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By having students participate in activities prior to introducing new content, teachers can identify incomplete, faulty, or conflicting ideas or misconceptions, and accelerate students’ ability to successfully learn and apply new information.

Activate Prior Knowledge  

Start by working as a full class to create a K-W-L chart on large chart paper. Ask students to help add to the first two columns: What Do We Know About September 11, 2001? And, What Do We Want to Know About September 11, 2001?


Close Reading and Viewing

Then ask students to read and annotate the article called from KQED entitled,“How 9/11 Changed America. Once they are done they can fill in the last column of the K-W-L as a class. 


View the video “Photographer Tom Franklin Remembers 9/11" as a whole class. Ask students to write down new information that they learn as they watch the film. Then conduct a whole class discussion in which students share what they learned while watching the film.

Create and Reflect

Ask students to participate in a 3-2-1 (Three-Two-One) writing activity. Students write 3 key terms from what they have just learned, 2 ideas about which they would like to learn more, and 1 concept or skill they think they have mastered. Students then respond to the following questions to end this activity:

  • What is the role of a photojournalist?

  • How does a photojournalist overcome her or his emotions in order to tell a story with visual imagery?

Lesson 1

What Do I Know about September 11, 2001?
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