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September 11: Proverbs of One World


Remembering September 11

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  • Arts & Humanities
    Foreign Language, Language Arts, Visual Arts
  • Educational Technology
  • Social Studies
  • Civics, Geography, Regions and Cultures


3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Advanced

Brief Description

As a memorial to September 11, students create a book or bulletin board of proverbs that offer lessons connected to themes of freedom, tolerance, patriotism, diversity, and respect.



  • use library and online (optional) resources to select proverbs related to specified themes.
  • select and illustrate proverbs.
  • write explanations of what the proverbs mean to them. Older students might put the proverbs in the direct context of September 11.


proverb, September, quotation, freedom, tolerance, patriotism, diversity, respect

Materials Needed

  • proverb resources from libraries, such as books or quotation dictionaries
  • online proverb resources (optional, listed below)
  • drawing paper and supplies
  • writing paper and supplies
  • materials for combining students' illustrations and essays into a book or bulletin board

Lesson Plan

Proverbs often sum up powerfully the idea that all humans are one. We need to try to understand, respect, and be more tolerant of our differences. Proverbs -- brief maxims that put complex thoughts into simple and powerful words -- often express great wisdom about the need for humans to get along.

In this activity, students collect simple proverbs and select those that speak most powerfully about such ideas as freedom, tolerance, patriotism, diversity, respect, and appreciating differences. Each student selects and illustrates a proverb that moves him or her. Then the student writes a brief explanation of why he or she selected the proverb. Depending on the grade level of the students, they might write about the proverbs as they relate to the events of 9/11.

The collected proverbs and illustrations will form a special book or bulletin board memorial to 9/11.

Collect library books that include proverbs. Most quotation dictionaries compiled for students include a variety of proverbs. Students might also use the following online resources:

Extension Activity
Challenge students to fill in the missing word in an interactive Commonly Used Proverbs game.


Students share their proverb illustrations and writings with their classmates. This sharing should result in a good classroom discussion about the meanings of the proverbs. As a follow-up assessment, the teacher might present a series of five proverbs from the students' collection and ask students to write in one or two sentences what the proverbs say to them.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

See more lessons at September 11: Lessons and Resources for Classroom Teachers. Click to return to the Remembering September 11 lesson plan page.


Last updated 09/11/2017