Teaching 9/11 Twenty Years Later

Check out these posts on teaching 9/11

If you’re needing a round-up of resources for teaching 9/11, you’re in a good place. In this post, I’ve compiled links to all my 9/11-related articles. Hopefully, one of these will give you some ideas as you make plans to remember 9/11 in your classroom this year.


It’s hard to believe that Sept. 11, 2001 was twenty years ago.

Imagine: today’s high school seniors were born at least a full two years after the attacks. By then, life was returning to “the new normal,” and that horrible day, while still fresh for many, was a distant memory for others.

Teaching and remembering 9/11 is important and with the twenty-year anniversary right around the corner, I’ve assembled all my 9/11-related posts to help you in your planning.

And I get it.

Sept. 11 comes right after the school year begins. Heck, you’re still trying to get started with procedures and getting your required curriculum off and running. However, in some capacity at least, plan to observe 9/11. Know that you can accomplish a lot in just one class period.

After all, student interest is high on 9/11. In addition, it’s important to dispel the myriad conspiracy theories that circulate continuously on social media. It’s sad to me that some students know more 9/11 falsehoods than truth. However, in my experience, once students learn more about the attacks AND the events that precluded them (the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1993 attacks on American military personnel in Somolia, the 2000 U.S.S. Cole bombing in 2000, and others), conspiracy theories begin to disintegrate in plausibility.

Here are all my 9/11-related posts in one place to help you some posts to check out that will help you plan at least one class period’s worth of lessons to remember 9/11.

9/11 Poetry Lesson Plan: The Stories the Artifacts Tell

Many students can tell you the facts of 9/11. However, they may not understand the momentous loss of life and its accompanying grief, especially now twenty years later. This project weaves a one-word summary of an info text into an acrostic poem that describes a victim’s or a survivor’s personal artifact. From shoes to I.D. cards, artifacts link a general knowledge of the attacks to a single human life.

Top 9/11 Resources to Teach 9/11

This post contains mostly print sources that I’ve used over many years to teach Sept. 11 to middle schoolers.

A Sept. 11 Artifacts Poetry Display

This post includes hallway photos from a colleague who used my “The Stories the Artifacts Tell” poetry lesson plan.


Thanks for reading this week!

To be sure, I’m busy searching out new ways to observe 9/11 in my high school ELA classroom this year. In addition to writing acrostic poems discussed in this blog post, I also would like to try out a new webinar and/or podcast I’ve discovered and/or play ever-so-quietly the reading of victim’s names from the Ground Zero memorial service during my classes. I think letting kids experience the sheer breadth of life lost that day by hearing the names read aloud over the course of three hours might be effective in demonstrating the loss of life endured.

I’ll be writing soon about those ideas. To be notified when that post publishes, become a follower or subscribe by requesting a Treasured Object Poem handout below.

Please feel free to add a comment below to share how you observe 9/11 twenty years later.

As summer winds down, I’m starting to plan for the fall semester, setting and scheduling my syllabi for my classes and also planning a brand new poetry class I’m excited to offer during my last hour of the day. Plan to read lots of posts this fall about that experience!

Need a new poetry lesson?

Enter your email below and I’ll send you this PDF file that will teach your students to write Treasured Object Poems, one of my favorite poem activities. I know your students will enjoy it!

Image shows readers the paper I'll send for signing up for my email list. The handout gives instructions for a Treasured Object poem.
Treasured Object Poems

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I’ve been on a Gatsby kick lately! Here’s a recent post:

The Great Gatsby 2013 Film Chapter Breakdown

Happy summer!

Published by Marilyn

Writes | Teaches | Not sure where one ends and the other begins.

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