I’ve been wondering about teaching 9/11. At what age do you start that discussion (and how much detail do you get into for a kid)?
As September 11th approaches it this year, I’ve really been giving some thought on how to incorporate it into our homeschool studies. My daughter is nine this year and we’ve never really touched on the topic in detail. But since it is such a sensitive topic (and I have a very sensitive child), how can we learn about the topic in detail without creating a sense of fear?
After doing some research, here are 10 explanations, lesson plans, and activities, and nine different books, that you might find useful in teaching September 11th (especially for elementary students) and helping kids better understand terrorism (yes, it felt weird typing that) and this tragic day in our U.S. history.
10 Kid-Friendly Explanations of 9/11: September 11 Lesson Plans and Activities
1. 9/11 Memorial & Museum Lesson Plans
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum offers lessons plans on the history and commemoration. It also offers teaching guides and a guide to talking to kids about terrorism.
2. Understanding 9/11 by Scholastic
3. Terrorism-Related Issues by PBS
PBS has a list of lesson plans and information that deals with the topics of “peace, tolerance, war, patriotism, geography, and other related issues.”
4. America Responds to Terrorism
The Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) has a list of online lessons and resources that covers terrorism.
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5. Helping America Cope
Helping America Cope is a free guide “to help parents and children cope with the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and will assist with fears and feelings in the wake of the attacks, the ongoing war on terrorism and continued terrorist threats.” They also have a free download, Helping Children Cope with the Challenges of War and Terrorism.
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.
7. Another Day That Will Live in Infamy
The New York Times provides a lesson plan where the students will read a news article on 9/11 and then spend time discussing and writing about the articles.
8. Hooray for Heroes
9. Preventing Terrorism on the Home Front
CNN.com has a lesson plan for discussing a terror 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 picture.
11. 9/11: Operation Yellow Ribbon Documentary
*May be for older/more mature children.
“Aired during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Operation Yellow Ribbon details the events after the closure of US and Canadian airspace during the September 11th, 2001 attacks. For the first time, North American airspace had been closed, and the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, a town of 10,000 people and 500 hotel rooms, was tasked with landing, housing, and providing for 6,600 stranded passengers and 473 crew members.”
Shout out to Homeschool Super Freak Facebook member Liane K. for letting us know about this one!
Children’s Books About 9/11
If you’re looking for kids’ books about September 11, check out this list. These books are in no specific order and are not separated by age/grade, so please be sure to read the full description of the book to make sure that it is appropriate for your child’s age.
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