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Project Look Sharp, Cindy Kramer & Sox Sperry


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


Science, Social Studies, History, English Language Arts, Health

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom, 15-30 minutes
  • Videos, 4 minutes, 37 seconds
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 49 seconds
  • Lesson Plans

Regional Focus

North America, United States


PDF, Downloadable MP4/M4V

Climate Change: Do Corporations Have an Obligation to Share Their Research Findings for the Public Good?

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  • In this media literacy activity, students will analyze two video clips about Exxon's 1980s scientific research, which indicated a link between fossil fuels and rising global temperatures.
  • The videos make different claims as to the relevancy of the research and why Exxon chose to keep the information away from the public. 
  • Students will investigate how the video producers' intentions and goals shaped the information in each video.
Teaching Tips
  • The lesson plan includes discussion questions for several academic subjects.
  • This lesson requires students to think critically about where information comes from and how the producer's intentions shape the viewer's understanding of the topic.
Additional Prerequisites
  • Teachers must create a free account to access the materials.
  • Teachers should research the sources so they are aware of their viewpoints and biases.
  • For more information about climate change misinformation, have students watch this video by the Climate Reality Project.
  • Students could respond to questions individually or in small groups before discussing their answers as a class.
  • Social studies classes could debate whether corporations are responsible for divulging information that could affect the well-being of people or the environment.
  • Science classes could evaluate the claims made in the two videos and discuss the way that scientific findings are generally shared with the scientific community and the public.
  • Other resources on this topic include this lesson on misinformation about climate change, this activity on identifying climate myths, and this NowThis Earth video on greenwashing.
Scientist Notes

This resource is recommended for teaching for students to decipher and extract energy data from Exxon.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.6-8 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
      • D2.Eco.9.6-8 Describe the roles of institutions such as corporations, non-profits, and labor unions in a market economy.
    • Dimension 3: Developing Claims and Using Evidence
      • D3.3.6-8 Identify evidence that draws information from multiple sources to support claims, noting evidentiary limitations.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.8.6 Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.8.9 Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation.
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