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Memorializing September 11, 2001

Teacher Lesson


  • Arts and Humanities: Language Arts
  • Educational Technology
  • Social Sciences: Current Events


3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Brief Description

Students work in groups to create designs and/or models of monuments honoring the victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks. Students also compose and present oral explanations of their designs or models.



  • use the Internet to learn about monuments.
  • create designs and/or models of memorials to the events of September 11, 2001.
  • use word-processing software to compose explanations of the memorials.
  • make oral presentations about their designs or models.


current events, monuments, New York City, World Trade Center

Materials Needed

  • computer and printer (optional)
  • paper and other art materials for designs
  • materials for constructing models

Lesson Plan

Discuss the importance of monuments around the world, and assess students' familiarity with American monuments, such as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial, or the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Students might use the Internet to learn more information about the purposes served by our nation's monuments and memorials.

A discussion of U.S. monuments might lead to a discussion about monuments from other cultures, such as the Egyptian pyramids, or to the recent destruction of ancient Buddhist statues by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

After the students have done some research about existing memorials and discussed the purposes served by those monuments, it is time to introduce a special project -- creating designs and/or models of monuments related to the September 11 attacks. The activity gives students an opportunity to do something constructive with their feelings about these events. Students design memorials and compose oral presentations in which they present their designs, and the ideas that led to the designs, to the class.


Use a rubric or criteria lists designed by the class to evaluate students' designs or models (to include evaluations of creativity and critical-thinking skills) and oral presentations (to include evaluations of presentation content and delivery).

Submitted By

Kathie Marshall, Mulholland Middle School, Van Nuys, California


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