Thursday, September 11, 2014

Teaching Children about September 11th.

For many of us, September 11th is a day that causes us all to stop and remember. We trade stories about where we were when we heard the news and morn the losses that happened that day. Many of our students weren't alive for 9/11, either that or they were too young to remember. That makes this topic something important to discuss with our students. Below is my post from last year sharing what I did to teach my students about 9/11.

To start this conversation I ask my kiddos to tell me what they know about 9/11. We listen and talk. As the conversation turns into more questions than facts I play a video from BrainPOP.
The video is normally the featured video on Sept. 11th, so even if you don't have a BrainPop subscription you can still show the video for free.

Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey
After the video the kids and I read the story Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey. The students and I talk about the book, and how normal people became heroes that day. Fair warning to read it first before you read it to your kids...I get choked up every year.

September 12th: We Knew Everything Would Be All Right
Then we read September 12th: We Knew Everything Would Be All Right. This book was written by a first grade class. It shares how the students knew everything would be okay. Many of you know that I am in a private school, so I am able to share with the kids that we can trust in God when bad things like this happen. I remind them that it isn't a surprise to God, and that even though we don't know why He allows bad things to happen we can trust that He will help us through it. It's a good lesson for me to remember too.

How do you explain 9/11 to your students? What are your favorite activities to do with your kiddos to help them deal with such a heavy topic?


  1. I read Fireboat to my students this year. it was my first time reading it...ever.....I never know about the book until I saw someone recently post about it. It was a great book for third graders because it was factual, but not too heavy for them. We also talked about heroes and did a writing project thanking the first responders.

  2. I have never seen the September 12 book before. Thank you for sharing it. It's hard to believe that this happened so long ago when my memories are so clear. I am getting choked up just writing this comment. Life is so precious! Have a great weekend and enjoy your precious baby girl!

    Fit to be Fourth