Understanding September 11
Lesson plans, news stories, videos and book lists to help students comprehend the 9/11 attacks and their lasting impact on the United States and the world
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
Use this collection of September 11-themed teaching resources to share with students the importance of September 11, 2001; how it impacted individuals and the nation; and why it was a transformative moment in U.S. history. As President Obama told Kids Press Corps reporters in an exclusive interview, "I think it's important for us to realize that, as terrible as that day was, it brought America together and it reminded us that we're all one people."
Lesson Plans and Discussion Guides
Encourage students to understand September 11 through the experiences of those who witnessed the events in person. Students will research the attacks, conduct an interview, and reflect on ways 9/11 changed U.S. society.
This three-phase lesson plan will take students from class discussion to group research and, finally, to individual projects that are varied to accommodate students' interests and technical skills.
This differentiated teaching strategy allows students to show what they have learned about the events of 9/11 with activities that focus on understanding, self-expression, and interpersonal learning styles.
Scholastic GO! offers background information about the events of September 11, 2001.
Learn more about Osama bin Laden, founder of the worldwide terrorist network called Al Qaeda, in this article from Scholastic GO!
Find an in-depth article, videos, pictures, and speeches about the 9/11 attacks from The History Channel.
Learn about the history of the New York City Fire Department.
Time magazine and HBO's documentary Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience shares personal stories of September 11, as told by former President George W. Bush, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, New York City firemen, and many other individuals.
In journalist Suzanne McCabe's moving article, she describes watching the collapse of the World Trade Center while knowing her brother would have just arrived there to begin his workday.
Three teenagers in the New York City and tri-state area share their personal accounts of the September 11 attacks in this Junior Scholastic article published in October 2001.
Emily Sussell was a sixth-grader in New York City on 9/11. In this article from the September 2011 issue of Scholastic News Edition 5/6, she shares her eyewitness account of that horrifying day.
Help students understand 9/11 through fiction and nonfiction titles on a variety of subjects, from animal rescuers who worked the World Trade Center site to Muslim life in post-9/11 America.
These fiction and nonfiction titles tackle the tragedy of 9/11, as well as the tough issues that faced the cultures affected by the attacks.
Kid Reporter Grace McManus interviews Emily Sussell, a young woman who was an 11-year-old New Yorker on September 11, 2001.
Discussing Trauma and Violence
Recognizing the signs of trauma and providing reassurance can help kids rebound from traumatic events.