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Tools of the Trade

Being the Change

Young people are leading the charge to create the world they want to see. Help direct their efforts with these fantastic resources for teaching about — and taking action on — the big issues that are affecting their communities, countries and planet.

By Caeli Mazara

  1. NFB Education/ONF Éducation free

    Find a rich collection of English- and French-language films that spark conversations on a range of social issues — diversity, poverty, religion, and more. Films range in length from a few minutes to a couple of hours and include helpful "mini-lessons" with age recommendations.

    Grades: 1 to 12

  2. CBC Kids News/Mon actualité du jour free

    Produced by CBC (with a French-language equivalent by Radio-Canada), this news site is hosted entirely by teen journalists. Mixed in with lighter fare, the video segments explore weightier issues too, including Indigenous demonstrations, climate change and how federal elections work.

    Grades: 4 to 12

  3. Teaching Tolerance free

    This website is a wealth of resources for teachers looking to bring social justice into the classroom. Examine the roots of racism, for example, or challenge students to recognize hidden biases. With teaching aids, lesson plans and activities for students of all ages, Teaching Tolerance explores difficult, timely and important topics.

    Grades: K to 12

  4. The Global Oneness Project free

    Started in 2006 and designed for educators, this project uses storytelling (through film and the written word) to shed light on poverty, climate change, Indigenous cultures, and more. Many of the stories include study guides and lesson plans, too.

    Grades: 9 to 12

  5. Deedly free

    The Deedly app allows classrooms to sign up to engage in global collaborative efforts that support education, environment and health. Through learning and taking "challenges" to test their knowledge, students unlock Deed Coins, which translate to real-life donations for on-the-ground organizations.

    Grades: 8 and 9

  6. Wee You-Things $3.99

    This bright, fun app offers young children an introduction to diversity and difference through silly prose and adorable illustrations. Students will meet Paul who is tall, Claire who has no hair, and Brad who has two dads, and are then encouraged to identify their own "you-things" that make them unique.

    Grades: K to 2

  7. DoSomething free

    The DoSomething program (and associated DoSomething app) motivates students to take action on the issues they care about, and encourages them to engage their friends, families and communities. Student-driven projects around the world have included clothing drives, water conservation projects, and mental health campaigns.

    Grades: 10 to 12

  8. One Globe Kids free trial

    What is it like to be a kid in Indonesia, Haiti or Burundi? This app offers "day in the life" stories delivered in audio and video formats that encourage students to consider
    the diverse perspectives of their international peers.

    Grades: K to 5