Schools add lessons to mark Sept. 11, 2001, anniversary
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 8, 2011 1:46 PM
Educators are incorporating the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, into their lesson plans this week, introducing the event to some students who were just toddlers or not even born when the attacks occurred.
Schools have also hosted activities and commemorative events to mark the anniversary date, said Ken Derksen, public information officer for Wayne County Public Schools.
"For the past two weeks, teachers have been talking to students about 9/11 as most were 2 to 4 years old and have no recollection of the events," Derksen said.
That is especially the case at middle schools, he added, where students are now old enough to understand the seriousness of the event.
At Norwayne Middle, teachers spent time discussing the events of the day and involving students in a variety of activities.
"We will interview an adult and ask questions such as, what were you doing, how did you feel, etc. on Sept. 11," said Debra Jenkins, an eighth-grade teacher. "We will also wear yellow ribbons in honor of all that we lost on the day."
Laura Crisp, a sixth-grade teacher there, said, "I will start off teaching about 9/11 by showing a United Streaming clip online about the topic," she said. "I will then have an open discussion about the tragic event.
"I have decided to have my students make 'thank you for serving' letters to our troops in Afghanistan. I also will ask for any items to be donated to include in a care package for them also."
Sixth-grade social studies teacher Cristie Mickalek said she distributed First Responder Appreciation cards for her students to send. Her AIG, academically and intellectually gifted, students created their own versions of the pre-designed cards, she added.
For older students in the district, curriculum has incorporated the historic date into a variety of activities and assignments.
Each year the social studies department at Goldsboro High School includes videos and allows students to recount the events that happened, create timelines, draw pictures and write essays that are presented during the school day as the anniversary date draws near.
During the morning television broadcast at Mount Olive Middle, a brief history of 9/11 was shared and a PowerPoint presentation shown. Social studies teachers were also able to show Channel One to their classes.
Rosewood Middle also incorporated the Channel One newscast as a discussion starter and springboard for writing assignments.
Each day this past week at North Drive Elementary, the school's music teacher, Sandra Dupree shared a patriotic song over the intercom, emphasizing the significance of the lyrics. She continued the lessons in her music classes while introducing students to different genres, composers and artists.
At Northwest Elementary, a staff member purchased a 9/11 Flag of Honor, which featured names of those who perished and included a project for students to do. Students were asked to select a name and research that person's story. Fourth- and fifth-grade students were to publish their findings and post their reports near the flag in a school hallway.
Other classes had "Patriot Day" lessons and discussions, and there was a schoolwide moment of silence.
Many schools showed video clips, held class discussions and used morning announcement time to discuss the occasion and offer a moment of silence for students and staff to observe the day.
Some classes, like the third and fourth grades at Brogden Primary, also incorporated articles about 9/11 during reading block time.
Several schools held assemblies and remembrances ceremonies to mark the occasion.
Carver Elementary invited rescue, fire fighters and military representatives as well as local government officials to attend a ceremony on Friday. During the program, a stone marker was to be moved from the middle of the front lawn to the flag pole. The marker had been donated to the school a few years ago for 9/11.
At Carver Heights Elementary, teachers also included in their lesson plans a discussion of the meaning of Patriot Day, signed into law in December 2001, three months after 9/11, in memory of the 2,977 killed in the Sept. 11 attacks.
A schoolwide assembly is scheduled at Eastern Wayne High Middle Friday, with the Seymour Johnson AFB honor guard to play "Taps" during the moment of silence and the school's chorus performing. A collection of gifts was also presented to fire and rescue personnel.
The SFJAFB honor guard also was invited to Meadow Lane Elementary Friday for its day of remembrance. Students are to dress in red, white and blue and one student is to sing the National Anthem during the assembly.
Southern Wayne High School JROTC will hold its 10th anniversary ceremony at the school's flag pole Friday at 9 a.m. The student body is invited to attend, as well as local fire departments and law enforcement. Speeches will be given by Dr. John Boldt, principal, and Lt. Col. Michael Timmerman, USAF (retired) JROTC instructor.