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Project Drawdown


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


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Civics

Resource Type

  • Videos, 12 minutes, 9 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Northeast

Clara Kitongo: Going to the Roots to Find Your Climate Superpower

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  • This video features a short interview with an individual, born and raised in Uganda, who is following her passion through the coordination of the tree-planting program, One Tree Per Child.
  • Through the video and discussion questions, students will explore how planting trees plays a key role in carbon sequestration, protecting and restoring land, and connecting people with nature. 
Teaching Tips


  • This video highlights Clara's educational/career path, which may provide hope for other students who have goals they wish to fulfill. 
  • The discussion questions listed beneath the video can be used as writing prompts or could serve as excellent ways to begin a classroom discussion. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • This resource provides additional information about Clara's story, links to other solutions, and ways to take action that teachers can preview for background information or extension work. 
  • It may benefit students' comprehension to have some background information on Uganda, the Greenbelt Movement, and Pittsburgh for a better understanding of the references within the video. 


  • Consider showing this video about a tree planting initiative in Sierra Leone as a way to motivate students to initiate a tree-planting project in their own community. 
  • Use this course about carbon removal as a self-paced activity to further students' learning about tree planting, soil carbon sequestration, and other related topics. 
  • This art-centered StC lesson plan may serve as a resource for art teachers who are looking to have students analyze and reflect upon deforestation themes in art. 
  • Other resources on this topic include this video asking whether planting trees can stop climate change, this interactive resource exploring the return investment on planting urban trees, and this brief video which describes the benefits of trees to human health. 
Scientist Notes
Clara Kitongo, an African-American climate activist, tells her tale about how she became interested in conservation and how she changed things in her neighborhood. Planting trees is one of the most economical ways to combat climate change in the long run. In addition to helping to conserve biodiversity, trees can benefit air quality, mental health, and carbon sequestration. The use of this resource for teaching is highly trusted.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
    • 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.
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.7.6-8 Assess their individual and collective capacities to take action to address local, regional, and global problems, taking into account a range of possible levers of power, strategies, and potential outcomes.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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