The Tuesday 12: 12 Inspirational YouTube Videos to Share with Your Class

So, what is “The Tuesday 12”? We will be gathering 12 resources, ideas, lessons, and activities for teachers on a variety of topics.  In this inaugural edition of The Tuesday 12, we decided to go with 12 inspirational YouTube videos for you and your students.

1. Severn Cullis-Suzuki at the 1992 UN Earth Summit

At only 12 years old, Severn addresses the UN regarding environmental concerns and the fear she has for her future and the future of other children.  It is very powerful and my students have always commented that she is so confident and intelligent, and her message still resonates today.

2. Dr. Randy Pausch “The Last Lecture”

University professor Randy Pausch gave a lecture on the topic, “What wisdom would you try to impart on the world if you knew it was your last chance?”  But for him it was especially poignant as he had been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.  His speech (an abridge version of it taped for Oprah) is both inspirational and emotional.

3. Dalton Sherman addressing 20 000 educators in Dallas

This is a bit of a longer video and even though Dalton is addressing teachers, not only is his message inspiring for educators, but it helps our students understand that we believe in them and want them to reach their full potential.

4. Iqbal Masih

This particular video is inspiring for two different reasons. First, it tells the story of Iqbal Masih, a child laborer in Pakistan, who was sold into slavery at a young age.  He gained international attention when he spoke out against child labor and was murdered at the age of 12.  Not only is Iqbal inspiring, but the students at Broad Meadows Middle school in Quincy, Mass (where he visited) raised money to build a school in Pakistan in his honor.  Not only did the students raise enough money for one school, but they were able to build 8 schools in Pakistan.

5. Craig Kielburger

When Craig Kielburger read about the death of Iqbal Masih, the young Canadian boy wanted to do something about it.  He turned to his friends and together founded a group that would eventually evolve into “Free the Children.”  This clip shows his travels to Asia to see child labor for himself.

6. Free the Children

Founded by Craig Kielburger, Free the Children “believes in a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as agents of change. We are a charity and educational partner that empowers youth to remove barriers that prevent them from being active local and global citizens” (  Young people throughout the world have the power to change the world.

7. Redefine Possible…Spencer West

8. Spencer West and Mount Kilimanjaro

Videos 7 and 8 go together.  In the first, we are introduced to Spencer West, who lost his legs at 5 years old due to a genetic condition, but that doesn’t stop him from leading a full and active life.  On June 18, 2012, he reached his goal of hiking to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for clean drinking water through Free the Children.

9. Marianne Williamson “Our Greatest Fear”

Although this quote has been attributed to Nelson Mandela, it was actually written by Marianne Williamson.  I chose the clip from “Akeelah and the Bee” because it is an inspiring movie that can be shared with your students as well.

10. Running for My Existence (Roger Wright)

In these 5 minutes, we literally see a man transform himself from someone who could only run 10 yards to being ready to run the Boston Marathon in just ten months.  He did it to raise money and awareness for his niece Julia, who has Cystic Fibrosis, and to change his own life for the better.

11. Lost Generation

When I first viewed this video, it really made me sad…but then I got to the second half and I realized what an amazing concept it was!  This video would also make an excellent resource for a media literacy lesson.

12. Derek Redmond

Sometimes no matter how much we try to prepare ourselves for a challenge, we will not be able to overcome the obstacles in our path…unless we receive help from those that care about us.

If you have any other suggestions, please list them in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check back next Tuesday for the next installment of “The Tuesday 12”!

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