Resources Help Teach 9/11 Lessons

These websites provide lesson plans for educators wanting to teach students about the 9/11 attacks.


With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 a few days away, high school teachers who want to teach their students about the attacks have a few options.

A number of organizations, including the National History Museum and the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Fund, have created websites to help educators discuss the significance of the attacks with students of all ages.

While the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania that killed nearly 3,000 Americans can be a touchy subject, one teacher says her classes have never shied away from the subject.

[Learn about post-9/11 graduate school programs.]

"We stop and reflect every year," Dyane Smokorowski, an 8th grade teacher in Kansas, says. "We talk about what it means to be a good, strong American, [and] what it means to be a community."

Today, Smokorowski's class, along with more than 90 other classrooms nationwide, is participating in a webcast about the attacks. Guest speakers, including a firefighter from New York, Red Cross officials, and an American Airlines pilot, will talk about the attacks.

"We don't want to hear about tragedies; we want to hear about what it means to have the human spirit overcome a crisis," she says. "We all face crises—just in the last year there was the tsunami in Japan. We're looking at how we get through it as a community."

The following websites have resources for teachers looking for 9/11 lesson plans:

Education World has lesson plans for classes of all ages, including worksheets and activities; tips for teaching students about Islam and the Middle East; and a list of September 11 resources.

PBS has a resource center that includes a history of Afghanistan and the Taliban and terrorism discussion topics.

• The Pentagon Memorial Fund, founded by relatives of 9/11 victims, recently launched a lesson plan page.

• In addition to a 9/11 remembrance exhibit, the Smithsonian National History Museum has a resource page for teachers.

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