Patriot Day September 11, 2011 The 10th

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Patriot Day

September 11, 2011
The 10th Anniversary of the Terrorist Attacks on New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania

Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Division of Social Sciences and Life Skills


The History of Patriot Day

National Day of Service and Remembrance

Bringing 9/11 Into the Classroom - 10 Years Later

Tips on teaching about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001

Background Information on the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

Web Links to Additional Resource Information on the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

Links to Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities to Teach about the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 and the Ten Years after the Attacks:

  • K-12 Lesson Plans, and Activities

  • Elementary (K-5) Lessons and Activities

  • Secondary (6-12) Lessons and Activities

Elementary Lesson Plan (K-5) The Survivor Tree

Secondary Lesson Plan (Grades 6-12) Remembering 9/11: 10 Years Later

In the United States, each September 11th is designated as Patriot Day in memory of those who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the tragic events which changed all our lives in both subtle and dramatic ways.
On Patriot Day, the President directs that the flag of the United States be flown at half mast in American homes, at the White House, and on all United States government buildings and establishments, home and abroad. The President also asks Americans to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m., marking the time of the first plane crash on September 11, 2001. A presidential proclamation is also issued each year in honor of Patriot Day. In his 2010 Patriot Day proclamation, President Barack Obama stated:
“…On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 individuals from across our Nation and from more than 90 others, lost their lives in acts of terrorism aimed at the heart of our country. The Americans we lost came from every color, faith, and station. They were cherished family members, friends, and fellow citizens, and we will never forget them. Yet, against the horrific backdrop of these events, the American people revealed the innate resilience and compassion that marks our Nation. When the call came for volunteers to assist our heroic first responders, countless men and women answered with a massive rescue and recovery effort, offering hope and inspiration amidst tremendous heartbreak. Today we remember those we lost on that dark September day, and we honor the courage and selflessness of our first responders, service members, and fellow citizens who served our Nation and its people in our hour of greatest need.
Throughout America, patriotism was renewed through common purpose and dedicated service in the days and weeks following September 11. Many joined our Armed Forces to protect our country at home and abroad; others chose to serve in their own neighborhoods and communities, lending their skills and time to those in need. Fences and boundaries gave way to fellowship and unity.

In the wake of loss and uncertainty, Americans from every corner of our country joined together to demonstrate the unparalleled human capacity for good. To rekindle this spirit, I signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act last year, which recognizes September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. I called upon every American to make an enduring commitment to serve their community and our Nation. The response to that appeal has been inspirational, and last year more than 63 million Americans volunteered in their communities. I encourage all Americans to visit, or for Spanish speakers, for more information and resources on opportunities for service across America.

By any measure, these myriad acts of service have strengthened our country and fostered a new wave of active and engaged citizens of all ages and walks of life. Americans should be particularly proud of the example set by our Nation's young people, who came of age following the horrors of September 11, yet still believe a truly patriotic idea: that people who love their country can change it. Through selfless acts for country and for one another, patriots in every corner of our Nation continue to honor the memory of those lost on September 11, and they reaffirm our charge to reach for a more perfect Union…”

While ten years have passed since the terrible events of September 11, 2001, all Americans, including the students in our schools, continue to struggle to understand what happened on that fateful day and why. Students must continue to examine the lessons of September 11th and how the attacks affected our nation’s security and place in the world. It is strongly suggested that schools develop a short commemorative program which incorporates a moment of silence in the memory of those who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

National Day of Service and Remembrance - September 11, 2011
September 11 was officially established as a National Day of Service and Remembrance by Federal Law in 2009. The day provides a way for all Americans to honor not only those who lost their lives in this tragedy, but also to honor those who came together under a spirit of unity to help and serve in the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2011.
In support of the historic 10th Anniversary of 9/11, a coalition of national partners has formed to provide resources and support for this day of service. All schools, teachers, and students in Miami-Dade County Public School are encouraged to participate in this day of service and remembrance. Links to lesson plans and resources for participation are provided below*. Since September 11 falls on a Sunday this year, schools might choose to commemorate the event on Friday, September 9 or Monday, September 12.
Organizers are predicting that the 10th anniversary of 9/11 will be the largest single day of charitable service in the history of the United States. More than 1 million Americans are expected to participate. Organizers of the 9/11 Day Observance and Scholastic are also partnering to provide educators with constructive teaching tools and other resources to help teachers inspire children everywhere to participate through good deeds and charitable service.
In President Barack Obama’s weekly address of August 27, 2011, he makes the following comments about the National Day of Service and Remembrance:
In just two weeks, we’ll come together, as a nation, to mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.  We’ll remember the innocent lives we lost.  We’ll stand with the families who loved them.  We’ll honor the heroic first responders who rushed to the scene and saved so many.  And we’ll pay tribute to our troops and military families, and all those who have served over the past ten years, to keep us safe and strong.
This September 11th, Michelle and I will join the commemorations at Ground Zero, in Shanksville, and at the Pentagon…And once again, Michelle and I look forward to joining a local service project as well. 
There are so many ways to get involved, and every American can do something…  Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost; a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11. **Video link below. 

All members of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools community are encouraged to participate in the National Day of Service and Remembrance. 


*Lesson Plans for National Day of Service:

Teaching tools for the 9/11 Tribute Movement:;

Tribute Ideas from Hands On:

**Video of President Obama’s Weekly Address:

Bringing 9/11 Into the Classroom—10 Years Later

Today’s high school students were in pre-school or early elementary school when the terrorist attacks occurred on September 11, 2001. Most of today’s elementary students were infants or not yet born. Even though students have often heard the term “9/11” and associate it with terrorist attacks, it doesn’t mean that they have great knowledge about the events of that day. What students understand and believe about the events of 9/11 is based on what they have heard at home, in school, and from the media.

As we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11, students will be seeing and hearing more about the event. Television specials have been planned, with many featuring film of the day’s events and its aftermath. Students will be presented with images of terror and grief. Many communities are planning events to memorialize the victims. Educators and parents need to be ready to help students.

With that in mind, Teaching Tolerance* offers the following tips for educators as the anniversary approaches:

Whether schools opt simply to memorialize the victims or decide to turn the anniversary into a teachable moment, one thing is clear: It’s going to be complicated. Educators bringing 9/11 into the classroom, particularly during the anniversary, need to be skilled and sensitive.

Children need to feel safe. For younger children especially, discussion of the day should include messages of reassurance that they are safe. Talk about the fact that the attack was shocking because it was unusual, and that nothing like it has happened since then in the United States. Emphasize stories of heroic and selfless actions rather than stories about victims. 

Involve families. Work with the PTA to get the word out to parents to monitor closely what’s on television, and remind them that scenes of violence can lead to anxiety in vulnerable children.

Understand how wide the 9/11 impact has been. Children across the country—not just those in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania—have been personally affected by the events and aftermath of 9/11. Consider whether your students include:

  • Children of military personnel, who are already anxious about their parents’ wellbeing;

  • Children who have lost a military parent in Iraq or Afghanistan;

  • Children whose parents are firefighters, police officers and other first-responders;

  • Children who are Muslims;

  • Children whose families have come from countries where terrorism is much more common; and

  • Children vulnerable to anxiety or depression.

Be aware of what children know and think about 9/11. Even though they don’t remember the day, students will have a narrative in their heads about what happened. It’s the rare family that will have ignored 9/11. The narrative however, might be long on opinion and short on details. If you are going to teach older students about the day or its consequences, be prepared to confront some strongly felt beliefs calmly.  

Anticipate questions. For many children, this anniversary will be the first time they’ve really talked about 9/11 in school. They will have questions, many of which cannot be easily answered. Plan ahead by meeting with other teachers to brainstorm likely questions and to decide what’s age-appropriate.

It’s not enough to remember. Many communities will memorialize those killed on 9/11 and the men and women who have been casualties in the resulting wars. Educators need to go beyond memorializing to create lessons that help students make sense of the world and be agents of positive change.

There is no dearth of ways to teach about 9/11. Here are some of the topics we think are worth exploring—we’ll have another blog tomorrow outlining lessons we recommend.  

  • Teach about Islam to dispel stereotypes and help children understand that not all Muslims are terrorists—and not all terrorists are Muslim.

  • Explore the nature of terrorism with high school students. There is no one definition of the word terrorism, even in the international community. Present students with two or three cases of terrorism (e.g. 9/11, the recent attacks in Norway and Irish Republican Army attacks during “the troubles”) and challenge them to find the commonalities.

  • Examine the ways in which stressful events put pressure on civil liberties and rights. During wartime, societies often reduce liberties—think of the Japanese-American internment during World War II, the imposition of martial law during the Civil War and passage of the Patriot Act in 2001—to gain security. Help students see that these changes need not be permanent, mainly because dissenters rise up to restrictions on liberty.

  • Develop historical thinking by exploring the consequences of 9/11. Help students see that the attacks themselves and the response to them have led to, among other things, two wars, a shift in national priorities, mistrust of Muslims and renewed arguments about the limits of religious tolerance.

Most important, let’s keep in mind the role education plays in healing. We teach to help children recognize and overcome the hatreds, challenges and fear that—along with the ash and sorrow—became embedded in our lives ten years ago.

Tips from: Maureen Costello, Director Teaching Tolerance* 

*Founded in 1991 by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance is dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experiences for our nation's children.

Background Information on the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks
On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four jet airliners and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Often referred to as 9/11, the attacks resulted in extensive death and destruction. Over 3,000 people were killed during the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., including more than 400 police officers and firefighters. The attacks triggered major U.S. initiatives to combat world-wide terrorism
The Events
On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, at 8:45 a.m., an American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The impact tore through the building near the 80th floor of the 110-story skyscraper, instantly killing hundreds of people and trapping hundreds more in the floors above. Eighteen minutes later, as the evacuation of the north tower and its twin got underway, television cameras focused on a second Boeing 767 – United Airlines Flight 175 – as it turned sharply toward the World Trade Center and crashed into the south tower near the 60th floor. The collision caused a massive explosion that showered burning debris over surrounding buildings and the streets below. No longer believing that an accident had occurred, Americans now knew we were under attack.
The 19 attackers were Islamic terrorists from Saudi Arabia and several other Arab nations. Reportedly financed by Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist organization, they were allegedly acting in retaliation for U.S. support of Israel, its involvement in the Persian Gulf War, and its continued military presence in the Middle East. Some of the terrorists had lived in the United States for more than a year and had taken flying lessons at commercial flight schools. Others had slipped into the country in the months before the attack. The 19 terrorists smuggled box-cutters and knives through security at three East Coast airports and boarded four flights bound for California, chosen because the planes were loaded with fuel for the long transcontinental journey. Soon after takeoff, the terrorists commandeered the four planes and took the controls, transforming the jets into guided missiles.
As millions of Americans watched the events in New York City, American Airlines Flight 77 circled over downtown Washington, D.C., and crashed into the west side of the Pentagon military headquarters at 9:45 a.m. Jet fuel from the Boeing 757 caused a inferno that led to the collapse of a portion of the giant concrete building. In total, 125 military personnel and civilians were killed in the Pentagon, along with all 64 people aboard the airliner.

Less than 15 minutes after the terrorists struck the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed in a mass of tangled steel and crushed concrete. The structural steel of the skyscraper, built to withstand winds in excess of 200 miles per hour and a large conventional fire, could not withstand the tremendous heat generated by the burning jet fuel. At 10:30 a.m., the other Trade Center tower also collapsed. Close to 3,000 people died in the World Trade Center and its vicinity, including a staggering 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers who were struggling to complete an evacuation of the buildings and save the office workers trapped on higher floors. Only six people in the World Trade Center towers at the time of their collapse survived. Almost 10,000 others were treated for injuries, many severe.

Meanwhile, a fourth California-bound plane – United Flight 93 – was hijacked about 40 minutes after leaving Newark International Airport in New Jersey. Because Flight 93 had been delayed in taking off, passengers on board knew of the events in New York and Washington, D.C. via cell phone and Airfone calls. Knowing that the aircraft was not returning to an airport as the hijackers claimed, a group of passengers and flight attendants planned to fight back against the terrorists. One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett Jr., told his wife over the phone that "I know we're all going to die. There's three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey." Another passenger – Todd Beamer – was heard saying "Are you guys ready? Let's roll" over an open line. Sandy Bradshaw, a flight attendant, called her husband and explained that she had slipped into a galley and was filling pitchers with boiling water. Her last words to him were "Everyone's running to first class. I've got to go. Bye."
The passengers on Flight 93 fought the four hijackers and are suspected to have attacked the cockpit with a fire extinguisher. The plane then flipped over and sped toward the ground at upwards of 500 miles per hour, crashing in a rural field in western Pennsylvania near Shanksville at 10:10 a.m. All 45 people aboard were killed. The terrorists’ intended target is not known, but theories include the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland or one of several nuclear power plants along the eastern seaboard. By fighting back against the terrorists, the passengers of Flight 93 likely saved many lives while losing their own.
At 7 p.m. on September 11, 2011, President George W. Bush, who had spent the day being shuttled around the country because of security concerns, returned to the White House. At 9 p.m., he delivered a televised address from the Oval Office, declaring, "Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve." In a reference to the eventual U.S. military response he declared, "We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them."
Operation Enduring Freedom, the American-led international effort to oust the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and destroy Osama bin Laden's terrorist network based there, began on October 7, 2011. Within two months, U.S. forces had effectively removed the Taliban from operational power, but the war continued, as U.S. and coalition forces attempted to defeat a Taliban insurgency campaign based in neighboring Pakistan. Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September 11th attacks, remained at large until May 2, 2011, when he was finally tracked down and killed by U.S. forces at a hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. In June 2011, President Barack Obama announced the beginning of large-scale troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, with a final withdrawal of U.S. forces tentatively scheduled for 2014.
This article was adapted from

Additional background information on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 can be found at the following websites:

Brainpop- Animated video for students with complete explanation of: the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, the Invasion of Afghanistan, and Rebuilding in the Aftermath of 9/11. Teachers should preview for age appropriateness before use.

CBS News- This CBS site lists documentaries and special programming to be aired related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and changes brought about by the events in the last 10 years. There is a day-by-day listing of available programs from major networks with a brief synopsis of each program.

Discovery- Discovery Education will host a series of 5 webcasts dealing with the events of September 11, 2001. Access classroom resources and register for the webcasts at:

Flight 93 The Flight 93 National Memorial contains educator resources for

National background information on Flight 93

Memorial - This site includes articles, videos, interviews, and photo galleries on the terrorist attack on September 11, 2011. Discretion is advised when using this material with students.

Also see: 9/11 Attacks - 102 Minutes That Changed America and related media on the site. This area has introductory videos, containing animation and

actual film footage plus interactives. Please preview for age appropriateness

before using.

National September 11: Bearing Witness to History. The Museum website

Museum of provides background information and educational resources including

American online access to a collection of more than 50 objects recovered from History- the three sites attacked—New York, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, PA, as well as recent acquisitions that relate to how American lives have changed since then.

Also See: Essential Questions for Teaching About September 11

National Remembering 9/11. The National Geographic Remembering 9/11 site

Geographic - contains a variety of background informational resources: interviews, survivor mementos, eyewitness accounts and testimonials, excerpts from the official book of the 9/11 memorial, as well as a place to share individual memories.

9/11 Memorial- This site is sponsored by the 9/11 Memorial and includes an interactive timeline of the events of September 11, 2011. The timeline includes video shot by eyewitnesses. Discretion is advised when using this material with students.

9/11 The Pentagon Memorial website has background resource links to

Pentagon the events of September 11, 2001 as well as a link to explore the

Memorial - memorial.
Also see- Remembering 9/11 – 10 Year Anniversary- Newspaper (NIE), 9/11 Memorial, History Channel supplement to the Washington Times, September 9, 2011. This is a comprehensive resource which includes: information on the events, a detailed, annotated timeline, with photographs, It also contains pages on the background and development of each of the 9/11 memorials, a section on understanding 9/11, and a “How to Guide for Schools” on commemorating September 11, 2001. Preview text and photographic content for age appropriateness before use with students.

The The September 11th Digital Archive provides teachers a resource to

September 11 access more than 150,000 items relating to 9/11. Through electronic

Digital media, the archive has endeavored to present the history of

Archive - September 11, 2001. Teachers may browse emails, stories, sounds, documents and videos relating to the events of 9/11.

Smithsonian Links to lesson plans and activities related to 9/11

History Explorer-

USA Today- TV commemorates 10th anniversary of 9/11. Listings of a sampling of the extensive television coverage of the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks… specials and live commemorations planned on major networks.

Graphics in packet from:

Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities to Teach about the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 and the Ten Years after the Attacks:
K-12 Lesson Plans and Activities
Children’s Reviews of books that address the events of September 11th and Literature: how America was changed by the events. (Elementary through High School)

National My Wonderful World blog- 5 Ways to Commemorate September Geographic- 11.

9/11 Memorial- Tribute Art and the 9/11 Memorial

This resource, developed in partnership with the September 11th Education Trust and the Social Studies School Service, focuses on the artistic response to 9/11. Students study these responses to learn how art is not only a means for self-expression, but can also serve as a vehicle for community-building and personal growth.

(Upper Elementary/Middle/Senior High School)

Smithsonian The Smithsonian Conference- September 11: Teaching Conference- Contemporary History, provides a link to timelines and teaching resources relevant to teaching about the events from September 11, 2001 to 2011.

See Also: Smithsonian Conference K-12 Lessons and Activities link

Teacher Planet- Children’s Literature links for 9/11. Elementary through High School information:

Teacher Planet- 9/11 Unit- Collection of links to lesson plans and worksheets

Elementary (K-5) Lessons and Activities

Flight 93 The Flight 93 Story- Printable Reading/handout detailing the story of

Memorial- Flight 93 on September 11, 2001

National Lesson Plan – A Hero’s Gear. Students will explore firefighters’

Museum of gear worn in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. The plan

American includes teacher directions, worksheets, and information sheet.

History Grades K-2

Pearson On- Remembering September 11th- Elementary

Line Learning Whiteboard-ready interactive timelines to the events of the September 11 terrorist attacks using images and text appropriate for younger students. Each timeline page includes on-screen Extra Support including: helpful hints, vocabulary support, and background information. Teacher Support materials provide full lesson plans, discussion questions for using the timelines, and ideas for how to differentiate the instruction for younger or older students.

Pentagon Responding and Remembering Through Art . In this lesson, students Memorial - explore the ways people responded to 9/11. The link contains a teacher guide, worksheets, webquest links, a link to the book The Little Chapel That Stood, and directions for creating a digital memorial.

Grades 3-5
Also see: Reading the Little Chapel That Stood lesson plan. Plan contains teacher’s guide, reading strategies, link to the book, and background information on 9/11.
Grades K-4

Link to the Book: The Little Chapel That Stood:

Secondary (6-12) Lessons and Activities:

Harvard Webinar & Lesson plan links – high school appropriate

University -

9/11 Memorial- The Spirit of Volunteerism

These materials explore the themes of service and volunteerism, examining acts of service both on the day of the event and the spirit of service that continued into the aftermath of 9/11. (Middle-Senior High)

9/11 Tenth The 9-11 10th Year Anniversary National Student Challenge is open

Anniversary to middle and high school students. Teams comprised of seven

Student students may enter state competition to qualify for the national

Challenge- competition. Teams prepare a 3 minute video clip on either: Never

(Competition) Forget, Stay Vigilant, or Remain United. For details:

Pearson Remembering September 11th – Secondary (Grades 6-12)

On-Line This module includes everything you need to help students understand

Learning - the September 11 terrorist attacks and their impact on the United States. The module includes a 16-page downloadable student booklet, whiteboard-ready interactive timelines, audio files of student interviews, and full Teacher Support lesson plans.

Pentagon A Nation Remembers- those affected at the Pentagon – 9/11 Lesson

Memorial- Plans and activities for grades 6-12. (on Thinkfinity page)

Thinkfinity- 9/11- Never Forgotten. The Thinkfinitiy network of education partners has created a collection of links to lesson plans for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 suitable for grades 6-12. Each link gives a brief description of the lesson plan and appropriate grade levels for use.

Patriot Day 2011

Lesson Plan

Elementary Lesson Plan (Grades K-5)

TITLE: The Survivor Tree
OBJECTIVE(S): Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Social Studies
Kindergarten SS.K.A.1.1 Develop an understanding of how to use and create a timeline.

SS.K.A.1.2 Develop an awareness of a primary source

Grade 1 SS.1.A.1.1 Develop an understanding of a primary source

SS.1.A.2.1 Understand history tells the story of people and events of other times and places

Grade 2 SS.2.A.1.1 Examine primary and secondary sources

SS.2.A.3.1 Identify terms and designations of time sequence

Grade 3 SS.3.A.1.1 Analyze primary and secondary sources.

Grade 4 SS.4.A.1.1 Analyze primary and secondary resources to identify significant individuals and events throughout Florida history.

Grade 5 SS.5.A.1.1 Use primary and secondary sources to understand history
Before beginning this lesson, it is suggested that teachers review the document Tips on teaching about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 found on pp. 4-5 of this packet, for information on presenting sensitive information.

  1. Ask students what they know or have heard about the events of September 11, 2001. Write answers on whiteboard (or discuss in lower grades).

  1. Introduce and discuss the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2011. A good resource for this is the Pearson online interactive timeline for 9/11:

Read aloud or have students read the story: The Survivor Tree (Attachment A) ABC also has a video story of the Survivor Tree. ABC video link:

  1. Discuss the story and ask students to tell how they feel about the tree. Discuss the condition of the tree after the attack and in 2011. Discuss the term “survivor” and ask students why they think this tree is called “The Survivor Tree.”

  1. Show students the photograph of the tree in 2001 Attachment B .

For grades K-3:

Ask students to describe the tree in the picture.

Do they think the tree would have a chance to live and grow?

For grades 4-5

Distribute copies of the Photo Analysis Worksheet (Attachment D)

Have students work individually or in small groups to complete 1 A&B, 2, and 3A

  1. Show students the photograph of the tree in 2011 – Attachment C

For grades K-3

Ask students what they think of the tree in the photo.

How has it changes since 2001?

Would they know it was the same tree from looking at the photo?

Why did workers try to save the tree?

Why do you think they moved the tree to the 9/11 Memorial?
For grades 4-5

Have students complete a Photo Analysis Worksheet as mentioned above.

  1. Have students in lower grades make an illustrated booklet, “The Survivor Tree”

Have upper grade students write a poem or paragraph telling why people wanted to save the tree and plant it in the 9/11 Memorial.


Evaluate group and individual work based on depth of understanding, clarity of expressed ideas and relevance to the topic.


Attachments A, B, C, & D (Included)

Lesson adapted from: 4Action Initiative c/0 Families of September 11

Attachment A

The Survivor Tree

In the 1970’s, a callery pear tree was planted in front of the World Trade Center in New York City. The tree grew large and blossomed often, until September 11, 2001. On that day, terrorists attacked the buildings by flying airplanes into them. This caused the buildings to catch fire and collapse, or fall down. Parts of the building fell on the lovely pear tree and crushed its branches. The fire from the buildings scorched the tree’s trunk.

Workers who were trying to clean up after the attack didn’t find the tree until three weeks later. The tree was broken and burned. No one thought it would ever survive. But, they decided to take the stump to a plant nursery in hope of saving it. The tree was only 8 feet tall and covered with ash when it arrived at the nursery. Mr. Cabo, from the nursery said that the poor tree looked like “a wounded soldier,” He didn’t think it would survive. What was left of the pear tree was planted in the nursery of a New York park. It was planted on November 11, 2001, two months after the attack.

The people at the nursery fed, watered, and took very good care of the tree. By the next year, the pear tree began to grow- workers could see green sprouts coming from the trunk. Now they knew that the tree was going to live. Everyone was happy and the little pear tree was given a new name. It was now called “The Survivor Tree.”

During the years the “Survivor Tree” spent in the nursery, it grew 20 ft. In March of 2010 the tree went through another problem…a storm. The storm uprooted the tree! But again, it was replanted and again recovered! The tree was almost 30 feet tall when it was returned to New York City. The “Survivor Tree” was planted back at the World Trade Center site where it will be a part of the 9/11memorial. On September 11, 2010, the President of the United States, Barack Obama placed a wreath near “The Survivor Tree” to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

When the National 9/11 Memorial officially opens, the once-wounded tree that no one thought would live will be there as a symbol of hope. It represents the people of New York and the people of America. It reminds us that even though things are sometimes very hard, we can make it. Just as the little pear tree survived, so did the hope and spirit of Americans.

Attachment B The Survivor Tree 2001

9/11 survivor tree

Attachment C

9/11 survivor tree

Attachment D

Patriot Day 2011

Lesson Plan

Secondary Lesson Plan (Grades 6-12)
TITLE: Remembering 9/11: 10 Years Later
OBJECTIVE(S): Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Social Studies
Grade 6: SS.6.W.1.1 Use timelines to identify chronological order of historical events

SS.6.W.1.3 Interpret primary and secondary sources.

SS.6.W.1.6 Describe how history transmits culture and heritage and provides models of human character.

Grade 7: SS.7.G.2.1 Locate major cultural landmarks that are emblematic of the United States

SS.7.C.2.13 Examine multiple perspectives on public and current issues.

Grade 8: SS.8.A.1.3 Analyze current events relevant to American History topics through a variety of electronic and print media resources.

SS.8.A.1.6 Compare interpretations of key events and issues throughout American History.

Grades 9-12

SS912.A.1.2 Utilize a variety of primary and secondary sources to identify author, historical significance, audience, and authenticity to understand a historical period.

SS912.A.1.3 Utilize timelines to identify the time sequence of historical data.

SS912.A.7.15 Analyze the effects of foreign and domestic terrorism on the American people


  1. Ask students what they know about the events of September 11, 2001. Brainstorm, list student responses, discuss.

  1. Introduce/review the events of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath. Resources for introduction/review:

  • 9/11 Memorial Interactive Timeline

  • Brainpop- Comprehensive Animated Video

  • Pearson Online Learning Interactive Timeline September 11, 2001

  1. Discuss the events related to 9/11 which have happened in the past 10 years. A good resource for this is the Pearson online learning site timeline: September 11, 2001 in Context. The timeline begins in 1988 with the introduction of Osama Bin Laden, and includes: the invasion of Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq, terrorism around the world in the last decade, and the death of Osama Bin Laden.

  1. Discuss the events shown in the timeline and the significance of the 10th year remembrance of 9/11. Discuss the concepts of memorial, commemorative events, and mementos. Note that memorials have been established to honor victims of the terrorist attacks as well as those who aided and assisted in the aftermath of the attacks.

  1. Discuss the difference between primary and secondary sources. Tell students that they will be examining different sources of information, mementos, and memoirs dealing with the events of September 11, 2001.

  1. Divide the class into 5 groups. Assign each group one of the bulleted groups below. The first 3 groups (A, B, C) will explore the 3 national 9/11 memorials and complete the attached worksheet (Attachment A) Groups D & E will examine at least 3 documents from their assigned websites below and complete a Document Analysis – (Attachment B) worksheet for each document examined.

Group A

  • National 9/11 Memorial & Museum

Objects on view World Trade Center

Group B

  • The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial

Objects on view- Pentagon

Group C

  • Flight 93 National Memorial

Objects on view- Flight 93

Group D

  • September 11 Digital Archive- Personal Stories from September 11, 2001

Group E

  • 9/11 Response Cards- How has your life changed because of September 11, 2001?

Note: If your classroom does not have access to 5 computers and you are unable to schedule computer time for research, assign the internet research for home learning.

  1. Each group should prepare a 3-5 minute presentation on the results of their research.

  1. After the group presentations, discuss research findings as a class.

  1. Have students write a 2-3 paragraph essay documenting their reactions to their research and the class presentations. Did their feelings/opinions change as a result of this activity? If so, in what way did they change?


Evaluate group and individual work based on depth of understanding, clarity of expressed ideas and relevance to the topic.


Internet Access, Attachments A & B (included)

Attachment A

9/11 Memorial Notes

Name of Memorial:______________________________________________________

Significance of site selection_______________________________________________

Description of memorial (visual)____________________________________________

Who is the memorial honoring?____________________________________________

How does the memorial honor the above mentioned honorees?___________________

How was the design for the memorial chosen?_________________________________

What is the significance of the architectural design?_____________________________

What objects/artifacts are in the memorial (or museum) If the artifacts are not yet present-which will be collected? ___________________________________________

Examine 3 objects/artifacts on display (or scheduled to be displayed). Explain: 1) What the artifact is 2) The significance of the artifact 3) Why you think the artifact was chosen to be in the memorial 4) Your feelings upon viewing this artifact
Artifact A

Artifact B

Artifact C

Attachment B

Written Document Analysis Worksheet



Type of document you are examining



What can you tell about the author from what is written?:



DOCUMENT INFORMATION (There are many possible ways to answer A-E.)

A. List three things the author said that you think are important:


B. Why do you think this document was written?


C. What evidence in the document helps you know why it was written? Quote from the document.


D. List two things the document tells you about life in the United States at the time it was written:


E. Write a question to the author that is left unanswered by the document:


Adapted from The National Archives

The School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida, adheres to a policy of on discrimination in employment and educational programs/activities and programs/activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education, and strives affirmatively to provide equal opportunity for all as required by:

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended - prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, or national origin.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 - prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), as amended - prohibits discrimination on the basis of age with respect to individuals who are at least 40.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963, as amended - prohibits sex discrimination in payment of wages to women and men performing substantially equal work in the same establishment.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - prohibits discrimination against the disabled.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) - prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment, public service, public accommodations and telecommunications.
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) - requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to "eligible" employees for certain family and medical reasons.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 - prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
Florida Educational Equity Act (FEEA) - prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, gender, national origin, marital status, or handicap against a student or employee.
Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 - secures for all individuals within the state freedom from discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status.
School Board Rules 6Gx13- 4A-1.01, 6Gx13- 4A-1.32, and 6Gx13- 5D-1.10 – prohibit harassment and/or discrimination against a student or employee on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, political beliefs, marital status, age, sexual orientation, social and family background, linguistic preference, pregnancy, or disability.
Veterans are provided re-employment rights in accordance with P.L. 93-508 (Federal Law) and Section 295.07(Florida Statutes), which stipulate categorical preferences for employment.

Revised 5/9/03

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