Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

This Is The Revised & Updated Three-Day 9/11 Lesson I Did This Week (With Hand-Outs & Links)

| 1 Comment

New York NY ~ Manhattan ~ NYC ~ Old World Trade Center ~ My Photography 1996 ~ Destroyed                                                                             Onasill ~ Bill Badzo via Compfight

I’ve previously shared the three-day lesson I usually do with my English Language Learner History classes, and this past week did it again. I made some changes, however, and thought readers might find it useful for me lay-out exactly what I did (and if readers don’t find it useful it will at least be helpful to me next year when I do it again!).

You might also be interested in The Best Sites To Help Teach About 9/11.

FIRST DAY

First, I had students create a K-W-L chart titled 9/11 and had them write what they thought they knew about it. Students then broke into groups of three to share and add anything they might have heard from their group members. Most knew very little, if anything – “people died,” “terrorists attacked America,” “bin Laden did it” were the comments from the few who had heard anything about it prior to Wednesday. I had people share to the entire class and added to a class K-W-L chart on the document camera.

Next, I asked students to write down at least two questions to which they wanted to learn the answers about 9/11. We repeated the sharing process and added to the class K-W-L chart.

I then told the class we were going to watch a few videos and I wanted them to write at least ten new pieces of information they learned from them – particularly the answers to the questions they listed. I showed these videos, stopping often to highlight pieces of information for them to add to their chart:

Brainpop 9/11 Movie (It’s available for free)

10 Iconic 9/11 Images

First Plane Crashing Into The World Trade Center

Second Plane Crashing

Interest and engagement steadily increased during the class, with lots of questions and comments.

I then shared a short video, along with images, from the New York Times about the 9/11 Museum.

I then gave students homework which was a list of questions they had to ask their parents/guardians. I’ve uploaded it here if you want use it or make changes, and will also share it in this post:

Please ask your parents or grandparents these two questions:

1. What do you remember about the terrorist attack in New York City ten years ago on September 11th?

2. What major acts of political and/or criminal violence do you remember in your native country? Please describe what happened.

How did it affect you and your family? How did it make you and them feel?

How did it affect our native country?

Lastly, I asked students to think for a moment how they think 9/11 might have affected their life in any way, had them share with a partner, and then with the class.  All the Muslim students (Afghani refugees) said basically the same two things – “Now people think all of us Muslims are terrorists” and “We probably wouldn’t be here in the United States” – and all the non-Muslim students couldn’t think of anyway it affected them.  We had a brief discussion of how the attack disrupted potential immigration reform.  This last part went okay, but was clearly the weakest part of the lesson.  I need to think more about it, and am open to hearing suggestions — about this and all part of the whole thing!

SECOND DAY

I asked students to take out their K-W-L charts and reminded them about the last video we had seen — about the 9/11 museum.  I explained we were going to watch another video about it, and asked that they add new information they learned to their chart.

I showed this short ABC News video about the opening of the museum.

I then asked them to think about this question without saying anything:

Why do you think they have a museum there?

After a minute, I asked students to share their answer with a partner and we then shared in the class.  There were several responses, including “To remember them.”

I then passed out this “Remembering People Who Died” chart.  You can download it at the link, and here are the questions:

Think of important people who have died — in your family, in your home country.

Who are they?

1. _________________________________________________________________

2. __________________________________________________________________

3. ___________________________________________________________________

How do you remember them?

When do you remember them?

Why do you remember them?

Why do you think we try to remember the people who died on 9/11?

I modeled the “Who are they?” section and listed my father, first wife and Muhammed Ali, and encouraged students to pick people who they are close to and people who might be more well-known.

Then, I modeled a response to “How do you remember them?” (think about them, look at pictures), and then students wrote down their answers.

Next, I modeled a response to “When do you remember them?” (family events), and then students wrote their own.

Then, I had students write answers to “Why do you remember them?” without modeling an answer, and did the same with the last question, “Why do you think we try to remember the people who died on 9/11?”

Students then shared in groups of four, and I called on different ones to share with the class.  There were several many moving responses, though the answers to the last question were all fairly vague – “They were important” or “We want to honor them.” I shared my response, which was two-fold: One, to honor people who help others – all those firefighters and police who sacrificed their lives to save people.  Before I gave my second response, I asked one of the Afghani students to share her comment from the day before about how 9/11 affected her  and she shared that people think all Muslims are terrorists.  I then said another important reason to remember 9/11 was because there were only nineteen Muslim terrorists and asked students how many Muslims they thought were in the world.  They answers millions, and we talked about how nineteen is a small number compared to that large number.

I then had students take out their homework and we did a “speed-dating” sharing with students lined up across from each other recounting the responses they received from their parents.

We were then running out of time, so I showed a couple of other short videos about 9/11: from Fox News and from The Telegraph.

Third Day

Students converted the answers they received from their parents and their K-W-L chart into a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting 9/11 with violent events in their own country (I used print-outs from Read Write Think – Venn Diagram and Compare/Contrast Planning, along with this model Compare/Contrast essay.

Please leave comments with suggestions on how I can make this a better lesson next year!

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. Talk about facts & opinions.

    Use the opportunity to exercise students’ metacognition.

    Writing pieces for personal reflection

    9/11 was like no other attack on America before (how? Because). How do you think it changed the way Americans feel about this country? Other countries?

    How has what you’ve learned about 9/11 made you feel?

    What can our country/the world learn from the events of 9/11?

    What do you think the most important FACTS are that Americans/People in other other countries need to know about 9/11?

    What Moral Lessons (YOUR OPINION, NOT FACTS) do you wish people 1. could learn from & 2. Keep in mind/ not forget when they think about 9/11?

    Has learning about the events of 9/11 changed the way you think or feel about something? What & How? Why?

    After all we have learned about 9/11, what do you still want to know? How can you find out?

    Students can discuss what each still wants to know. The class can suggest additional research methods for answering their classmates’ questions. Students can work (together or independently ) using these research methods to find their answers, record what sources they used & how helpful each source was in a chart. Students then write reports on their research to share with the class. (This is also an opportunity to talk about how to cite sources & why citing sources is important. Both re giving credit when credit is due & in terms of facts vs opinions).

    This is also an opportunity to segue into discussions of journalism, memoir, historical fiction, poetry, photo journalism etc & types of writing & art we use to talk about the past. You can take those lessons anywhere.

    Students have now done research, follow up research, learned & reported facts, written personal reflections & opinions. They can be challenged to finish with a personal creative piece of any type (written, studio art, or performance art) inspired by everything they’ve learned & thought about.

    They can use all their work product to create their own collaborative 9/11 museum to share with whomever is age & community appropriate.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.


Skip to toolbar