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Although many high school students have little to no recollection of the terrorist attacks that took place on American soil on September 11, 2001, these attacks continue to impact their lives. Many thousands of people lost family members in the tragedy. Wars are being fought in Afghanistan and Iraq based on the consequences of these attacks. In the United States, immigration policies are adversely impacting the families of many students. Certainly, other consequences of 9/11 continue to affect today’s generation of students, their families, and communities. By using an asynchronous video discussion tool,, students gain access to diverse sources of personal knowledge and experience through storytelling and improve their ability to respond appropriately to engage with others in online dialogue and discussion. 

Introduce the Instructional Goals

Teacher introduces the Essential, Literacy, and Etiquette essential questions. Teacher shares the Standards and Principles of the unit by pointing to a prepared bulletin board where each is posted prominently. Teacher should refer to these Standards and Principles throughout the unit. Teacher then previews the Key Vocabulary for the unit. Subsequently, students draw images with captions, both of which demonstrate comprehension of key terms.


This unit of instruction has been developed with four primary student objectives in mind. Students will be able to:

  • Listen and respond to other’s remarks succinctly, coherently, and with empathy;

  • Deconstruct messages contained in primary (Flipgrid responses) and secondary (support materials) resources by applying key questions of media literacy;

  • Access a digital app to engage in inquiry based discussion; and,

  • Demonstrate digital etiquette in a controlled social media environment.


Key Vocabulary
  • digital etiquette - practicing safe and polite behavior while using digital devices and the Internet

  • empathy - to understand how someone else thinks and feels

  • perspective - a particular way of seeing and interpreting issues and the world; a point of view

  • bias - a prejudice against someone, something, or a group that is usually seen as unfair.

  • primary resource - an artifact that is a first-hand account of an event, like a photograph or an interview about an historic event (in this case, September 11, 2001)

  • succinct - to make a point clearly and with as few words as possible.

Modifications and Accommodations

Teachers can adapt this lesson plan to personalize for learners. Sample modifications and accommodations might include word banks, annotating primary resources, compiling master notes from class discussions, modeling digital etiquette in small group settings, or providing alternative formative and summative assessments as applicable.

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