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Crash Course


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


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Geography, Justice, Health

Resource Type

  • Video, 14 minutes, 24 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Midwest

How the Environment Affects Your Health

  • This video describes how environmental pollution and climate change impact human health, especially for marginalized and low-income populations.
  • Chicago is used as an example to demonstrate that people who live in certain neighborhoods have worse health outcomes due to a lack of infrastructure and community resources.
  • Environmental justice is identified as a way to create an environment that is healthy for everyone.
Teaching Tips


  • The video uses maps, animations, and real-world data to explain key ideas.
  • The video focuses on the populations most affected by climate injustice like the disabled, elderly, BIPOC, and low-income communities.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The video is divided into eight sections that can be played individually to complement a variety of lessons.
  • The content of the video ends at 13 minutes, 45 seconds. The remaining portion is credits.


  • Students can research how their community's health is impacted by climate change and identify potential health hazards like busy roads, fossil fuel plants, industrial operations, and poor infrastructure.
  • Challenge students in civics classes to create a proposal for how their local government can better address the health needs of marginalized groups due to climate change.
  • To learn more about how pollution impacts health, students can check out this Khan Academy video, this article by the American Lung Association, or this video by the Climate Reality Project.
  • Additional resources about climate change and public health include this video and this ebook.
Scientist Notes
Low-income people and marginalized communities are disproportionately impacted by climate-related illness caused by extreme heat, pollution, etc. Yet, they do not have the needed support from the government to address major environmental health issues confronting them. The resource highlights the impact of heatwaves, pollution, and environmental degradation on human and environmental health. On that account, it is suitable and recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 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.
      • 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.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
  • 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.7.2 Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.2 Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.2.9-12 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions and their political, cultural, and economic dynamics.
      • D2.Geo.9.9-12 Evaluate the influence of long-term climate variability on human migration and settlement patterns, resource use, and land uses at local-to-global scales.
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