Teaching today's students about September 11th can be difficult, since most of our students were not alive or old enough to understand what it was like after the attacks. Even more difficult is examining and reflecting on the impact of those attacks on Americans' attitudes towards outsiders, especially immigrants.
Our students may not have images of smoking towers and ash-covered NYFD firefighters burned into their brains, but they live in a world in which the repercussions of that horrifying day dominate the media and politics.
This is a complete mini-lesson for starting a conversation with students about identity, immigration, prejudice, tolerance, and the September 11th terrorist attacks. It contains video links, graphic organizers, instructions, sentence starters, a brief writing assignment, and decor to display the students' final drafts.
At the end of this lesson, students will be writing a letter to "New Americans," (immigrants) expressing their opinions about what it means to be an American, what they value about America, and how they want outsiders to view this country.
It's a more positive, hopeful approach to teaching kids about 9/11 with an eye to the future.