The Young Voices for the Planet films have challenged and transformed the way that climate change is being taught. The psychological value of the films as a tool to teach youth about climate change has been discussed at meetings of a number of prominent institutions including the National Education Association, EPA, National Science Foundation, National Academy of Sciences, Ecological Society of America, the National Science Teachers Association and the North American Association for Environmental Education –groups that are embracing the use of the films to change the pedagogy of teaching about climate change.

Civic Educational Resources
A national cross-partisan coalition of over 100 organizations focused on improving our nation’s K-12 in and out-of-school civic education. Visit the State Policy page to find out what initiatives your state is taking!

Zinn Education
Teach Climate Justice
Teaching for Black Lives

Children’s Environmental Literacy
Citizen Science — Inquiry to Action
Citizen Science: Connecting Classroom to Community
Annual Summer Institute — Open to formal & informal educators nationwide

Our Children’s
Curriculum: Making the Case for Science-Based Climate Action (Juliana v. United States)


Books and Articles to Help Teach Climate Change with Hope and Solutions

book2How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming

by Lynne Cherry and Gary Braasch

This book is based on Gary Braasch’s book “Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World.” Gary, a world-renowned photojournalist, took most of the books’ pictures. kids-pie-chartLynne and Gary followed climate scientists around the world, learning about their research first-hand. Scientists studied birds that were changing their range and moving up mountains; receding glaciers; ancient air trapped in ice cores; Arctic tundra and Australian rain forests. The book 15 awards including the AAAS/ Subaru Award, AAAS’s Best Middle School Science Book of the Year and the American Meteorological Society’s children’s book award. This pie chart is from the book.

book3Climate Smart & Energy Wise
by Mark McCaffrey

This book includes information about how the Young Voices for the Planet films help dispel the fear that people, young and old, often have about climate change. It’s a great book for teaching about energy and climate.



bookEMPOWERING YOUNG VOICES FOR THE PLANET by Lynne Cherry, Juliana Texley and Suzanne Lyons 

This e-book has curriculum developed specifically for all the Young Voices for the Planet films and they are all aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.



The lessons are all aligned to the national science standards (NGSS).

The remarkable Young Voices for the Planet films showcase dozens of young people who, starting with nothing but enthusiasm, shrink the carbon footprint of their homes, schools and communities. With this teacher’s guide, you can help your students take action against climate change while teaching to the standards.

Empowering Young Voices for the Planet is about teaching students the science and reality of climate change, while empowering them to respond effectively—and without fear.

Inside this guide you’ll find:

  • Inspiring true stories of low- or no-cost youth-led projects that address a wide range of environmental issues and engage schools, local government, businesses, the public, and parents
  • Practical tips for inspiring students to develop projects relevant to their own communities, including planning, financing, safety, and liability
  • Many creative and replicable ways to reduce CO2 emissions, as well as connections to the Next Generation Science Standards

Discover for yourself what a powerful catalyst “think globally, act locally” can be when integrated into STEM, social studies, environmental studies, and civic engagement lessons. If not now, when?


Education in Times of Environmental Crisis: Teaching Children to be Agents of Change (Routledge, 2016)

Lynne Cherry’s chapter, “Teaching Climate Change With Hope and Solutions: Lessons from a Film Project”, discusses in depth the pedagogy of the Young Voices for the Planet films and the importance of offering heartening solutions when discussing the dire nature of climate change. The book focuses on how the future of planet Earth depends on humans’ recognition of the interconnectedness of all life. This comprehensive resource helps PRE-K–12 teachers teach their students to be part of the world as engaged citizens, advocates for social and ecological justice.



Huffington Post — Films Champion Inspiring Youth Solutions to Climate Change “if the adults don’t do enough, we have to do it.”

Mongabay — Lynne cherry’s books and films

Read Lynne Cherry’s NY Times blog about climate messaging:
NY TIMES dot.Earth Blog — “On the Allure of Ostriches and New Paths in Clilmate Communication” Lynne Cherry guest blogging for Andrew Revkin talks about how people are motivated to avoid hearing about troubling problems if they feel they are intractable—that they can’t do anything about them. Lynne cites a study dubbing this “motivated avoidance” and talks about how success stories can act as an antidote to the fear associated with climate disruption.

The Brandwein Institute post on Lynne Cherry’s Brandwein Lecture at National Science Teachers Association Conference “Young Voices on Climate Change: Inspired and Empowered Youth Tackle Climate Science and Solutions

NSTA Blog: Teaching Climate Change with stories of Success by Lynne Cherry


Communication Insights and Youth Self-Efficacy
The films have been hugely successful in developing self-efficacy (the ability of young people to realize that they have the power to change the world—and their own lives). The youth in the films tackle the impossible because it doesn’t occur to them that they won’t succeed and the inspire other youth. Self-efficacy develops global citizenry in youth and a belief in their ability to control their environment and destiny.

The Young Voices for the Planet films are included in Pearson’s geography textbook and many teacher guides including the online curriculum “Getting the Picture” for Jim Balog’s movie “Chasing Ice”.

A 60-page teacher guide for the films, Empowering Young Voices for the Planet, was co-authored by National Science Teachers Association president Juliana Texley, aligned with the next generation science standards.

The United Nations Foundation featured a different YVFP film on their website every two weeks throughout summer 2014 promoting them internationally.
Because the Young Voices for the Planet films are unique in climate change education, outreach and activism, they have become useful tools to groups teaching about climate change, self-efficacy and youth empowerment including National Geographic and PBS Learning Media.


The Teacher Guide for the movie, Chasing Ice: Chapter 6.2 Speaking Up for Our Earth

There are plenty of ways, big and small, for people of all ages to change the world around them to help make it a better place. Even though it seems that adults are making many of the decisions about the fate of our planet, many kids have already taken on the challenge of climate change with great success. This chapter, features kids who have taken big initiatives to raise awareness on climate change and make a difference in their own personal actions as well. We hear their stories, and also learn about opportunities we can take in our own lives every day to change the story of climate change for the better.


Kids vs Global Warming

Green Ambassadors

Plant for the Planet

Longing for a Local Lunch

Olivia’s Birds and the Oil Spill

We Sing Out!

Dreaming in Green

Save Tomorrow

A Solution: Positive and Inspiring Stories to Explain Climate Change Science

By documenting and communicating youth solutions, the YVFP films give educators tools to teach about climate change in a manner that relates to students’ lives, taps into their interests, engages their curiosity and motivates them to retain the information as lifetime learning. Studies show that such curriculum results in better test scores, greater retention of knowledge and content mastery. Climate workshop presenters have witnessed firsthand how these inspirational and authentic Young Voices for the Planet films transform teachers and students alike from feeling hopeless to hopeful, from apathetic to engaged.


  • to document youth success stories about reducing CO2 — to give young people a voice.
  • to alleviate children’s fear about climate change and move them toward hope, empowerment and action by inspiring them through these youth success stories.
  • to document stories of youth using scientific data to argue their positions in order to help other young people and adults understand the role of science in sound decision making
  • to reach and encourage a critical mass of young people to teach their parents and schools how to reduce their carbon emissions in order to galvanize the US public–adults and kids alike–and create a paradigm shift in the way that society views, and acts to abate, global warming.
  • to encourage youth and adults to speak to elected officials about supporting sustainable energy.
  • to create an interactive website infrastructure to help youth adopt carbon reduction projects.
  • to provide teachers with materials to augment the films to facilitate students involvement in carbon reduction projects.
  • to have the films seen by as many young people as possible through distribution, dissemination and web-streaming of the films.