September 11th Discussion Board Lesson

Nineteen years ago New York City experienced the unforgettable day of September 11th. Adults who lived through it will always remember the events that unfolded, but many young children don't know a lot about 9/11 or fully understand how the day changed this nation and so many lives. Many educators struggle to discuss the events with children, and it can be daunting to find books that engage children, help them to understand such a pivotal point in history, and serve as a starting point for discussion. Fortunately, we have a fictional account about 9/11 specifically for children, ideal for the next generation. Nine Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin presents 9/11 in an accessible way for young readers without being too heavy. Instead they are presented in a thoughtful and meaningful way, and is a welcome addition to children's literature. (9/11 for Educators)

What I Read: Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

This is definitely going to be added to my classroom library. As we see more and more anti-bullying campaigns enter our secondary schools, I feel the current overwhelming need for teaching compassion and the acceptance of differences; Dusti Bowling is right on the mark with this one. Easy to read, engaging, heartwarming, and full of compassion. A lesson of friendship, acceptance, encouragement, and appreciation; allowing for a genuine open discussion at it's completion.

What I Read: Refugee by Alan Gratz

This book is a must read for ALL children and adults to gain knowledge of past refugee stories and empathy for current ones. I was brought to tears many times as I related these historical events to modern times. It was eerie to see the many similarities and I became frustrated with how we are not learning from the mistakes of our past! The purpose in studying history is to make better decisions in the present. Yet, here we are with news of those seeking asylum at the United States border being tear gassed and refused of assistance. We must ask ourselves, why does this horrifying cycle continue to go on?