Wednesday, September 7, 2011

9/11 teaching resources

With the 10th Anniversary of September 11, 2001 upon us, some of you may be interested in addressing the anniversary of the attacks and the aftermath. There are lots of resources available online for teachers interested in lessons regarding 9/11. The New York Times has some great resources here.  The National Council for the Social Studies also has 9/11 resources available here.  4 Action Initiative, an NYC project started by families of those who died in the attacks on Sept 11 and jointly sponsored by the Liberty Science Center and the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education developed a curriculum and resource guide for teachers to use.  Scholastic has some lesson plan ideas on their website too - check them out here.  Dickinson College compiled lesson plans and teaching resources for Kindergarten through college level classes, available here. Pearson's Online Learning Exchange also has free teaching resources available here for both elementary and secondary level students.

Another great place to start is Larry Ferlazzo's blog. He's an ELL teacher, and his blog has lots of posts with good resources for teachers. He has compiled links to all sorts of 9/11 teaching resource pages, from videos and photo galleries, newspaper articles and lesson plans.  His list in 2008 has tons to look at, and he's added more this week in a couple different posts.

It's hard to believe it has been 10 years, and that most of you are teaching students who don't know what the world was like pre-9/11. Wow.


  1. I wonder how many teachers actually addressed this topic in depth with their students, especially with the younger students. In the school I'm student teaching at we didn't talk about it at all with our kindergarteners, the rationale being that they weren't even born yet when it happened and that it wouldn't mean much anyway. Honestly I think this sort of underestimates children's ability to handle difficult subjects. Sure, a kindergartener isn't going to understand on the same level as an older child, but I still think that interesting conversations are to be had even at that basic level. I know that talking to young students about "scary" subjects might be considered controversial, so I'm wondering what some people actually ended up doing with younger children in regards to this topic.

  2. @JZ Hi there. I don't know how many teachers actually addressed 9/11 this year. I think some worry they don't know how to talk about it because they are so emotional about it themselves. Others think it would be inappropriate for young children. Like you, I think that because 9/11 is a permanent part of our culture and lexicon, it needs to be discussed in safe places where children can ask questions and be reassured.