It Was An Ordinary September Day

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SWBAT to identify the events of September 11, 2001 and write an opinion on whether or not students should learn about September 11.

Big Idea

All Americans should understand September 11- even if they don't remember it.

"Now The Towers Are Gone"

10 minutes

Today's lesson is the one where we transition from using the book to develop an appreciation for and a knowledge about the Twin Towers to the day that changed America forever.  Today when students enter, I've already turned to the page in the book, The Man That Walked Between The Towers that says, "Now the towers are gone".  

When students are seated, I ask them about this page.  "We've read this book 3 or 4 times aloud in class.  You've read it with a partner and by yourselves.  Where did the Towers go?"  At this point, some students will have some ideas of what happened to the Towers.  I chart the students' ideas as they give them- using this information to dispel any misconceptions and to gauge exactly how much my students know about September 11.  

When they are finished giving ideas, I show the Brain pop video- here.  

As a side note- due to the nature of the events of September 11, I've tried to choose only age appropriate material for this lesson.


It Was An Ordinary September Day

40 minutes

After all the questions have been answered, it's time to introduce the other places of note.  I show the Smartboard presentation and continue to answer student questions.  This becomes a very fluid, student- paced part of the lesson because the flow of it depends on student background knowledge and the way they process the information given.  Many times questions will come out later in the day or the next day after they've talked to their parents.

The last slide shows the opinion prompt for the students to write about.  If students wish to have it, pass out the rubric so they can refer to it while composing their opinion.


5 minutes

After students have completed their opinions, it is time to pass out homework.  The homework assignment is to interview an adult who remembers 9-11.  Students should be prepared to share what their adult had to say.  

This homework will serve a couple of purposes.  First, it will be springboard for the adult at home to share their own experience.  So often students and parents don't always have meaningful conversations especially about painful or uncomfortable memories.  Hearing about the events from another person will help students build background knowledge and will give them a safe place to ask questions they may not feel comfortable asking in class.  Finally, it will give the students another perspective from which the event was seen and will give the class some more information to compare in future lessons.