9/11 Oral Histories

Students learn how 9/11 changed people’s lives by conducting an oral history. Sage has chosen several family members and friends to ask the following questions. He will then present their oral histories in a blog, think about both negative and positive changes that resulted from 9/11, and write a reflection that includes both what he learned from his oral history interviewees and from the our discussions. Feel free to comment below and answer the questions yourself!

  1. What is your name, where do you live?
  2. Had you ever visited the World Trade Center in NYC before September 2001?
  3. Where were you on the morning of September 11th?
  4. How did you first hear about the attacks? What did you do when you heard?
  5. Did you visit the site of the World Trade Center after the attacks? Why?
  6. How do you feel your life has changed as a result of September 11th?
  7. How do you feel the world has changed as a result of September 11th?
  8. Why do you think young people should learn about September 11th?

Common Core Alignments

These standards were written for the 9-10th grade level. However this lesson can be easily adjusted for use in both higher level classes and classes as young as 5th grade while still corresponding to the following Common Core Standards with grade level equivalents. Student assessments and expectation may vary depending upon grade level and ability.


Reading Standards for Informational Text (Grades 9-10)
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standard 8: Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.


Using the information gained during research, students should be able to analyze the information gained during the interview to assess it for validity and draw out relevant information for their presentation or project.

Writing Standards (Grades 9-10)

Text Types and Purposes
Standard 1: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Students will practice and demonstrate these skills in recording, transposing, and analyzing the interview for the subsequent presentation or project.

Production and Distribution of Writing
Standard 4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3)

Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standard 9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Students will be expected to perform research to familiarize themselves with 9/11 before conducting the interview and to use their research in reflecting upon the results of the interview.
Speaking and Listening Standards (Grades 9-10)

Comprehension and Collaboration
Standard 1: Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Each student will conduct at least one oral history. Through interviewing a variety of people, each student not only holds a discussion with someone whose ideas differ extremely from the students’ own experiences, but the students will be able to hear the viewpoints from a number of other people during a presentation of findings to the class or through sharing projects.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Standard 4: Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

  1. Students will practice and demonstrate these skills both in interviewing and in presenting their collected oral history to the class or in a project.

 

 

 

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  One thought on “9/11 Oral Histories

  1. September 15, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    What is your name, where do you live?
    Stephen Deck, Henderson NC

    Had you ever visited the World Trade Center in NYC before September 2001?
    Nope

    Where were you on the morning of September 11th?
    In Mrs. Cox’s 4th grade class at Elkin Elementary

    How did you first hear about the attacks? What did you do when you heard?
    My grandmother mentioned a “tragedy in New York” when she picked me up from school, but she didn’t get any more specific than that. I didn’t really hear about what happened until I got home that night and watched the news with my mom and grandmother. Honestly, being 10 at the time, my first thought was that America would fight another great war with usual little kid WW2-esque delusions of grandeur. The gravity of what happened didn’t really sink in until days later.

    Did you visit the site of the World Trade Center after the attacks? Why?
    Nope. Too poor.

    How do you feel your life has changed as a result of September 11th?
    Civil liberties have taken a back seat to paranoia and “security” in the United States. We also seem even more terrified of brown people than usual.

    How do you feel the world has changed as a result of September 11th?
    The United States has been invading and bombing people more often and more indiscriminately than before. I think that we’ve weakened our own position in the world, to be honest, by forcing this sort of global hegemony in the name of “fighting terrorism.”

    Why do you think young people should learn about September 11th?
    It was a major turning point in American history and in American military intervention around the world. It’s also without true parallel in terms of events in American history. Even Pearl Harbor is a poor analogy. That was an attack on a military base carried out by a legitimate military in retaliation against our aid to Japan’s enemies; 9/11 was an attack on a civilian target carried out by criminal militants because of a warped and corrupted interpretation of Islam. They’re really only similar insomuch as Chinese elections and American elections are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Thanks steven for the answer! I think terrorism is terrible and I wish would stop, but when anything that is responsible by one type of person other people shouldn’t just not like them!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Judith E. Deck
    September 16, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    What is your name, where do you live? Judith Ellen Deck

    Had you ever visited the World Trade Center in NYC before September 2001? No

    Where were you on the morning of September 11th? At work on the 2nd floor of Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, Nursing Administration

    How did you first hear about the attacks? What did you do when you heard? In a hospital, particularly on a patient floor such as where my office was located, televisions blare from every room. The word quickly spread from person to person as the news reported the plane crashes.

    Did you visit the site of the World Trade Center after the attacks? Why? No. Unfortunately, I have never had the opportunity to visit New York.

    How do you feel your life has changed as a result of September 11th? Our privacy and security have suffered greatly. Unfortunately, America’s reputation has also suffered as we have not acted in accordance with our national principles as we fought this “war on terror” which I consider a misnomer.

    How do you feel the world has changed as a result of September 11th? We have become more cynical, less trusting, more willing to act without all the facts, less private, more paranoiac, less civilized. We have lost faith around the world because we have failed to act in accordance with our own tenets. In other words, we have not treated others as we would wish to be treated. We cannot condemn torture, for example, if we as a nation torture our enemies.

    Why do you think young people should learn about September 11th? That a determined enemy can indeed strike at our heart, but a united and determined America can be stronger and more determined than any enemy. We were a completely united nation in the days and weeks after 09/11/2001, and the world stood right by our side. Our foolish entry into Iraq, for no legitimate reason and without any facts to support it, damaged our reputation and our unity irreparably, both domestically and internationally. If we believe in a cause, as a nation, we are unstoppable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 19, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      Thank you for the comment and the answers. I think if we didn’t storm into anyone’s country, then we won’t have as many wars in the future. by that ruined reputation you talked about, more citizens would like us much more than they do now.

      Liked by 1 person

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