Any of us around on that day in 2001 remember the emotion and uncertainty of those first few hours. Our students, though, have no such memories. All they know they will come from their parents, from us, from YouTube, or from elsewhere. So what to do? How to convey not just the heartbreak and bewilderment but – most importantly – the facts and the hindsight that time affords? Well, as professional teachers, you’ve found ways. You know what works, and what may need some tweaking. We’ve found a few good sites that may help infuse your plans with some new or different perspectives.
As stated on its website, this program is a collaboration between the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the NYC Department of Education, and the NJ Commission on Holocaust Education. Lesson plans are divided by grade level, containing material appropriate to the age of the learners. Teaching guides are included, as well.
MCTSR also has many plans grouped by grade level. Of particular note is “The Second Day,” a video created by a 14 year-old student who lived blocks from Ground Zero.
This National Public Radio article offers less pedagogical insight, but does include perspective about the years after the attack. There are some useful links embedded in the report – including one to the aforementioned 9/11 Memorial & Museum.
Created on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, these plans were created by a middle school language arts teacher in Ohio. She offers a number of strategies and mindsets to help with teaching the multiple perspectives of the terrorist attacks.
Offering the perspective of those indirectly and unjustly blamed for the attacks, this article provides information that could be used in the teaching of the subject. Though it offers no lesson plans, the first-hand accounts it contains could be fodder for deeper discussions about the reactions of people in the days- and years- after 9/11.
All of these can, in some way, provide teachers with new angles and additional information for teaching this very complex event. We hope this helps in even the smallest of ways.
Photo Credit to: https://www.flickr.com/people/themachinestops
About the Author
Kirby Spivey taught AP World History, US History, and numerous other Social Studies courses in Georgia. Mr. Spivey currently leads USATestprep’s Social Studies content team. He and his wife live in Atlanta. He was helping students with a project on Federalism in the school library when the first plane hit the North Tower.