My Children Have Never Heard of 9-11

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by cmorris, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. cmorris

    cmorris Comrade

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    I was so shocked that they hadn't even heard of it. I thought a few of them would have a vague idea of what I was talking about. We couldn't do any activities because they had no prior knowledge whatsoever. The only thing they could relate it to was calling 911 for an emergency. That was it. I told them their homework was to talk to their parents about it and we would pick it up tomorrow. How sad.
     
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  3. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    What grade do you teach?

    My 5th graders knew about it and some even remember the day (or so they say!). They would have been 2/3 years old.
     
  4. sciencegurl

    sciencegurl Companion

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    My son is in 1st grade and he hasn't heard of it, nor have I told him of it---it would upset him too much, especially since we are flying soon. My son was born in 2002--after 9-11. 3rd graders were probably born in 1999-2000, they would have been just babies.
     
  5. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    Like things our parents lived through (depression, WWII, Vietman, JFK, etc.) the impact lessens as time passes. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) we remember it clearly. Let's hope the lessons we learned are passed on even if the impact of the tragedy isn't.
     
  6. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    wow, all my kids knew about it!
     
  7. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    I haven't been at school this week so I am not sure what my kids know (dizzykates from Minnesota, I was in Rochester for DR appts.)...I am sure Mom2ohc's kids know b/c of being in the NY area. I am anxious to get back to school tomorrow to see what they know. Being in small-town Indiana, I am not sure what 7-8 year olds know about it.
     
  8. Lives4Math

    Lives4Math Comrade

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    My 6th graders really didn't know about it...if they did they didn't say anything. We did have one on my team ask a teacher about it. We had a special moment of silence at *8:3...6 i think it was. It was announced that we would have a moment of silence in rememberence of everyone involved in the tragedy of 9/11. My students were very respectful of the time and didn't make one peep...but noone was upset or even acted like they knew anything about it. The student who asked wanted to know what happend on 9/11 that everyone was so affected....the history teacher told him about it when he got to her class.
     
  9. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Note: I feel like an idiot now. For some reason, I never read the chalkboard avatars, so I completely missed the "3rd grade". I will go crawl under a rock now; or i should say back under one as it seems like I live under one somedays:dizzy:
     
  10. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I'm just guessing here, but I doubt most parents have ever sat their young children down and told them about 9/11. The event happened 7 years ago. It doesn't seem so long ago to us, but your students would have been infants and had no background knowledge of the events. I'm sure most parents want to keep thier children innocent (in every way) as long as possible. Seven year after Pearl Harbor was attacked I am sure most people just wanted to get on with life. I would be very surprised to find out the schools and parents were telling their 7 and 8 year olds what happened that Dec. 6.
     
  11. jillybean

    jillybean Comrade

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    Most of my students did not remember it! They are 1-2-3 grade.
     
  12. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    That's something I found really odd about working with my kids today. Due to a death in my family today as well, I skipped out of the school assembly for it--- but the school itself didn't want to make a big deal about it (even though we all think it IS a big deal out here (we're 20 minutes away from NYC btw). We have one student who lost her father in the towers, she might have only been 2 or younger when it happened though, so I'm not sure how much she actually knows.

    We also have another girl in the school who has her birthday today and we wanted to celebrate her birthday as much as remembered 9/11.

    While I still remember it very vividly and remember exactly where I was (in high school marine biology class) when I found out, I realize these kids that we're teaching are too young to know it. It's one thing to have been old enough to remember it and see what happened that day--- it's completely a different story when we tell our youngsters about it.

    If I was a parent, I'm not sure how much I would share with my kids. It's scary and at least for their youth, I would like them to believe they are safe--- at home, at school, and their community. So I don't blame parents for not sharing that much about the day with their young kids.
     
  13. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    My oldest two children know about it. I told the oldest last year (3rd grade)and the middle this year (2nd grade). My youngest 1st grade) is still pretty oblivious to anything outside of his own little world, and I think he's still too immature to handle it. They were just babies, or not even born when it happened, so it doesn't have the impact it had on the rest of us.
     
  14. teach24iam

    teach24iam Comrade

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    I don't necessarily think that it is a bad thing that they know nothing of it. It means that their parents shielded them from that horror of that day, and good for them. It is not something I acknowledged in class at all today, because I have to respect the fact that some parents have made that choice not to tell their kids about it, or have kept it from them for whatever reason. While we had red, white and blue day today, we just discussed patriotism and learned about the flag...
     
  15. MissFroggy

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    That's because you are IN New York! When I lived in NYC all the kids knew about it, had stories, lost people, etc. It was VERY important to talk about and the kids had lots to say. This was 2003-2005.

    Now that I am in Washington State, my kids rarely know much. I was very upset last year after doing a lesson on 9/11. The kids were supposed to write a response about the memorial, and their responses were very shallow. It made me so sad, but I had to realize that we had been in school for about a week, and they were just getting their bearings in school and had NO personal experience with 9/11.

    You have to take that into consideration. I didn't do a lesson this year with my first graders. We had other big events happening (a class mate leaving our school.) I did do a lesson 2 years ago with my fourth graders, and it was fantastic. They would have been 3 or 4 but had enough life experience to understand a bit more about it. The year before that was even better, and the kids remember the day it happened and the whole school watched the news together!!

    The further it is from their lives/experiences/memories, the harder it is to teach!
     
  16. uprekmom

    uprekmom Rookie

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    My son will be 6 next week, and doesn't know about 9-11. When he's older, I'll tell him how his aunt had to run down 50 flights of stairs to get out of the 3rd building that didn't go down.

    I think its to much for kids to deal with, I can't deal with it. I was watching CNN.com at work, and crying as they were reading the names.

    His school did have a special prayer service for those that wanted to attend.
     
  17. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I didn't do a whole lot in my classroom either. The principal came on the intercom and lead the whole school in the Pledge of Alligence and a prayer for the vicitms and survivors, but that was about it. I'm kind of torn about how to handle this day. On the one hand I want to honor all those who lost their lives and those who lost a loved one on this day, but on the other hand I don't feel right making a big production of things. My students were only about 3 at the time, and even though they do know what happened, they don't have any memories about it. I know this isn't how healing works for everyone, but I just want to get on with life. Honor them,yes, but I don't like to dwell on it. And I can't quite understand why we make such a big deal of 9/11 (I understand it was a cataclysmic event in our nation's history. Please don't throw rocks at me.) and say almost nothing about what happened in Oklahoma City. Those two events happened 8 years apart, but the nation's reactions were so dramatically different. I remember memorials on the anniversaries for a few years, the memorial with the chairs etc. was built, but we don't do anything to remember OKCity anymore. I wish we could get the memorial in NYC built. I heard they opened the one at the Pentagon today. OK now I'm starting to ramble.....
     
  18. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I know this is a side note, but I always take time on April 19th to say a prayer for the victims and families of Oklahoma City.

    I think one of the reasons why 9-11 made such an impact where Ok. City didn't is that we watched it live. By the time the second tower was hit, it was on live feeds on every network and cable news channel. We watched people jumping, watched the towers fall, watched people fleeing for their lives...all on live television. With the O.C. bombing, we only saw the aftermath. Somehow, watching it unfold makes it that much more horrific even though, to the families of the victims, they are the same.
     
  19. teachtech

    teachtech Rookie

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    I had 2 kids whose birthdays were today. One knew that she was born on the day the twin towers went down. The other kids didn't know anything about the day.
     
  20. Futon 5

    Futon 5 Rookie

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    I noticed that this year's 6th graders knew a lot less than even students one year older. This would put those kids at 4 years old when it happened. Any younger, and the connection minimizes.
     
  21. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    On the parent note, I cringed every time I heard staff say the word "kill" or "not safe" today. Then one girl said something about potentially getting nightmares and that shut the whole thing down. I'm not sure how to honor them without making kids feel insecure and upset. I don't think that's for them to know really until they get older.

    There was another event last year in a nearby state that had someone doing mass shooting on a college campus. The sign for the word "mass shooting" is very iconic. While I know this campus was important to my coworkers (deaf field is a distinct community), I wanted to pass out when I saw their comments about needing a moment of silence and why. Do kids need to know this? No, they really don't.
     
  22. cmorris

    cmorris Comrade

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    I guess I figured that even if they didn't know much, if anything, about it, they would have at least heard of it. I know that as a child, I knew about past events. I may not have understood it, but I knew something about it.
     
  23. MrsTeacher2Be

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    I think that part of the reason we pay so much more attention to 9/11 than Oklahoma City is because OC was a tragic event perpetrated by a home-grown nut case. He was an American who did a terrible, terrible thing (weren't there 2 of them? not sure...). 9/11 is so different, because not only did we witness so much of it live on television, but it was an attack by outsiders. Before this many (most?) Americans had this false security that no one would ever successfully attack the U.S. on such a large scale. I was 15 at the time, and honestly the idea of the United States being attacked had never once entered my mind. I knew about Pearl Harbor, but that was so long ago I didn't have any connection, you know? When we were changing classes that day, a friend ran up and told me what was going on and I thought she was joking (she has a very bad sense of humor). I'm certainly not saying that the victims at OC don't deserve the same respectful memory as those that died on 9/11, but I think that's why it happens. :2cents:
     
  24. Jem

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    I did not even bring it up today. My kids would have just been born, and they can't even begin to understand the politics of it all. It's very real to us adults who lived through it and see our lives affected by it still today. But I think it would be very confusing and upsetting to children that small about it. It would be like trying to teach a third grader about Pearl Harbor-they might think the guns were cool, but they would have no ability to understand the larger political meaning of Japan and imperialism and WWII, etc.
     
  25. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    My sister is in 3rd grade an had all sorts of worries when she came home from school yesterday. Her teachers did discuss it, and now we are dealing with terrorist worries. *sigh*
     
  26. NJArt

    NJArt Comrade

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    I feel it's important for kids that are at least 4th grade and up to have SOME understanding of the events of 9/11... after all, we still have young men and women overseas FIGHTING AND DYING partly as a result of those events. I'll never forget the day myself... I found out as I had a class of 5th graders in my room. One of my 6th graders lost his dad, and our 1st grade teacher lost her brother in law. The ashes covered the counters of my home, and the air was heavy with smoke as I drove home and saw the changed skyline. If we don't understand our history, we are doomed to repeat it.
     
  27. Lives4Math

    Lives4Math Comrade

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    Just a side note for those of you who think kids don't need to know about it. I don't know what age level or what grade or any of that...But I have heard that they are already (and I don't even know how long ago I heard it to know if it's been done for years already or not) putting it into history books. Kids are going to be learning about it in school because it's part of the curriculum before too long. It's a horrible thing....very horrible. But why hide this when we don't hide WWI or WWII or the Civil War or anything else? No, I don't think that we should be talking to our 5 year olds about it....but again...we don't hide Wars from our older students (how many of them have family fighting in one now???) but we'll hide 9/11....
     
  28. cmorris

    cmorris Comrade

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    That was my thought because my curriculum requires us to teach those wars.
     
  29. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I think most people here are taking about fifth grade and younger. I'm not sure of any history book that talks about any war for kids this young other than the Revolutionary war in fifth grade, and then most teachers spend half a year talking about the politics that leaded up to it and the results. I think most of us are saying that right now, 9/11 still invokes a lot of fear, especially in children who do not understand terrorism. The Rev. war is 250 years in the past-this is still very real. A certain sense of tact and common sense needs to be used on small children-they make imaginary creatures real-they are not going to be able to handle abstract ideas and the vision of men flying planes into buildings.

    We, as adults, should honor the memory of those who passed away and take a moment to think of our troops in combat. But to use our children as a way to pass on this sadness and fear-that's not exactly appropriate with all age groups. Although I think it's a bit different for children living in the areas directly affected by the attacks-they may have a more concrete understanding if they lost relatives. But this age group is still very young, so I'm not even sure about that. :2cents:
     
  30. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I think the world wars, Civil War, Rev. War and so on are far enough removed from today that putting them in history books is not as much of an issue. 9/11 was very recent by comparrison. Our 5th grade history books does include information on just about every war American has been involved in up through the Cold War. I don't think it has anything about the first Gulf War. WE don't cover all the wars in class, but the information is available. In my class we cover Rev. War, War of 1812 (not in much depth), and the Civil War. Because of time constraints, we do not get a chance to cover the Spanish-American War, Texas's fight for independence, the battles in the NW territory to determine who owned the land that we called Oregon territory. Part of that became Canada. In 8th grade the teacher begins with the Rev. War and goes through WWII, so they do touch on quite a bit.
     
  31. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

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    My 7th graders and I had a really good discussion on 9/11 about the events. They would have been 5/6 at the time, and it was interesting to hear what they remembered about that day from such a young perspective.
     
  32. jaszmyn

    jaszmyn Comrade

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    I talked to my 1st grade students about it. I sat them down and we had a REAL serious talk about america and war. My students were not even born yet, but I felt like it was important fkor them to know what happened and how privelged they are to live in America. Most of my students did know about the war on Iraq. I jkust simply let them know that soldiers fight for Americans to have and keep the privleges that we do have.

    At first I just wanted to touch on it, but the kids had ALL kinds of questions and it just kinda snowballed. We talked a little about death and tragedy's. It was heartwarming. I have never held their attention for so long. They were all very interested. Afterwords i felt like it may have been something that their parents should have talked to them about, but I didn't think think about it till later.

    Needless to say, I was glad I didn't get any calls today. Whew!!! Not that their parents were going to talk to them anyway probably.
     
  33. NYSTeacher

    NYSTeacher Companion

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    Only a few of my third graders knew about it. I spent a few minutes talking about it, but they were just born so they wouldn't know unless their parents mentioned it. I was upset that my school didn't do a moment of silence. I guess I'm used to schools doing it since I used to teach in NY.
     
  34. flesteach

    flesteach Rookie

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    Giraffe,
    Don't feel bad; My first question was about the grade, also. Then I had to scroll back up just to see what you were talking about with the avatar!
     
  35. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    This was the first year I told my third grader about it. We watched a Schlessinger video about it, and I talked to her about how I felt that day, how most people felt, and how vulnerable it made everything feel. I couldn't have explained it sooner, because she, too, would have been too upset.
     
  36. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    If my Jeannie were in school during first grade, I wouldn't have wanted her teacher telling her about 9/11. Some kids, and she's one of them, get upset at things like that, and can't let go. Had someone filled 1st grader Jeannie in, I'd have had to deal with questions, worries, and probably bad dreams. No offense intended, Jaszmyn.
     
  37. kg27

    kg27 New Member

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    I'm a library aide so I have every class for 25 minutes a week. For the first and second graders I read The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordachai Gerstein. Most of the kids knew about 9/11 They knew two big buildings had fallen in NYC because of planes hitting them. I emphasized that all Americans were very sad about this because many people lost their lives. Then I read the story. If you haven't read this book, it is a must! It is about a tightrope walker who walked between the two towers. I told the kids that by reading this story, now they have a happy memory of the twin towers, not just a sad one.
     
  38. Lindsnh

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    My second graders did not know either. They would have been babies, but I would have thought they would have known a little something from parents, or past teachers.
     
  39. kcjo13

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    I was pretty upset at my dd's teacher about 9/11 (2nd grade). She was 7 months old at the time, so of course has no memory, but she is aware that "the buildings fell down". We have talked about how some people were angry with our country, but our leaders are doing their best to stop that anger now. That's as far as we've gone, and I was good with that.

    Then dd comes home that night and asks me if I knew about 9/11. I said yes, we've talked about what we see on TV, and she says no, Mrs. S told her what really happened-that some very bad men took flying lessons and stole airplanes and killed thousands of people, and it happened THAT DAY. Of course she was confused about the timing, but it took me a while to convice her that it was a few years ago. PLUS, her dad is a pilot-he teaches flying lessons, so she was FREAKED that daddy might have to kill people or be killed. I was especially disturbed with the use of the word "kill" over and over.

    I'm not in any way trying to "hide" 9/11 from her, but was happened was totally not age appropriate.

    In my own class, I let the kids guide the discussion. They didn't have a whole lot to say, but we're not in a big military area and we're fairly isolated as far as personal contact with the tragedy.
     
  40. runsw/scissors

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    We are right next to a major military base, so all the kids know about 9/11. The media is pretty good about not showing footage of the events anymore, but I'm sure about 1/3 of the students at my school have a relative or family friend in the armed forces and know exactly what went on that day. I've only had a few who thought it happened more recently than a few years ago.
     

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