Social studies and English teachers at both Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle schools joined together as humanities teams to discuss the events of 9/11.
In addition to other lessons, announcements, observing moments of silence, silent passing in the hallways in between periods at all of the district’s buildings, teachers focused on why it is important to remember and memorialize, and also highlighted the power of humanity and service.
At Merrick Avenue, humanities teams of teachers Pat Fallon, Mark Goedecke, Joe Amador, Audrey Drako and Bridget Gumersell taught their eighth grade classes in the auditorium where they provided context for the lesson, answered students'questions and then viewed the 9/11 Museum Webinar together.
Across both middle school buildings, eighth graders learnedabout9/11through personal stories fromfirst responders from NYPD and FDNY, a 9/11 family member, and a New York City public school teacherthrough a webinar hosted by the9/11Memorial and Museum.
Through a reading and video, seventh graders learnedabout “Boatlifters,” the heroes of the maritime community who rescued more than 500,000 people from the island of Manhattan. Using Jamboard, an online collaborative tool, studentswill examinethe photos and indicate what they notice, Amador recapped the Boatlifter video that students had just watched with their English teacher, Audrey Drakos.
“He then discussed the importance of memorialization on this day and shared his own ‘flashbulb memory’ of where he was on September 11, 2001,” explained Christina Cone, a social studies chairperson. “Students were then tasked with viewing memorials made by others and then adding to the slides what they thought and what they wondered about each image.”
At Grand Avenue, the humanities team of teachers Rebecca Levy, Daniel Rummenie and Brendan Farrell worked with their combined classes to investigate the events of the day by first asking students, "what do you know?"
Students shared some personal stories and knowledge setting the stage for the teachers to frame out an introduction to the how and why we study history, followed by a brief re-cap of the morning of 9/11.
Next, students were immersed in the exploration of stories of selflessness, including pieces of “The Man in the Red Bandana” andpieces of “Come From Away.”
“Using a series of questions, the teachers were successful in helping students share thoughtful and reflective commentary on the events of the day and the media pieces,” explained Ann Donaldson, a social studies chairperson.“Such an approach is so important as this reinforces the human-to-human connection in the classroom, provides age-appropriatefactualinformation about 9/11, and allows students to be actively engaged in learning about this important event as both contributors and attentive listeners.”
Also at Grand Avenue, the humanities team of teachers Christine Miolla, Roland Skemer and Jacqueline Ram also combined their classes in the library.
Using short, appropriate clips from the documentary, “15 Septembers Later,” the teachers used guided questions to first help students grasp the events of the day.
“The clips were chosen to specifically facilitate discussions on and highlight the concept of firsthand story-telling and its importance in both literature and the study of history,” explained Donaldson.
Date Added: 9/12/2023