This lesson works well as part of a poetry unit or as a stand-alone 9/11 lesson. It incorporates a video reading and interview with poet Billy Collins and two songs about 9/11. I usually do this activity as a whole class, but students could be given links to the video and songs and complete it individually with headphones or as homework in a flipped classroom.
I use this lesson toward the beginning of the year, just before I have students do a poem analysis paragraph. This assignment helps me gauge their paragraph writing abilities and their knowledge of citing evidence. The writing prompt at the end of the songs worksheet is:
Consider “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue” and “Have You Forgotten?” in comparison to “The Names.” Which is a more fitting remembrance or tribute to 9/11? On another piece of paper (staple it to this one), write your answer in paragraph form, citing at least one quote as evidence.
Note: the video is linked in the instructions below and as a “file” in the zipped folder. The songs can be found on YouTube.