As a born and raised New Yorker, September 11 is a day that remains close to my heart. People say that every generation has a time when they can remember the exact moment of where they were and how they felt when something happened. The moment I found out what happened will forever be etched in my memory.
At the time, I was a 411 operator for cell phones. People would dial 411, well before they were able to Google, to ask for directions, a phone number, or the location of a place. This is where people called in to ask us to call place in the World Trade Center to tell them what was happening outside the Twin Towers.
Twenty years later, it is still important to recognize this tragedy in classrooms around America and the world. The events of 9/11 took thousands of people away from their loved ones and should never be forgotten.
September 11 lesson ideas and remembrance activities
Topics surrounding 9/11 can be difficult to talk about. Terrorism may be a topic that you find difficult to talk about with your students, especially younger ones. Whenever there is a difficult topic to broach to my students, I always turn to Brainpop to see what they have. Their video on September 11 is FREE. It is about 5 minutes in length and delicately explains the events in a kid-friendly way.
You can extend the free video by using the following materials, which are also included
- discussing important vocabulary words such as debris, civilian or aftermath,
- utilizing a KWL graphic organizer,
- digging deeper into the event with related readings on statistics, culture, and health and safety,
- assigning a review or graded challenge.
Paying Tribute to Fallen Heroes
- about Al-Qaeda
- how the attacks happened
- how Americans helped one another
- changes made to the United States of America after the attacks