Today is the 10th Anniversary of September 11; it’s a cliche to say it but man I can’t believe it’s been 10 years already.
When I first started teaching, September 11 was relatively recent and my students knew enough to discuss it in depth. Now most of my students were only four or five when it happened (and soon they wouldn’t have even been born) and 2001 is almost ancient history to them. Kind of like when I was a kid learning about the fall of the Berlin Wall.
With my year 10s this year I did an English unit with a War on Terror theme. September 11 may be a long time ago for these kids but the War in Afghanistan is very real and recent (Christ, just had a thought: this means the War in Afghanistan has been going on for 9-10 years too. Bugger.) Anyway, I developed these worksheets as an introduction to 9/11. When I’ve put it together, I’ll post that unit of work as well.
Also this year I have been reading Tomorrow When The War Began with my year 9’s. Being a story about an invasion of Australia, there is a link to September 11, Pearl Harbor and the Bombing of Darwin as these are all incursions on First World countries that otherwise go unharmed.
What is it?
A crossword with vocabulary related to the War on Terror.
Two articles explaining the basics of September 11 in common kid-friendly language. One is from a News Limited article (circa when Osama Bin Laden was caught and killed) and a Behind The News transcript (a kid-orientated news service run by the Australian Broadcasting Corp.) Take your pick.
Note: the Behind The News article video may be available to stream through Iview if you are in Australia at this address:
There is also a notetaking form; I suggest you update the comprehension questions in the bottom box.
How to use it:
Instruct students to read through and circle unfamiliar words; or at least words they don’t understand. They copy these into the first table.
Students then read through and highlight the key words and phrases. They copy these into the second table and explain them.
Then students answer the comprehension questions. These do need updating and I suggest you change them.
I also adapted the same articles for my year 8s as a cloze rather than a notetaking activity.
The plan is to stream the BTN news story so they can get the answers.
I found this excellent free TPT task from a fellow Teacher Author that is quite useful for being a quick introduction to the events of September 11: