Considering 9-11

Middle School Social Studies Consider 9-11

Eighth graders in Paul Ciancio’s social studies class are thoughtful and ready to engage with big ideas. When Mr. Ciancio asked, “Do you have any questions about September 11, 2001?” their conversation didn’t stop for the entire period.

Taking time for discussion was one of the ways that Katonah-Lewisboro teachers chose to observe the anniversary of the September 11 attacks with their students.

The students’ questions quickly honed in on one of the most important aspects of the attacks. Why. “What was the motive of the people who did this?” asked one student.

A chance to ask questions about September 11

Concepts the class will return to

Ciancio led a dialogue which ranged from the concept of terrorism and what the Trade Towers symbolized to America’s dependence on oil and involvement in the Middle East. “Terrorists are people who create fear in order to get people or governments to do things,” he said.

Assistant Principal Mike Pompa stopped into the class. He shared that he was just a year older than the students when the World Trade Center in Manhattan was attacked. “I was sitting in my social studies class just like you are now,” he told the students. “It was a frightening day.”

Mr. Ciancio concurred. He was teaching at John Jay Middle School. Just over thirty of the school’s students had a family member who was working in or near the Trade Towers. By the next day, September 12, they knew that all were safe.

“We tend to look at September 11 as an isolated event,” said Mr. Ciancio, “but the forces that set it into motion are ongoing. We will consider them in various ways during our studies this year.”