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


Social Studies, Health

Resource Type

  • Videos, 6 minutes, 48 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Arizona


YouTube Video

How America's Hottest City Is Trying to Cool Down

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  • This video explains the connection between poverty and extreme heat in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Students will learn that the city's plan to plant more trees will lower temperatures, but it will be expensive and difficult for lower-income citizens to maintain the trees.
Teaching Tips


  • The video shows the correlation between climate change and poverty levels using the visuals of a heat map and an income level map.
  • The video description provides links for further reading.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have a basic understanding of climate change.
  • The video may begin with an ad.


  • Students could compare the conditions in their community with that of Phoenix and decide if the community could benefit from planting trees. If the community would benefit from more trees, students could raise money and plant trees in the community.
  • Students could work in groups to research the surface temperature maps and the poverty rates of different cities.
  • Other resources on this topic include this SubjectToClimate lesson plan on urban tree density and environmental justice, this article on the ways that heat impacts infrastructure and people, and this video on how urban heat affects communities of color. 
Scientist Notes
This resource is a 7-minute video that presents a very compelling case study looking at the relationship between wealth, poverty, climate change, and infrastructure. Wealthy communities in Phoenix, Arizona have more trees for shade than poorer communities, and this has a direct link to health. This is a very well-produced video. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-2 Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
      • 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.
  • Social Studies
    • Geography
      • Geography 1 (F1): Students understand the geography of the community, Maine, the United States, and various regions of the world, and geographic influences on life in the past, present, and future by using the geographic grid and a variety of types of maps, including digital sources, to locate and access relevant geographic information that reflects multiple perspectives.
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