Covering 9/11 for kids is a sensitive subject matter, but teaching about 9/11 attacks is an important American history lesson for students or social studies lessons. We have September 11 lesson plans, resources, facts on 9 11 for students, and history activities, with age level recommendations and theme questions.
Teaching 9/11 For Kids History
How To Talk To Kids About September 11
- Read children’s books about September 11th
- Listen to StoryCorps for stories from the victims’ families and first responders
- Watch 9/11 documentary for elementary students, middle school and high school
- Learn about heroes of 9/11
- Take a virtual tour to The Ground Zero Museum
- Make patriotic crafts
- Review news stories from the day
- Complete age-appropriate lesson plans on 9 11
- Review the 9/11 Memorial Museum’s interactive timeline
- Discuss the repercussions of September 11 with lesson plans
- Discuss current events that might relate to terrorism
- Study about The Patriot Act
- Cover peace and tolerance topics
- Brainstorm 9/11 tribute ideas and complete them
- Discuss what did 9/11 teach us and how 9/11 impacts student’s lives today (security lines at events, things you can’t carry on an airplane now, etc.)
(see the full history lesson 9/11 resources below)
Why is learning about 9/11 important?
For age-appropriate history lessons, it’s important to cover the 9/11 attacks. September 11th was one of the darkest days in U.S. history and therefore important to include in American history lessons. Since talking to children about terrorism is a difficult topic, be sure to add age-appropriate September 11 learning materials that will vary based on age and grade level.
About September 11 2001…
When was the World Trade Center attacked?
The World Trade Center was attacked on September 11, 2001. At 8:45 a.m., the first plane flew into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. At 9:03 a.m., a plane hits the south tower. The twin towers attack was one of the worst days in U.S. history.
What kids should know about September 11?
Kids that should know about September 11 will depend on the age and maturity level of kids. Younger kids (like preschoolers) will lack the ability to understand the events of 9/11 and find the images disturbing. However, some children’s books could be used in elementary school and then more advanced lesson plans for middle school and high school.
When my daughter turned nine, I decided that it was important to have a larger discussion about the September 11 attacks (and look for better ways of teaching 9/11 for kids).
We’ve had some discussions about September 11th, but we’ve never really gotten into the full details.
But, I was concerned:
Since it is such a sensitive topic (and I have a very sensitive child), how can we learn about this historical event in detail without creating a sense of fear?
After doing some research, here are 9/11 for kids explanations, lesson plans, and activities that you might find useful in teaching September 11th (especially if you’re looking for 9/11 lesson plans for middle school and up) and helping kids better understand this tragic day in U.S. history.
How to Teach 9/11 to Students
1. 9/11 Memorial Lesson Plans
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum offers lessons plans on the history and commemoration.
The 9 11 memorial museum also offers teaching guides and a guide for talking to kids about ground zero, facts about 9 11, picture of 911 memorial, and how remembering 9 11 each year is important.
The World Trade Center memorial offers good September 11 lesson plans for elementary students, middle school and high school.
You can also see a 9/11 timeline here.
2. What Happened on 9/11?
This is a great place to start for a 9/11 history lesson, especially if you’re having a hard time finding September 11 lesson plans high school and middle school.
3. September 11 Lesson Plan on Peace, Tolerance and More
PBS has a list of lesson plans and information that deals with the topics of “peace, tolerance, war, patriotism, geography, and other related issues” that are good to cover with September 11 lessons.
4. Outlawing Hate
The Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) has a lessons and resources that outlawing hate, including specific events in history (like the 9/11 event).
Need more patriotic lesson plans?
5. Helping America Cope
Helping Children Cope with the Challenges of War and Terrorism is a free guide to help parents and children cope with the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, and covers dealing with continued threats.
6. Victims of 9 11 and Stories of 9 11
Legacy.com provides a list of all of the people killed on September 11th, stories about some of them, and even includes an online book that you can sign with thoughts, stories, or photographs.
Important for the coverage of 9 11 remembrances.
7. Another Day That Will Live in Infamy
The New York Times provides a 9/11 history lesson plan where the students will read a news article on 9/11 and then spend time discussing and writing about the articles.
From the description:
Students are encouraged to share, through discussion and writing, their feelings about these and other acts of terrorism, as well related issues such as national security and media coverage of the attacks.
There are also extension activities for more learning also Interdisciplinary Connections for subjects.
8. Children’s Books About September 11th.
Read 9 11 books for elementary students.
(If you have some other best childrens books 911, let us know in the comments!)
9. Preventing Attacks on the Home Front
CNN.com has a lesson plan for discussing an attack and then reviewing responses to it.
10. Always Remembered, Never Forgotten
If you’re looking for a craft, check out this Always Remembered, Never Forgotten flag handprint craft.
11. Virtual 9/11 Museum Tours
12. Teaching 9/11 for Kids
The National Education Association has a huge list of free resources on teaching 9/11 for kids to remember 9 11.
13. September 11: Proverbs of One World
“Students create a book or bulletin board of proverbs that offer lessons connected to themes of freedom, tolerance, patriotism, diversity, and respect.”