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Database Provider


Expository Writing


11th, 12th


English Language Arts


100 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Hawai'i


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

7th Generation Thinking (Climate Superheroes #1)

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Apr 24, 2024
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In this lesson, students research Indigenous sustainability practices related to Hawaiʻi and write three short biographies on Indigenous leaders.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students consider personal connections to sustainability in their community.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students explore examples of Indigenous sustainable practices across different parts of the world through videos and articles.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students write short informative biographies to highlight Indigenous climate heroes.
Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson aligns with Hawai'i's Nā Hopena A'o HĀ-BREATH Framework.

  • Students have the autonomy to explore climate activists that they find interesting.

  • Students feel connected to the youth activists they are researching because they are young people from a variety of cultural backgrounds.

  • Students will feel inspired to take an active role in their future.

  • Students can choose to present their information in a digital or hand-drawn format.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 1 of 2 in our 11th-12th grade Climate Superheroes unit.

  • Teachers should be familiar with the following ōlelo (Hawaiian language): 

    • Ahupua'a: watershed

    • Kupuna: elders, experts, wisdom carriers
    • Makai: ocean
    • Mauka: mountain

  • Students should possess a background understanding of informative writing. They should use a third-person point of view, proper grammar and punctuation, and text evidence.


  • The Investigate and Inspire sections can be completed on different days.

  • Students can share their work in a physical gallery walk for an added movement break or a shared slideshow for movement-impaired students.

  • Teachers can use the following scaffolding options as needed:

    • Read aloud the article and accompanying written resources.

    • Provide sentence stems for students to guide them through the informative writing section.

    • Allow students to complete the written portion through the Google Docs talk-to-text feature.

    • Ensure closed captioning is enabled for all videos.

  • Options for differentiating the video Spotlight On: Indigenous Leadership in the US Environmental and Climate Justice Movements include:

    • Assigning the full video for homework.

    • Playing the video from 6:30-27:30 for the whole class, pausing between each introduction of climate leaders.

  • Students can conduct additional research on their climate heroes to add more depth to their comic books. 

  • English Language Learner students can pre-read the article with teachers. 

  • Students can record new words and definitions on a class vocabulary board or individual notebook. For example, the article From the Mountains to the Sea includes words that may be unfamiliar to some students such as idyll, picturesquesediment, and turqoise.
Scientist Notes

The need to include Indigenous peoples' stories, thoughts, sustainable solutions, and voices in the international climate debates is emphasized in this lesson as well as their involvement in the battle against climate change. It is crucial to highlight the work that Indigenous climate activists and leaders are doing in their communities to combat climate change, and this is something that should be emulated. This lesson passed our science review after the lesson materials were fact-checked.


Primary Standards

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


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