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Project Look Sharp, Cindy Kramer & Sox Sperry


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Social Studies, Civics, Health

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom, 30-60 minutes
  • Lesson Plans
  • Videos, 5 minutes, 13 seconds
  • Videos, 1 minute, 56 seconds

Regional Focus

North America, United States


PDF, Downloadable MP4/M4V

The Public Trust Doctrine - Government's Role in Protecting Natural Resources for the Future

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  • In this media literacy activity, students will analyze two video clips about youth who sued the government in an effort to protect the environment for future generations. 
  • Students will examine how the videos use different approaches to convey their messages. 
  • The resource includes a lesson plan and two video clips. 
Teaching Tips
  • The lesson plan includes discussion questions for several academic subjects.
  • Students will learn how youth can use the law to advocate for climate action.
Additional Prerequisites
  • Teachers must create a free account to access the materials.
  • The video clip titled "Trust 350" ends abruptly in the middle of the last segment.
  • Students could respond to the questions individually or in small groups before discussing their answers as a class.
  • Civics and law classes could research environmental lawsuits that have been brought against governments.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video on who is responsible for fixing climate change and this TED video on thinking about the next seven generations when planning for the future.
Scientist Notes

The resource is appropriate to critically analyze the role of government and its responsibility to protect the environment for future generations. This resource is recommended for training students on climate advocacy and debates.

  • 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.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading (K-12)
      • R.6-8.7 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in various texts, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
  • Social Studies
    • Civics & Government
      • Civics & Government 1 (D2): Students understand the basic ideals, purposes, principles, structures, and processes of constitutional government in Maine and the United States as well as examples of other forms of government in the world by comparing how laws are made in Maine and at the federal level in the United States.
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