Resources for Teaching About 9/11

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and the crash of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania. It is presumed that all of us who were in the classroom on that day, whether as educators or students, have vivid memories of where we were and what we were doing when we learned of the attack. As Social Studies educators, we have the opportunity to contextualize the impact of 9/11 on ourselves and our communities that continue to this day. Below is a list of reputable resources for students and educators to access when discussing 9/11 in the classroom. Resources for Teaching About 9/11

  1. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum offers “20 Years Later”, a retrospective of the attacks. This year’s Anniversary in the Schools webinar took place online on Friday, September 10, 2021. The program will be on demand, and the live chat is available from 6am to 12pm PDT on September 10 and 11, 2021. The program is free, but you do need to register. Student questions can be posed in the live chat and will be answered by 9/11 Memorial Education staff (note they cannot guarantee that all questions will be answered due to the potential volume of participants). The 9/11 Memorial and Museum Anniversary in the Schools also has pre- and post-viewing guides for grades 3–5, 6–8 and 9–12.
  2. The official commemoration will take place on September 11, 2021, starting at 5:30am PDT. They will read the names of every victim of the attacks and have six moments of silence to acknowledge when each of the World Trade Center towers was struck and fell, and the times corresponding to the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of Flight 93.
  3. PBS NewsHour Extra presents The 9/11 Anniversary in the Classroom, which includes a one-page background text for middle and high school students along with curated resources including articles, videos, lesson plans, slideshows, and timelines.
  4. The September 11 Digital Archive: Saving the Histories of September 11, 2001, is the work of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning. They have collected, curated, and present the history of the terrorist attacks with almost 150,000 digital items, including emails and first-hand stories.
  5. The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial has Teacher Resources for teaching about the events of September 11, 2001. They also have a portal of education materials searchable by keyword, grade level, subject, and resource type, covering all three regions affected by the terrorist attacks (the Pentagon, New York City, and Pennsylvania).
  6. The Library of Congress has an amazing collection of primary source documents entitled September 11, 2001, Documentary Project. This includes audio file interviews, poetry left at the memorial, student art, and written narratives.
  7. Pew Research released Two Decades Later: The Enduring Legacy of 9/11, which examines the lasting impact of 9/11 on the United States including our attitudes on security and safety, terrorism, military intervention, and Islam.
  8. Dr. Amaarah DeCuir of American University, whose research focuses on the experience of Muslim students in public schools, has created a website for Culturally Responsive 9/11 Teaching Resources that includes research and a video on how to confront anti-Muslim racism during 9/11 commemorations. She also wrote a recent article: Lessons about 9/11 often provoke harassment of Muslim students.




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The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Led by Supt. Chris Reykdal, OSPI is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state.

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