Teaching Kids about 9/11

There’s a country song that asks “Where were you when the world stopped turning, that September day?” For some of us, myself included, you can remember the exact time and place you were when you learned of the 9/11 attacks. I was in my 7th grade classroom, language arts, with my teacher, Ms. Trujillo. The class was startled by my social studies teacher, Mr. Villafana, threw open the door and yelled. “Turn on the TV, there’s been an attack in New York City!” Now, my twelve year old brain didn’t fully understand what was going on when my teacher turned the television on and we saw the twin towers burning. I remember feeling one thing… terrified. Throughout the next few weeks, we watched constant, media coverage about the tragedy, the lives lost and the war that was to come. We wrote poems about it, created 1,000 paper cranes to signify peace, and discussed it in our classes. Now that so many year have gone by, I wonder whether or not children the age now that I was then understand 9/11. Do they know the significance in the eyes of the American people, or do they just know it as a day that everyone talks about... a lot. I found this article by Dr. Barbara Greenberg, titled “Explaing 9/11: How to talk with your kids about the terrorist attacks.” Here are a few things that Dr. Greenberg recommends: 1) Sit down with your school-age kids and give them a history lesson: facts about the attacks 2) Explain that we should and will do our best in the future to resolve conflict peacefully 3) Allow your kids to ask questions, but spare them the gruesome details 4) Explain that 9/11 was not a usual event, reassure them For more tips on teaching about 9/11 to your children, click here to view the full article.
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