Hands-on English current events activityfor ESL

September 2001 (latest update: Sept. 16, 2001)

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What we lost.
photo (c) Maia Cowan


What we'll always have.
photo (c) Maia Cowan

Photos Copyright © 2001 Maia Cowan


Dear Readers,
Here is a simple graphic that I hope you will find useful in talking with your students about the tragedy of September 11th in New York City.

You can use this just as food for thought. Or you can use it as a starting point to let your students tell you about what they have seen and heard, and what they think. To create a more extended writing exercise, ask the students to list all the things they can think of that we lost, and all the things that we still have. These two lists can form the basis of further discussion, then as a framework for an essay or even a poem.

The best advice when dealing with disturbing subjects in class, which we hear both from mental health professionals and from veteran teachers, is simply "let them talk." Don't impose your own ideas or impressions but rather give the students room to articulate their own thoughts accurately or to raise questions they have.

As always I am interested to hear what you and your students are doing in the classroom, and I welcome comments and teaching suggestions.--Anna Silliman, Editor.


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