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9/11/2001: Lesson Plan Grades 3–4

A Day for Reflection
Map It Out: Have students read about the various observances to be held on September 11. Then, invite students to plot the locations of the events on a United States map. Students can use colored pushpins to mark the locations of New York City, Washington, D.C., Somerset County (Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania, etc. Ask them to find the memorial service or observance that is closest to your city or town.

Best Way to Observe the Day? How is your community planning to remember the anniversary of 9/11? Invite your students to become reporters to find out. Starting at least a few days in advance, have students research the 9/11 observances to be held in your area. Students can read local newspapers, check community bulletin boards in grocery stores and other public spots, and ask parents, neighbors, and local business owners or clergy. You may wish to assign a few students to call the local parks department or Mayor's office. Students should ask what the observance will be (a candlelight vigil, prayer service, or reading of names, for example), when and where it will be held, and who is welcome to attend. Finally, compile the information in a master list to be shared with the community. Be sure to send copies home to students' families.

Kids Make a Difference
Memory Block(PDF): Many Americans turned to quilting as a way of remembering the heroes, victims, and feelings of September 11. Let this creative and healing project inspire your own class. Have students create simple paper quilt squares. Use the guidelines suggested on the reproducible to brainstorm ideas. Once students have completed their squares, paste or staple the squares to a large piece of poster board. Hang the "quilt" in your classroom as a memorial.

A Nation Recovers
Say "Thanks" Close to Home: Discuss with students the story on New York City's fire department. Ask: According to the article, how have these firefighters' lives changed after 9/11? Answers may include: They are more aware of the dangers they face every day; they are receiving terrorism-related training; they are recognized and thanked more frequently by members of the community.

Point out to students that similar changes have taken place in fire departments nationwide — in rural and urban areas and in paid and volunteer departments. Show your local department that you appreciate their ongoing efforts by making and sending thank-you cards. In conjunction with upcoming Fire Prevention Week (the first week in October), invite a firefighter to speak to your class about his or her job.

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