Teaching about 9/11
Sunday, September 11 marks the 21st anniversary of 9/11 and 13 years since Congress designated 9/11 as September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. Teaching about 9/11 is both important and complicated. Teachers must take great care to develop lessons that are age-appropriate, aligned with their curriculum and standards, and engaging. Teaching about 9/11 can also be difficult because teachers and members of their school community may know people who were killed or injureed on 9/11 or in subsequent wars or they may have experienced the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant intolerance that followed.
With support from Youth Service America, the University of Maryland College of Education has curated resources to support educators who want to teach about 9/11 and how its aftermath continues to impact people in our country and around the world. The teaching materials include a range of primary sources, activities, and lesson plans for different ways to teach about 9/11 to different age groups. They also align with how the teaching of 9/11 has evolved in the last 20 years.
In keeping with the national call to service on 9/11, resources for educators who want to incorporate service and service-learning into their teaching are also available. September 11 provides an opportunity for teachers and students to transform the day into one of service and civic engagement.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Martin Luther King Day is the only federal holiday specifically tied to calling on people to volunteer to
improve their community. “The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is a defining moment each year when
Americans across the country step up to make our communities more equitable and take action to create
the Beloved Community of Dr. King’s dream. While Dr. King believed the Beloved Community was possible,
he acknowledged and fought for systemic change. His example is our call to action.” (AmeriCorps)
The resources in our guide are designed to help educators create lessons about Dr. King, his legacy, and his
call to service that can be incorporated into the curriculum throughout the year. There is also a section designed to help teachers support their students participating in service.