Civics, U.S. History
GradesK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Advanced
What better way to greet visitors to your school (or to your Town Hall) than with a student-created flag mural?
Students create a mural that expresses their feelings and patriotism to honor the memory of those who gave their lives on September 11, 2001.
hero, September, attack, memorial, flag, mural, diversity
See individual activities below; each activity requires different materials.
Following are a handful of ideas for creating a mural to honor the anniversary of September 11. The mural will help students revisit their feelings and keep alive the patriotic feelings stimulated by the events of 9/11.
To make a mural flag that approximates the dimensions of a U.S. flag, you will need
Give a Hand to the United States
Organize students into five groups. Cut all stripes listed above from white mural paper. Provide two of the groups with two 5- by 72-inch stripes; provide each of the other three groups with one 5- by 126-inch stripe. You might take this activity outdoors; students should dress in their "painting clothes." Provide a tray of red finger paints for each group. Let students take turns placing the palms of their hands lightly upon the paint and then pressing their hands onto the white stripe. When dry, tape the back of each "hand-painted" stripe to one of the unpainted white stripes. Be sure a red stripe appears at the top and bottom of your flag mural. Now attach to the upper-left corner of the flag blue construction paper that measures 35 inches wide and 54 inches long. Attach cut stars. (Alternate plan: Students might paint blue handprints on white to create the blue background, or they might use white handprints on a blue background to represent stars.)
Cut from red paper four stripes that are 5- by 72-inches and three that are 5- by 126-inches. Cut from white paper three stripes that are 5- x 72-inches and three stripes that are 5- by 126 inches. Then have students find and cut out from magazines and Internet sources pictures of people of all races and creeds. Attach those pictures to the red stripes to create a collage effect. Piece together your flag mural, which will stand as a symbol of American diversity.
September 11: In Our Own Words
Cut stripes as in the previous activity. Pose a question to students and let them write their responses on the white stripes of the flag. (The white stripes might actually be made from white-lined writing paper.) Students might draft their responses or essays before posting them on the flag. Following are a few questions that might serve as prompts for this writing activity:
To motivate student thinking and writing, teachers of students in grades six through 12 might use this lesson from the New York Times Learning Network: Another Day That Will Live in Infamy.
Cut stripes as in the previous two activities. Collect newspaper headlines about the attack on the United States from actual newspapers or from Internet news sites. Cut a variety of headlines and/or news articles, and create a collage of headlines on the white stripes of the flag.
Assessment varies depending on the activity selected and the age level of students.
Lesson Plan Source
FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.5-8.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.5-8.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
GRADES 9 - 12
NA-VA.9-12.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.9-12.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.9-12.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
NA-VA.9-12.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
LANGUAGE ARTS: English
SOCIAL SCIENCES: Civics
SOCIAL SCIENCES: U.S. History
GRADES 5 - 12
NSS-USH.5-12.10 Era 10: Contemporary United States (1968 to the Present)
See more lessons at September 11: Lessons and Resources for Classroom Teachers. Click to return to the Remembering September 11 lesson plan page.