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6th, 7th, 8th


Social Studies, Civics

Resource Types

  • Videos, 2 minutes, 5 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - South, Louisiana

Youth Climate Story: The Gulf Is Not a Sacrifice Zone

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  • In this video and article, a teen named Kami in Louisiana's Gulf Coast describes how the fossil fuel industry affects her local environment, causing smells, air pollution, and health hazards to residents.
  • She calls for an end to fossil fuel development in her community and states that it is an environmental injustice that her region is disproportionately affected by this industry's pollution.
  • Kami discusses how she cares about her family's health and organizes within her community to prevent the fossil fuel industry from continuing to pollute her region.
Teaching Tips


  • The teen's perspective and voice in speaking out against the fossil fuel industries polluting her community is powerful, and many teens may relate to feelings of injustice from harmful facilities in their communities.
  • The video addresses environmental racism and social justice themes as the teen wants to prevent her community from being a "sacrifice zone" by the fossil fuel industry.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand that fossil fuel production and use causes air pollution and contributes to climate change.
  • Students should be aware of alternative, cleaner energy sources.


  • Before watching this video, ask students if and how they think teens can make a difference in the fight against climate change.
  • To further understand the topic of fossil fuel extraction, investigate different fossil fuel facilities in your state as a class.
  • As an extension activity, have students make a testimonial video about an environmental issue they care about in their community.
  • Lead a discussion about actions students can take to support greener and cleaner energy solutions.
  • In civics classes, explore measures teens can take to affect change in public policy to reduce the facilities contributing to pollution.
Scientist Notes
The fossil fuel industry and the pollution it causes disproportionately affect lower-income and communities of color. This short video resource adds a personal story to that fact and how continued investment in fossil fuels puts us in danger of not reaching our climate goals.

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

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5. Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
      • HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.II.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • SL.ES.7.3 Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
  • Related Resources


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