MIDLOTHIAN — Midlothian ISD is commemorating and teaching students about 9/11 the in classroom at Walnut Grove Middle School and Midlothian High School.
Sixth-eighth grade students at WGMS will interview a parent or adult over 25 years old to learn about the events of 9/11 as homework for their social studies classes.
“It’s important for our students to learn about Sept. 11, because the country has not been the same since, and the world they live in will not be the same,” social studies department chair, Robbie Cornelius said. “The freedom to move about the country has changed, and I believe the students will learn how resilient we are as a nation.”
The lessons will include news clips of interviews from that day, footage of President Bush receiving the news, while he read to second graders, YouTube videos, maps of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York to show where the airplanes traveled, and parts of the Flight 93 movie.
“I’m giving my teachers the freedom to form a lesson from the materials that is appropriate for the grade level they’re teaching, and share their own personal history of that day,” Cornelius said. “Only the eighth grade students will also listen to a phone call from a mother to her son on United Airlines flight 93.”
Students have seen photos on previous anniversaries of Sept. 11 on Walnut Grove Middle School’s Cat News. This is the first lesson that students will complete as part of their social studies class.
“We decided to do a lesson that coincided with the 10-year anniversary of 9/11,” Cornelius said. “All of our students will learn about the sequence of events that day, get glimpses of the emotional turmoil, and see the rise in patriotism and church attendance across the nation.”
Midlothian High School’s U.S. History teacher Steve Hammons assigned his students a one page essay about what they remember on Sept. 11. The school will also hold moments of silence throughout the day when the two towers and Pentagon were hit, and when United Airlines flight 93 went down.
“I want to teach my students about the reverence and honor of the day, and pay respect to those who lost their lives,” Hammons said. “We wanted a coordinated school-wide effort for the 10-year anniversary, but without eating up any instruction time in other classes.”
To make the day a school wide observance, a banner will be hung in the cafeteria. One side will say “I remember…” where students can write what they remember from that day. Hammons students’ essays will be taped to the “I remember…” side of the banner as an example for other students. The other side of the banner will say “I would like to say…” where students can write messages to those who lost their lives and their families. The banner will be displayed for a few days after Sept. 11.
“In no time the things we take for granted and think everyone knows about, the younger generations don’t remember,” Hammons said. “Most of the students at our high school only know our nation as post-9/11. It takes 20 years before we can properly study a historical event, and we’re just now able to see the perspective of how 9/11 changed the U.S.”
Flat screen television in the cafeteria used to display announcement and news will also show a slideshow of pictures from 9/11 with background music.
For more information about MISD, its campuses and educators, visit www.midlothian-isd.net.
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