oregon is in this position and what can be done to improve the present and future situations of Oregonians and our planet.
Scientist Notes
This resource is a VICE News segment about wildfires in Oregon. The segment interviews a few different survivors of wildfires, emergency management officials, and project managers to discuss their experiences with the fires and how the wildfires exacerbated the housing crisis. The interviewer also asks the officials about climate change and their thoughts about the future of wildfires. They present accurate information but do not go into the specifics of why these changes are happening. It may seem like they do not conclusively link the fires to climate change, but scientists have shown the two are linked. This resource is recommended for teaching.

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

  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.7.2 Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • SL.11-12.3 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.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
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