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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.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • 11-12.SL.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, perspective, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
  • Social Sciences
    • Geography (K-12)
      • 6.14 Identify and describe how the physical and human characteristics of places and regions connect to human identities and cultures in the Western Hemisphere.
    • Social Science Analysis (K-12)
      • HS.75 Evaluate options for individual and collective actions to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
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