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Never forget…. Helping elementary students understand the importance of September 11, 2001 through books and activities.  

September 11, 2001 is a day that we all remember. It is one that changed us and our country. It is a day when everything went still, people prayed and hoped, and cried. We cried a lot. It was the unimaginable but yet it was our reality.
The students sitting in your classroom today were not yet born. They have grown up hearing about this day and wondering why it matters. As teachers, we need to help our students remember the importance of September 11.
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Remembering September 11

We can show images like the ones above with our students or even videos. I have a scrapbook of articles my children and I collected that I share with my class every year. While these are great tools my students have always required more to truly understand the impact of September 11 on our society.

I have found that nothing works better to help my students understand September 11 than reading a book.  Books allow the students to connect on a personal level to the content. Many share the same images. After I have read a book or two then I share the videos, scrapbook, and other materials regarding this day.

Any books not read aloud, are given a quick book commercial and then placed in our library display area. Students are then able to read these at their leisure.

.01

The Man Who Walked Between The Towers

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is a picture book about a man named Phillipe Petit. Phillipe walked on a tight rope between the twin towers in 1974.

This is the first book I read every year. It is not about September 11 but you need this one. It helps students see what the towers were like before September 11. Historically, the World Trade Center was the center piece for the Manhattan skyline until 2001.

.02

September 12th

September 12th is written by a group of first graders from Kennet, Missouri.  The book introduces September 11 in a 2 page spread and then goes onto share how each student know everything will be okay.

This was one of the first books published on the topic after September 11. It is the story of how even when things go wrong, tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities.

.03

Fireboat

After the attack on September 11, the fire hydrants were inoperable but water from the Hudson River was desperately needed. The John J. Harvey, a retired fire boat from 1931, was quickly put into working order.

This is a great picture book about the ingenuity of the fire department to meet the needs of the community. Many others also had to find creative solutions to issues as what we usually had  was now unavailable.

.04

14 Cows for America

The shock-wave of September 11 was felt around the globe including a small village in Africa. Kimeli Naiyomah was a student in New York at the time of the attack who returned to his home in Africa.

Kimeli shares his experiences of that faithful day and his community wants to help New York recover. How? You will need to read the story find out the powerful and touching answer.

.05

I Survived: The Attack of September 11, 2001

Lucas loves football but his parents say it is too dangerous to play. Instead of going to school, Lucas heads to the fire station to talk to Uncle Benny.  Just as he arrives,  everything changes. This is the story of September 11 as told from Lucas perspective.

Note: My students and children absolutely love anything from the I survived series. The series provides historical details in an engaging and suspenseful manner that children can easily relate too.

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What Were the Twin Towers?

The narrator opens the story with describing the events of the day and leaves you with questions at the end of the short chapter about what were the Twin Towers and why were they important.

From here, the narrator takes you on a historical journey from the rise to the fall of the World Trade Center.

.07

Nine, Ten

Nine, Ten is about four children who live in different parts of the United States. The story begins on September 10… 48 hours prior to the Attack of September 11, 2001. It focuses more on life before than the attack itself.

This book helps put into perspective the impact the attack had on everyone around the country and how life suddenly changed. This is a good basis to start comparing how we lived then and how we live now.

.08

Eleven

This is the story of Alex’s Douglas’ eleventh birthday which just happens to fall on September 11, 2001. He is your normal child with a pesky little sister, a mother who works, and is dreaming of owning a dog one day.

He goes to school just like any other day when suddenly they are let out early, his mom calls to tell him not to watch tv and a dog starts following him on his way home.  Learn about how Alex’s normal day turns into anything but normal as he learns of the events that are occurring.

.09

Towers Falling

Deja and her family moved across the river from where the twin towers once stood. Her teacher, Miss Garcia, claims that everyone is connected to each other and those towers. It’s ancient history and has nothing to do with her or does it?

Deja along with her classmates and Ben cover many difficult topics in an unoffensive manner. Topics include the effects of poverty, terrorism, defining America, the growth and healing of a community, and so much more.

This is the September read-aloud in my classroom. It has so many great lessons. Truly… you need to read this.

Why Purchase Books

Reading is essential to academic and personal success. It is the number one thing we can do as teachers and parents to help the children in our care reach their full potential. Research has shown that the more access one has to a book, the more likely the are to read it. 

For this reason, I have a set of 9 books on any given topic in my room. Why 9? It seems to be the right number for me. Not too few that you have a line of students waiting to read on that topic and not so many that they never get read. You need this many to ensure your students  have a choice in what they are reading and that they have access to materials at their unique reading abilities. 

Click on the links above to purchase your new books. I have done the research, Amazon is the cheapest place to buy these books. 

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