August 12 | International Youth Day Multimedia Resources and Lesson Plan

Share the importance of International Youth Day with your students. MY HERO's multimedia lesson plan inspires students to be partners in global change.

International Youth Day Lesson Plan
Credit: MY HERO

The theme for International Youth Day 2023 is “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World". Today, the world is embarking on a green transition. The shift towards an environmentally sustainable and climate-friendly world is critical not only for responding to the global climate crisis but also for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A successful transition towards a greener world will depend on the development of green skills in the population. Green skills are “knowledge, abilities, values and attitudes needed to live in, develop and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society”.

The following stories honor young heroes working to overcome the consequences of the climate change.

Global Youth Climate Movement

By: Slater Jewell-Kemker
Slater Jewell-Kemker interviews inspiring young activists from the Global Youth Climate Movement and US Youth for Sustainable Development.

Greta Thunberg

By: MY HERO Staff
On the first day, Greta Thunberg, a climate activist with Asperger's, protested outside of Swedish Parliament alone. Now, she's leading 1.5 million students globally.

The following two films reflect on the effects of climate change. 

Brave New World

Zoltán Bendegúz Szabó | Toldy Ferenc High School
Brave New World is about climate change.

Climate Change

Philip Kapadia
The film showcases the effects of climate change, and what we could face if we don't take action soon.


Discussion Questions:

1. Identify people and organizations who are working on transforming food systems to become more sustainable. Share their story with MY HERO using the Create Program.  

2. What are some of the consequences of Climate Change? 

3. What is being done to improve the status of climate change? What can you do?


Students watch the following films about young people making a positive difference in the world. 

Inspire students to become partners in global change with the following discussion guide.

Mohamed Sidibay: Teaching Peace

Producer: The MY HERO Project

Mohamed Sidibay is a survivor of a horrific civil war in Sierra Leone, where he was forced to fight as a child soldier. Now he advocates for better access to education worldwide. (2:48 min)

He Named Me Malala - Official Trailer

Producer: Laurie MacDonald

He Named Me Malala is a portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai. (2:31 minutes)

Off the Grid: A Climate Solution

Produced by:Slater Jewell-Kemker

Two girls go to Nepal to build a shelter that will collect fresh water and solar energy in hopes of solving community problems.

Interview with Youth Activist Sophie Healy-Thow

Kitty Richardson

Learn about the Act4Food Act4Change campaign founded by Irish Youth Activist Sophie Healy-Thow amongst other young people aspiring for change in the food industry.

Feed the Future

Natalie Wylie

This film illustrates the environmental effects of meat consumption.

Planting to Protect

Gavin Nguyen, Mason Li, Angela Kim, and Angelica Chi

The Irvine Ranch Conservancy's Native Seed Farm plays an important role in protecting California's unique ecosystem.

MABON ‘The 8 year old activist’

Jack Davies

Our world has a serious ocean plastics problem. There are now a higher number of plastics in the ocean than the number of fish.

The Future is Electric

Aliana Shanks | STEAM Academy

The students at STEAM Academy discuss the benefits of electric cars. They send their teacher into time travel while giving information on their quest to change the future.

Discussion Questions

1. Both Mohamed Sidibay and Malala Yousafzai are advocates for children's equal rights to education. Who else is an advocate for children's rights to education? Share his or her story with MY HERO.

2. Mabon and his mum, Laura, take their time to methodically clean the beach and name and shame the brands that produce the single-use plastic in the first place. Why is single-use plastic bad for the environment? What can you do?

3. Youth activists are working to make positive changes in the food industry and protecting the environment. What did you learn from these films? What can you do to make a difference?

4. There are villages in Nepal that do not have access to clean water supplies. Where else in the world is access to clean water limited? What can be done?

5. What are the benefits to electric cars vs cars run on gasoline?

Students watch the films below about two young filmmakers who use their craft to shine a light on issues that are important to them: climate change, identity, and racism.

Students consider the discussion questions

Slater Unstoppable

Producer: MY HERO

Director Slater Jewell-Kemker shares her journey with MY HERO.

Women Transforming Media: Gabrielle Gorman

Producer: Xenia Shin, Jeanne Meyers, et al.

Emerging filmmaker Gabrielle Gorman's poetic filmmaking confronts issues like identity, racism and self-love. Her goal is to make art for social change. 

Discussion Questions

1. What issues are important to you? What can you do? Create an action plan and share your story with MY HERO.                                                                                                

2. How can you express an issue that is important to you through film or song? Share your project with MY HERO. 


Featured Stories 

Dorcas Lukwesa’s Mobile, Sustainable Farms

By: Abigail Richardson

Marcus Rashford MBE - Football Hero and Hunger Campaigner

By: Abigail Richardson
Marcus Rashford is an England Premiere League footballer who rose to fame playing for Manchester United and England and more recently for his work with FareShare[i] to help tackle childhood hunger in the UK.

Discussion Questions

1. How does Dorcas Lukwesa's Mobile Aquaponics promote food security under climate crisis and reduce poverty in Zambia?

2. What are some causes of hunger? What is being done to alleviate this problem?


Research Claudette Colvin and Samantha Smith:  Why do you think Robert Shetterly chose to paint their portraits?

Claudette Colvin

By: Robert Shetterly
Robert Shetterly of Americans Who Tell the Truth has painted a portrait of the brave young African-American girl who would not give up her bus seat in 1955

Samantha Smith

By: Robert Shetterly
Samantha Reed Smith (June 29, 1972 - August 25, 1985) was an American schoolgirl from Manchester, Maine, who became known as "America's Youngest Ambassador" in the United States and the "Goodwill Ambassador" in the Soviet Union during her short lifetime.

Additional Film Resource: MY HERO Suggested Video

MY HERO Suggested Video

"Isra Hirsi" (2019) by Brower Youth Awards

 Isra Hirsi is a 16-year-old from Minneapolis, Minnesota, who is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of the US Youth Climate Strike, which focuses on fighting the climate crisis through climate strikes and climate policy.

 Learning Outcomes

Students will understand how they are not limited by age to make a positive difference.

Students will develop research and critical thinking skills as they evaluate children's access to education.

Students are encouraged to use multimedia to celebrate a personal hero. 


Laura Nietzer

The International Youth Day lesson plan was created by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.

MY HERO Calendars for use in the Classroom

MY HERO's Teachers Calendar Features Lesson Plans and Multimedia Resources

Teachers Calendar
Credit: MY HERO

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom


Students can share their Hero Essays, Films and Art through our Create Program

Related Pages

Children's Rights

By: Laura Nietzer
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to education,no one shall be held in slavery or servitude, and thateveryone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, and housing. These rights also belong to children.

UN Sustainable Development Goals Teacher Resources

By: Laura Nietzer
Share the importance of the UN Sustainability Goals with your students. Bring classrooms to life with MY HERO's Multimedia Resources.

Organizer created on 7/8/2019 7:08:10 AM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 8/8/2023 10:25:40 AM by Laura Nietzer