September 11th Reading Passage and Writing Prompts


If you are looking for a meaningful and age appropriate lesson for Patriot Day, this reading passage and comprehension set with photo analysis writing prompt activity is a great way to commemorate September 11th and open the doors to thought-provoking discussion with your upper elementary or middle school students.


Our teenagers were not yet born when the September 11th attacks occurred. These teaching materials are meant to shed light on this historical event while also providing a means for discussion through the analysis of primary source images.


Close Reading Passage & Comprehension Questions

This three page reading passage covers the events of the day, the role of the first responders, differences between 9/11 and the Pearl Harbor attacks, the response of the nation and more. I have recently updated this set to include both a paper and digital version. The digital version is set up in Google Slides with text boxes already prepared for student responses. Having both options is really helpful if you are teaching with a hybrid model or are needing to provide learning in an online setting.



Analyze the Artistic Work

After reading the passage and answering questions about the text, I provide a writing activity where students view an artistic work or photograph and analyze the artist's message. You could conduct this activity together and simply discuss, or have a student select one image to write about.



Step-By-Step Photo Analysis

In this activity, students will follow a step-by-step analysis sheet to look deeply and closely at a primary source image. This set includes 8 images, but I have my students choose just one image to focus on. They will follow the analysis steps to draw a conclusion or make an interpretation of the photo and must have evidence to validate their conclusion. Writing prompts are also included if you wish to have your students focus on one image and answer a thought-provoking question. This activity includes a historical context sheet, as well as a page of questions that can be used as writing prompts or for whole group discussion.


All of the materials shared have been updated to include a digital version in Google Slides. Text boxes are already set up for students to complete the work digitally.

To grab the resources shared click below:

September 11th Reading Passage & Photo Analysis BUNDLE

September 11th Reading Passage and Comphrension Questions

September 11th Photo Analysis Activity


For additional resources for discussing the September 11th attacks, check out this blog post with a list of books, as well as age appropriate resources by grade band for kindergarten through middle school.

Discussing 9/11 With Your Students