Like most people who were alive on 9/11, I knew that day would be one I would never forget. Now more than ten years later, my students were not alive on 9/11/01 and many do not know much about that day. I wanted to talk about these events in a way that was meaningful, but not scary to my students. I developed it to use with my 2nd grade ELL students. I think it could easily be adapted for use with 3rd or even 4th graders, especially since it will likely be used at the beginning of the school year.
The picture books I used were:
New York’s Bravest by Mary Pope Osbourne
This tall tale was great for building background knowledge about NYC and fire fighters. It is dedicated to the firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11.
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein.
This Caldecott winner was also great for building background about the World Trade Center, plus my kids thought it was such a cool story.
Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey by Maira Kalman
This is the story I read on Sept. 11. It does a great job of conveying the chaos and uncertainty of that day in a way that is not scary to kids. This story is very powerful and is more about the fireboat than the tragedy of 9/11.
14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy
This was a touching story that really shows the spirit of how the whole world reacted to the events of 9/11. I loved telling my students how Americans really united after this tragedy and so many countries lent us their support.