The National September 11 Memorial & Museum has partnered with the New York City Department of Education and the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education to develop a robust set of 9/11 lessons for K-12 classrooms.
Each lesson is tied to the Common Core Standards. Grounded in our collections, they are written for use throughout the school year and across subjects, including Social Studies, History, English Language Arts, and Art. The lessons are divided into the following themes:
NYC DOE lesson plans
Community & Conflict
Heroes & Service
Memory & Memorialization
NJ Commission on Holocaust Education lesson plans
Making of a Memorial
Historical Impact of 9/11
Heroic Rescue, Recovery, and Clean-up
The Aftermath: Humanitarian, Charitable, and Volunteer Support
The Mourning, Memorializing, and Meaning-Making of 9/11
Individuals and 9/11
History of the World Trade Center
Here are a few tips when using the lessons:
• Every lesson and worksheet is downloadable. Full links to online collection objects and webpages are listed in the “Materials” section.
• The Common Core Standards are listed according to their corresponding Career and College Readiness Anchor Standards for each applicable grade level.
• Questions are typically italicized in the body of the lesson to separate them from their surrounding context.
• Each lesson includes Key Terms that are relevant and used in the lesson. We have included potentially difficult definitions within the body of these lessons.
• Some Extension Activities offer alternative assessments, if necessary. In addition, we have developed the 9/11 FAQ, a basic primer to the history of the World Trade Center, the 9/11 attacks and their perpetrators, and the rebuilding of the site. For K-2 teachers, see Fact Sheet for Early Childhood Learners.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum thanks the teachers who conceived and developed these lessons, along with all of those involved at their respective organizations for their commitment and dedication in this effort.
The Foundational Lesson Plans:
These lessons provide an educational introduction to the 9/11 attacks and the 9/11 Memorial. They are a good starting place for you to discuss the attacks and the aftermath with your students.
An Introduction to the 9/11 attacks
Use this lesson as a foundation to introduce 9/11 and its aftermath to students. As part of the lesson, students will be asked to consider what they know about 9/11 and what they would want to learn about the attacks. Suggested resources, including images, are provided.
An Introduction to the 9/11 Memorial
This lesson introduces students to the design and symbolism of the 9/11 Memorial, while prompting them to consider how they would memorialize the attacks. Age-appropriate investigation questions accompany the lesson and 9/11 Memorial images are provided.