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Teaching 9/11 in Lincoln classrooms 20 years later

Teaching 9/11 in Lincoln classrooms 20 years later
Teaching 9/11 in Lincoln classrooms 20 years later(Ellis Wiltsey)
Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 5:27 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Saturday marks 20 years since the deadly attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It’s something many at-home remember vividly but every student currently in a Lincoln Public Schools classroom was born after 2001.

Friday teachers spent time going over the events through remembrance activities and lessons.

Students at Schoo Middle School took a three-part approach: what they knew, what they hoped to learn and what they did learn.

“It’s important to learn about it because it’s part of our history and we need to know our history,” said Keegan Joel, an eighth grader.

American history teacher Jody Joel said she always starts the lesson with where she was, a college student working, to outline how recent the attacks were.

“We talk about flashbulb moments in history and in lives and that’s definitely one for most people,” Joel said. “That they remember exactly what happened on that day and where they were. For my grandparents, it was Pearl Harbor and they could tell me those stories.”

LPS said lessons on 9/11 vary depending on the age group. In elementary schools, much of the focus is on honoring first responders. In middle schools like Schoo, they learn more details and hear from victims’ families. At the high school level, it’s already in their yearly curriculum so they learn it at length.

“We look at 9/11 in a way that is age-appropriate from the elementary to middle to high school levels,” said Jaci Kellison the K-12 social studies curriculum specialist.

Many of the students in Joel’s classroom already knew a lot about that day. They wrapped up by writing these messages about what they’ll remember most.

“Kind of take away not only those events but also the ideas of survivors and people who are affected by that day personally,” Joel said. “Their stories of resilience and hope and looking to the future to make sure that story stays alive.”

LPS says many students will also take time to reach out to local first responders by creating care packages or letters and inviting them to lunch or as guest speakers.

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