91/11/2001: The Day That Changed America
Teachers' Advice
Teachers Suggest Appropriate Ways to Observe One-Year Anniversary of September 11
By Karen Fanning

September 11, 2001. As the one-year anniversary of that fateful day in American history approaches, teachers across the country are making plans to remember the day's heroes and victims. How will they mark the anniversary?

Some schools, like Presa Elementary in Texas, will renew their patriotism with spirited celebrations. The school's Patriotic Week will conclude with a parade of floats decorated by students based on the theme of "American Spirit and Patriotism."

While some students will spend the day waving flags and pledging their allegiance to our country, other schools have chosen to observe the anniversary with a moment of silence. At that time, they will reflect on the thousands of lives lost on September 11 and the families who were left behind.

As they look toward the future, students at Longwood Middle School on Long Island, New York, will spend the day focusing on new life and hope. Each fifth- and sixth-grade student will be given a tulip bulb to plant in the school's memorial garden on September 11.

Other suggestions from Scholastic's teacher advisors include:

  • Discuss the concept of heroism with your students. Ask students to talk about the heroes in their lives.

  • Ask students to write letters to their local firefighters and police officers thanking them for their hard work in keeping their community safe.

  • Lead students in singing a selection of patriotic songs.

  • Invite a spokesperson from the military to talk about the steps the U.S. military and government are taking to make our country safe.

  • Encourage students to wear red, white, and blue clothes.

  • Ask students to write letters to schools in New York City that were directly affected on September 11.

  • Construct a banner that reads, "Freedom is..." and ask students to jot down their ideas about what freedom means.

  • Make a flag out of handprints.

  • Read poetry that touches on the themes of patriotism and heroism.

  • Create a remembrance fence by decorating it with red, white, and blue ribbons.