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9/11 Anniversary




September 11, 2012, marks the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. On this solemn anniversary, take time to help students understand the events of this fateful day, some of whom were too young to remember or possibly were not even born when the events happened. To help you explain the 9/11 events, the heroic actions of rescue workers, and the bonding of a nation, look to Thinkfinity's  collection of lesson plans, artifacts and interactives that will help your students understand the impact of the September 2001 events, and how they still affect our nation to this day.


Iron Worker's Hard Hat, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.


Access the archived version of the September 11: Teaching Contemporary History online conference  that explores strategies and resources for K-12 educators to use when teaching about the events of September 11, 2001.

Highlighted conference session:
Small Children, Tough Topics: A Literature-Based Strategy - explore ways to use books to teach about tough topics such as 9/11.


Read the blog post The specified item was not found. in the Thinkfinity Community to learn more about teaching strategies around the events of 9/11.  Be sure to check out the September 11 blog posts in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History "O say can you see?" blog.


You can also join the History Explorers group to exchange ideas on making civics curriculum more compelling or engage in the discussion: The specified item was not found. in the Community Hub.


  • Lesson Plans
  • Resources

Lesson Plans


The American Presidency - Limits of Power

History Explorer | Activity | 6-12
Explore the importance of the checks and balances system, Congress, the Supreme Court, impeachment, public opinion and the press in restricting the power of the president.

The American Presidency - The President's Seal

History Explorer | Interactive & Activity | K-4
Students explore the symbolism on the Presidential Seal, color the seal and then create their own seal.

The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden

History Explorer | Interactive | 6-12
Students use museum artifacts, interactive timeline and activities to study the realities of the presidency.

Constitution Day

EDSITEment | Resource Collection | 6-12
Explore a complete set of resources related to Constitution Day.  Available in English and Spanish.

Dear Mr. President

History Explorer | Activity  | 3-4
Students analyze the letter Grace Bedell wrote to President Abraham Lincoln, and then write and send their own letters to the current president.

Frederick Douglass: What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?

EDSITEment | Website | 8-12
Learn about the historic speech delivered by Frederick Douglass.

George Washington's Uniform

History Explorer | Artifact | K-12
See the actual blue wool coat that was part of the uniform worn by George Washington.

"Jailed for Freedom" Pin

History Explorer | Artifact | K-12
See the pin worn by the members of the National Woman's Party who became the first to picket the White House after the government's failure to pass a constitutional amendment enfranchising women.

Japanese Americans & the U.S. Constitution

History Explorer | Interactive | 4-12
Explore the experiences of Japanese Americans who were placed in internment camps during World War II and how this relates to rights of citizens.

A Letter From George Washington

History Explorer | Interactive Document Collection | K-12
Explore George Washington's letter that reveals active engagement in shaping the nation during the critical period following the American Revolution.

Pitcher Honoring Frederick Douglass

History Explorer | Artifact | K-12
View a hand-modeled earthenware pitcher that honors Frederick Douglass.

Separate is Not Equal: Brown v. Board of Education

History Explorer | Online Exhibit | 6-12
Learn about the Supreme Court decision that marked a turning point in history for race relations in the United States.

Vote: The Machinery of Democracy

History Explorer | Online Exhibition | 9-12
Students study how ballots and voting systems have evolved over the years.

Winning the Vote for Women

History Explorer | Activity | K-4
Explore the history of the women's suffrage movement


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