This year I’m teaching two separate periods of U.S. History to English Language Learners, a double period of English to Beginning ELL’s, and one period of IB Theory Of Knowledge.

I thought I’d share my three-day 9/11 lesson plan and solicit feedback. I’m starting it tomorrow, but can always adjust quickly for good ideas!

I’m starting off tomorrow with having students do a K-W-L Chart on 9/11 (that is, the Know and What I Want To Know sections) — first individually, then sharing with a partner, and then we complete a class version. Next, we’ll look at a variety of resources from The Best Sites To Help Teach About 9/11 list. Students will take notes on the answers they learn to the questions they listed in the K-W-L chart. I’ll then assign homework, which is a list of questions they have 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?

The next day I’ll ask students to share in partners — perhaps in a “round-robin” routine — what they learned.
It will be interesting to hear what families say about the Mexican drug war, the war in Southeast Asia and the war against the Hmong, terrorism in Pakistan and Chechnya, etc. I’ll then teach the concept of a Venn Diagram, and have students develop one noting the differences and similarities between 9/11 and the violence in their native countries.

Then, on the third day, students will convert the Venn Diagram into a compare/contrast essay.

What do you think? How could I make it better?

Note: I’ve made some additions to the lesson, which you can read about here.