City Schools Plan Lessons On Sept. 11, 2001 Attacks
Curriculum Centers Around Heroism
Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott announced the release of a new curriculum, developed jointly by the city’s Department of Education and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, that schools can use with their students to discuss the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
The curriculum focuses in particular on the sacrifices made by first responders on that day, and gives context to the event as an attack on freedoms shared by all New Yorkers and the nation as a whole.
With New York City public schools opening today, Thursday, Sept. 8, teachers are encouraged to integrate these lessons into their plans for the school year, for use in Social Studies, History, English Language Arts, and Art. The lesson plans, written with the help of New York City public school teachers, are divided into four categories: Historical Impact; Community & Conflict; Heroes & Service; and Memory & Memorialization.
While they are designed to give context to dedications and ceremonies that will occur in the coming weeks, the lessons are also fully aligned with the rigorous Common Core State Standards, and will focus on improving writing and critical thinking for students in all grades.
“The 10th anniversary will be an emotional, difficult time for many New Yorkers, so it’s important that our students understand what happened that day,” said Walcott. “With the help of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, we’ve created a guide to discussing these events with students in a meaningful way that is also academically rigorous.”
“New York City is home to some of the best public schools in the nation and in working with their teachers, we hope these lesson plans will not only teach children about the history of 9/11, but also about the responsibility of being an American and maintaining the very freedoms that terrorists sought to destroy ten years ago,” said 9/11 Memorial Pres-
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“The Memorial and Museum will not only bear witness to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and honor the nearly 3,000 victims, it will also serve as a national institution providing educational programming and teaching tools for educators across the country,” said 9/11 Memorial Museum Director Alice M. Greenwald. “The lesson plans created in partnership with the city’s schools will help further our mission to provide essential educational resources.”
“We are committed to building educational programs and providing materials to teach future generations about 9/11 in its depth and complexity,” said Clifford Chanin, education director for the 9/11 Memorial Museum. “No matter how old you are, this is an emotional and difficult subject. These lessons plans are proof that, while the subject may be challenging, it belongs in the classroom.”
These materials can now be downloaded from the 9/11 Memorial, at www.911memorial.org/lessonplans.
The Department of Education has also developed a 9/11 Resource page (http://schools.nyc.gov/Community- Partners/911Resources/default) with links to the 9/11 Memorial, as well as additional instructional resources and professional development opportunities for educators.
These resources include: a 9/11 FAQ; a brief history of the World Trade Center and the Twin Towers; a plan for rebuilding the World Trade Center site; and background on the 9/11 attacks and their perpetrators, who killed nearly 3,000 people— 2,753 in new York City, 184 at the Pentagon, and 40 on Flight 93.
To assist students and staff members who may need support on this special anniversary, especially those who were directly affected either by the attacks or the rescue and recovery efforts, schools will also have access to counseling resources.
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