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Young Voices for the Planet


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


Social Studies, Civics, English Language Arts, Health

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast

Young Voices for the Planet: Words Have Power

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  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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.

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

  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • 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.
  • Related Resources


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