Common Core State Standard L.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: Video of a current news event is presented for discussion to encourage student participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the video. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.
Teen climate activist sails into New York
Greta Thunberg arrived in New York last week after crossing the Atlantic in a zero-carbon yacht with a passionate message to tackle global heating. “It is insane that a 16-year-old would have to cross the Atlantic to take a stand … [against] the climate and ecological crisis is a global crisis and the biggest humanity has ever faced,” she said. The Swedish teen, who inspired student walkouts across the globe, came to New York to attend a UN summit on zero emissions. She countered adult critics of young climate activists by saying “we are just trying to clean up after them.”
■Class discussion: Why have many adults attacked and insulted Greta and other young people demanding action on climate change? Do you think these adult critics feel any guilt about the climate? Do they just resent criticism by younger people? Do you resent criticism by older people? Will your generation have to “clean up” the climate mess left by previous generations? Can you do it? Have young people in past generations met with harsh treatment when they demanded change? Are human beings always leaving behind messes for their children? Will your generation leave problems behind?