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Teaching About 9/11

The following lessons and resources will help provide context for examining events before, during, and after the attacks.
Published: 09/23/2020

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, terrorists linked to al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger planes. Two were flown into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and a fourth crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after passengers tried to overpower the hijackers. Its target may have been the Capitol or the White House. The attacks resulted in the deaths of 2997 and injuries to more than 6000.

The following lessons and resources will help provide context for examining events before, during, and after the attacks.

Lesson Collections:

9/11 Memorial & Museum K-12 lessons and teaching guides.

How To Teach The Sept. 11 Terrorist Attacks To Young People Nine lessons for grades 3-12.

9/11 Anniversary Teaching Guide K-12 lessons and activities.

Background Resources:

Teaching And Learning About 9/11 With The New York Times  The New York Times archive of reporting and multimedia.

September 11 Digital Archive more than 150,000 digital items: emails, first-hand stories, and images

Approaches to Teaching:

How To Teach 9/11 To Students With No Memory Of It Addresses the change from teaching as current event to teaching as history.

Teaching Sept. 11 To Students Who Were Born After The Attacks Happened Stresses the need for teaching the event and its aftermath in all its complexity.

Making 9/11 Relevant to Young Learners Examines how teachers can make 9/11 relevant to young learners, how textbook treatments have changed, and how much of what they teach is mandated by state standards.

For Muslim Students, Life Changed After Sept. 11 Discusses how the events of 9/11 affected life for Muslim students.


9/11 Memorial and Museum The official memorial website.


Remembering 9/11 With Indelible Pictures 27 images. Includes a viewer advisory.

The Falling Man An Esquire Magazine article that examines the power of the image.

The Story Behind the Haunting 9/11 Photo of a Man Falling From the Twin Towers  Video (4:17) Interview with Richard Drew, the photographer who took the photograph.

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