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September 11: Lessons and Resources for Classroom Teachers

What are teachers doing to help their students understand the attacks that took place September 11, 2001? EducationWorld has culled from the Web and listservs a list of possible resources. 


Don't miss the following EducationWorld resources:

Helping Children Cope: Teacher Resources for Talking About Tragedy

Remembering September 11 Lesson Plans

Teaching About Islam, the Middle East

For millions of Americans, December 7, 1941, is inextricably linked to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. November 22, 1963, is instantly synonymous with John F. Kennedy's assassination. Now, Americans have one more dark day indelibly etched in our memories: September 11, 2001.

How can teachers help students put the events of September 11 into a meaningful context? Below, EducationWorld has gathered background information, lessons and ideas that can help.

Don't miss the EducationWorld article Helping Children Cope: Teacher Resources for Talking About Tragedy.

HOW WILL YOU RECOGNIZE THE ANNIVERSARY?

Schools will recognize the September 11 anniversary in many different ways. Some will honor the memory of those who died. Other teachers will engage students with lessons that challenge them to think or that help them put the events of September 11 in perspective.

Education World presents Remembering September 11, which includes five new lessons to help teachers reflect upon the September 11, 2001, attack on the United States. Those lessons keep alive the spirit of patriotism and tolerance stimulated by the events of 9/11. We also offer below a long list of online lessons and other resources to help make classroom observances more meaningful and inspiring.

Two more resources worth noting:

  • About Our Kids [archived copy] offers resources such as a school manual with practical steps for recognizing the anniversary of September 11.
  • The National Association of School Psychologists offers Remembering September 11 [archived copy], which includes "One Year Later" tip sheets for parents, adolescents, and teachers plus a list of do's and don'ts for memorial activities at school.

SEPTEMBER 11 LESSON PLANS

  • PBS: America Responds
    PBS offers a variety of lesson plans for educators. Those plans include A World At Peace (for grades 2-6), Tolerance in Times of Trial (grades 6-12), Emergency Preparedness (grades 6-8), Taming Terrorism (grades 9-12), and more.
  • Who Are the Arab Americans?
    Activity ideas designed to challenge student misperceptions about people of Arab descent -- from the Web site Teaching Tolerance.
  • Reflecting on September 11
    The Constitutional Rights Foundation has assembled a series of online lessons designed to help young people deal with terrorism, reactions to tragedy, information and disinformation, civil liberties, Islamic issues, and international law.
  • Helping America Cope
    This updated guide contains activities to help children cope with the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The guide is designed for use with children six to 12 years of age; however, many of the activities have effectively been adapted for use with older children.
  • Dealing With Tragedy in the Classroom
    WNET in New York City offers these activities to help students cope with loss and learn how to talk to on another about their feelings.
  • Legacy.com
    The New York Times presents this page, which provides lists of all those killed on September 11 and a National Book of Remembrance in which Americans can write their reflections about the events of September 11.
  • America Responds to Terrorism
    The Constitutional Rights Foundation has prepared online lessons, including September 11 -- How Did You Feel?, Fact Finders -- The Media During Times of Crisis, and Analyzing Rumors and Myths.
  • Chain of Hope
    This news article from the St. Petersburg Times tells of a classroom lesson in which students created a "chain of hope." Students wrote personal messages on strips of red, white, and blue paper. They planned to send the chain to the New York City Fire Department.
  • Aaron Shepherd's Reader's Theater: The War Prayer
    "The War Prayer," a short story by Mark Twain, is presented in reader's theater format on this page from Aaron Shepherd's Web site. The script is appropriate for middle and high school students.
  • Another Day That Will Live in Infamy
    In this lesson from the New York Times Learning Network, students are encouraged to share, through discussion and writing, their feelings about September 11, 2001.
  • Hooray for Heroes
    This lesson challenges students to define what a hero is and to select a hero to spotlight.
  • One Man's Freedom Fighter Is Another Man's Terrorist
    In this WebQuest, students determine the extent of the threat to the United States from terrorism, both domestically and internationally.
  • Preventing Terrorism on the Home Front
    In this lesson plan from CNN, students examine a report by the U.S. Commission on National Security in the 21st Century. They analyze the recommendations of the bipartisan commission and defend or oppose the commission's recommendations.
  • Terror on Trial
    In this lesson plan from the New York Time Learning Network, students examine the motivations, goals, and actions of terrorist countries.
  • What About You?
    Teachers might use this short story about aliens to start a classroom discussion about prejudice.
  • MidLink Magazine's Resources for Helping Students Deal with Tragedy: Lessons and Curriculum
    This page offers links to a variety of lessons.
  • Teaching 9/11/01: Lesson Plans and Syllabi
    Links to lesson plans for all grades, compiled by the Clarke Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Contemporary Issues (Dickinson College).
  • Global Connections: The Middle East
    PBS offers a rich collection of background articles, lesson plans, timeline, and other resources, which are indexed to help educators quickly find topics and materials that are most relevant for their classroom needs.
  • United We Stand
    Publisher Prentice Hall offers classroom lessons on understanding prejudice and students' responses to the terrorist attacks. (Click on Classroom Lessons and Resources at the bottom of the page.

 

(Updated 8/15/2011)