Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

NOTE TO EDUCATORS: The movie featured in this lesson plan describes the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Due to the violent nature of this topic, we suggest previewing the movie before showing it to the class.

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic September 11th, and deepens students’ understanding of the events that led to the September 11 attacks and their impact on the United States. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.


Ask: What do you know or what have you heard about what happened on September 11, 2001?

Depending on where you live in the country, you may have students who have family or friends directly impacted by the attacks. If so, you can use this opportunity for them to share their stories, if they want or are comfortable.


  • Read aloud the description below the Movie player.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “In Depth,” “Did You Know,” “Real Life” or “Sickness and Health”  Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY

Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects. They can work individually or collaborate.

  • Make-a-Movie: Make a documentary showing the ways in which people throughout the United States responded to the attacks of September 11.
  • Make-a-Map: Create a timeline of the events of September 11, 2001 and the events that followed.
  • Creative CodingCode an exhibit honoring 9/11 heroes or create a memorial to those who died.


Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they’ve learned about September 11. Prompt them by asking questions such as: 

    • How did the September 11 attacks change the United States and the world?
    • Why is it important that we continue to discuss and learn about the attacks on September 11?
    • What questions do you still have about September 11?

     Prompt students with a discussion about the racism that arose in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Ask:

    • In the movie, Tim explains that al Qaeda does not represent Islam. What does he mean? 
    • Why is it important to understand the difference between al Qaeda and Islam?

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments