When Deja first learns that they are focusing so much on history in school, she doesn’t understand why and thinks that history doesn’t affect her. Why should she have to know about it? As the story unfolds, Deja learns just how much historical events such as 9/11 impact her, her family, and her friends and classmates. For this activity, students will create a spider map that describes and illustrates the personal impact that September 11th had on characters in the book. Teachers may assign the characters or have students choose. The example provided includes Deja, Pop, Miss Garcia, Sabeen, and Ben.
Deja: Deja and her family have struggled financially for years because of her father’s inability to work due to the emotional and physical impact that 9/11 has left on him. Because of this, Deja’s mother is always at work and she must take care of her younger siblings.
Pop: Pop was in the North Tower when it collapsed. He lost many friends and colleagues, and feels tremendous guilt that he survived while others did not. He has headaches and breathing problems, and he is often too down to get out of bed.
Miss Garcia: Miss Garcia was in fifth grade in Manhattan on September 11th when the planes hit the towers. Her mother rushed to pick her up. She saw it first hand, and that is most likely why she is so passionate about teaching it.
Sabeen: Sabeen’s family is Muslim. They have experienced a lot of prejudiced and mistreatment since September 11th.
Ben: Ben’s father is in the military and fought in Afghanistan after September 11th. The experience changed him. His parents are now divorced and Ben rarely sees his father.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Objective: Create a spider map that describes the personal impact that September 11th had on characters in the story, Towers Falling.
Grade Level 4-6
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment IndividualCommon Core Standards
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