Two years ago as we approached the ten year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks I decided to take a different angle in teaching the complex topic and created The September 11 Oral History Project with students. Students went out and conducted interviews to record the memories of those who lived through that day. We even got many people to call in and record their stories and captured some emotional accounts from witnesses. The goal was to practice good historian skills and to create a resource that could be used by others in the future.
The 7th and 8th grade students that worked on this project were the last to come through my class who were actually alive on 9/11/2001. Last week I realized how prescient it was to have them create it at that time when I was giving examples of different forms of government and nobody knew who Saddam Hussein was when I brought him up as a dictator. I thought teaching about 9/11 was tough two years ago but it is even harder now that none of my students have actual memories of that time period.
This year I updated The September 11 Oral History Project to make it more visually appealing and added a section with a Thinglink of learning resources.
Students will be completing a blog post that links the ideas of historical memory and the novel The Giver which they have been reading in their Language Arts classes to reflect about 9/11.