September 11, 2001
|Photo by Andrea Booher|
The 10th anniversary of September 11th is coming up this weekend and it is an event that I continue to react emotionally to. I was a classroom teacher in 2001 and on the way to work my (now) husband called and told me to turn on the TV as soon as I got to school. I then spent most of the day watching TV with my students, allowing them to call their parents, many of whom were in the armed forces and trying to explain what was happening. We were/are in Austin, TX, home of, at the time, the newly elected President Bush and there was some concern that Austin would be a target. I had built a computer lab in my classroom and, as the day progressed, one of the things I did with my students was have them go to the news sites and refresh on a regular basis to see how quickly the story was changing and unfolding. It became a good lesson in technology, real time information gathering and how to decide what was a site with valid information.
How do you teach the events of September 11th? It can be taught in many ways depending on the age group. First, very recently, a digital archive has been released. This is just an information dump and, some images are graphic so I think it would only be appropriate for high school students and searching it should be in a very guided way.
Tribute Art and 9/11: This is a fantastic, very detailed lesson plan that allows almost all age groups to discuss September 11th in a totally non-political, non-religious way. There is also a whole list of lesson plans to choose from if this one is not what you're interested in.
Lastly, the September 11th Memorial has opened to the public and there are resources available. They have a "Teach + Learn" section that I have discussed above. As well, Flight 93 has been memorialized in Pennsylvania.