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Our Changing Climate


3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Climate Action

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

Why Plastic Pollution Is Even Worse Than You Think

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  • A video that discusses the impact of plastic pollution on the environment. 
  • Students learn about the consequences of emissions from plastic manufacturing, how plastic is made and the steps to reduce plastic pollution. 
Teaching Tips


  • Eye-catching graphics accompany this video.
  • Highlights the effects of plastic pollution on public health.
  • Explains why recycling plastic is not an adequate solution. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should know about climate change.
  • Students should know what fossil fuels are. 
  • There is a commercial in this video.


  • Teachers can use from 1:23-2:10 of this video to explain the relationship between plastics and fossil fuels and how plastic is made to 3rd-5th graders.
  • Teachers can use from 4:09-6:23 to further explain the impact of plastic pollution. 
  • Part 5:14-5:25 can be played as an introduction to a discussion about the effects of emissions on public health. 
  • Teachers can use 6:25-8:31 to open a class discussion about plastic recycling and its role in mitigating or aggravating plastic pollution. 
  • Click here for a guide to reduce plastic use while shopping. 
  • Click here for more on humans' impact on the environment. 
  • Click here for an StC lesson plan on Cancer Alley. 
Scientist Notes
This resource is suitable to inspire students' curiosity to understand the plastic production process and the need to advocate for companies to pay for the environmental and social costs of plastic production and pollution. This is recommended for teaching.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.4.6-8 Explain how cultural patterns and economic decisions influence environments and the daily lives of people in both nearby and distant places.
    • 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.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-5 Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • 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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