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New Curriculum Explores 9/11

Lesson plan that discusses the terrorist attacks and their aftermath.

An organization comprised of September 11th victims’ family members, rescue workers, survivors and educators called the September 11th Education Trust has released a curriculum for grades 6-12 on the terrorist attacks and their aftermath. The September 11th Education Program includes comprehensive lesson plans with 70 video interviews and transcripts, primary source materials, handouts and questions for research and discussion.

Piloted in a New Jersey high school in 2008, the curriculum is now in use in schools in six states and includes these lessons:

- Visualizing 9/11

- The Historian’s Craft

- The Post-9/11 Recovery Process

- Designing a 9/11 Memorial

- Honoring Heroes

- Advocacy and the Role of Government

- U.S. National Security and 9/11

Michael Hutchison, a teacher at Lincoln High School in the Vincennes (Ind.) Community School Corporation, is using the curriculum with his 12th grade government students. Until this year, he had never taught a unit specifically on the 9/11 attacks, although he says the topic would come up when discussing certain aspects of government policy.

Calling the new curriculum “extremely well-designed,” he reports that his students, who were 8 or 9 years old when the attacks occurred, are able to interweave their own memories with what they learn in class.

At Washington Academy in Rockford (Ill.) Public Schools, Deborah Johns will be integrating the curriculum throughout the entire year as she teaches the Constitution to seventh-graders. Referring to the “Remembrance” video that begins the curriculum, she says, “I believe the video changed the nature of the discussion that might have occurred, making the personal loss the focus rather than the action itself. I found this wonderfully refreshing, as students today tend to focus on action rather than outcomes.”

At, visitors can read more about the curriculum, read comments and place an order.