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Project Look Sharp, Sox Sperry


6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics, Geography, Health

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom, 10-40 minutes
  • Worksheets
  • Presentation Slides

Regional Focus

Global, South and Central America, Africa, Asia


PDF, Microsoft Powerpoint

Poverty: Climate Change & Water Security

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  • In this activity, students will use a variety of sources to learn why climate change disproportionately affects people living in poverty. 
  • This resource includes a lesson plan, a student handout, a student worksheet, and a PowerPoint presentation.
Teaching Tips


  • The lesson plan provides discussion questions for science, literacy, and social studies topics.
  • Project Look Sharp activities are good for helping students to notice the biases behind climate change information in the media and to think critically about the climate change messages they hear.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers must create a free account to use these resources.
  • The lesson plan refers to a "constructivist media decoding process," teachers can read about that process here to understand the goals and design of the lesson.


  • Students can respond to questions individually or in small groups before discussing the answers as a class. 
  • The reading for this activity is a bit dense, so a structured reading process may help some students.
  • Other resources on this topic include this ClimateScience lesson on how climate change affects people differently, this Vox video on toxic chemicals in drinking water, and this Khan Academy video on health and climate.
Scientist Notes

This resource underscores how the poorest populations are being hit hardest by climate change even though they are the least responsible for climate change. This resource connects climate change with poverty and water scarcity as they are inextricably intertwined.  It is also important to note that poverty accelerates climate change as more often than not, poor farmers who have no access to cultivable land would be vulnerable to cultivating marginal land, areas reserved for nature, or areas close to their only source of water supply just to survive. The resource is valid and recommended for teaching.

  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
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