Patriot Day: Remembering the Heroes of 9/11 Lesson Plan

Share the importance of honoring those killed in the 9/11 attacks and remembering the Heroes of 9/11 with your students. Bring classrooms to life with MY HERO's Multimedia Resources and Lesson Plan for Teachers. Includes discussion guide and learning outcomes.

Patriot Day Lesson Plan
Credit: MY HERO

MY HERO recommends middle school and high school students view this animated film as a remembrance of September 11th. The film has a duration of 7:51 minutes and depicts September 11th events, in which the principle character is the wife of a New York firefighter. A beautiful, but sad film.

A touching animation following the wife of a firefighter during 9/11.

Credit: Vlash Droboniku

MY HERO recommends students view the film Cookie Girl in the Hot Zone about a young girl living in New York City and her effort to support the firefighters and other essential workers during the days after September 11th by baking cookies and handing them out. Appropriate for upper elementary, middle and high school students. 

Cookie Girl in the Hot Zone

Produced by:Skip Blumberg

A post-9/11 portrait of a young girl who baked and served cookies to the workers coming and going from the World Trade Center site. 

Read the story Emmy wrote in 4th grade about her Dad, Jeremy Glick, who was on Flight 93 on September 11th.  Then watch the film her 4th grade class made of their 'Call to Action' that honored Jeremy.

Do you know anyone who lost a family member on September 11th? How do they do honor their loved one? Share the story with MY HERO.

Jeremy Glick

By: Emmy from Saddle River

Jeremy Glick was a hero of Flight 93 and Emmy's beloved father.

Call to Action

Producer: Laura Nietzer

Kids take up activism in memory of a classmate's father, Jeremy Glick, who lost his life in the attack on 9/11.



Students read Mattie Stepanek's poem "For Our World" and consider the discussion questions.

Mattie Stepanek wrote the poem "For Our World" on September 11, 2001 as a call for calm, peace, acceptance and understanding. 

Mattie Stepanek: For Our World
Credit: Jim Hawkins

Students read one or all of the following stories and consider the discussion questions. 

Welles Crowther

By: Brooke Ellis

Welles Crowther, "the man in the red bandanna," was a volunteer firefighter who saved at least 18 lives on 9/11.

The Daffodil Project

By: Claudia Herrera Hudson

The Daffodil Project, through the generosity of B&K Bulbs in the Netherlands, brought hope to NYC after 9/11.

Harold Schapelhouman

By: Kaitlin from Brea

Harold Schapelhouman is a fire deputy chief who flew from California to the Twin Towers to help with relief efforts.

Read and Listen - Great for ESL Students

The story about Stephen Siller is available in text and audio. 

Stephen Siller: From The Tunnel to the Towers

By: Vincent from Manhasset

Stephen Siller was a firefighter who bravely sacrificed his life to save others on 9/11.


These short films reflect remarkable stories, emotions and heroism following the attack of 9/11 and are appropriate for middle and high school students. The featured content includes animation and a music video. MY HERO recommends that students watch one or both of the films and consider the discussion questions. 

Always a Family

Produced by:StoryCorps / Directed by: The Rauch Brothers

On September 11th, 2001, Michael Trinidad called Monique Ferrer from the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower to say one last goodbye.

9/11 Memorial: To Light

Produced by:Carolyn Downie

'To Light' is a music video tribute made for the opening of the new 9/11 Memorial in NYC.

Discussion Questions

1. Do you know anyone who helped after September 11th, or after a tragedy in their community? Share their story with MY HERO.

2. The Daffodil Project and the Tunnel to Towers Run are two ways people remember September 11th. What are other ways people honor the sacrifices made on 9/11, or on other anniversaries of tragedies? Does your community do anything? 

3. Do you know anyone who lived or worked in Tribeca or other areas near the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001? Interview them and share their story on MY HERO. 

4. Identify a service project you can participate in, create an action plan, get others involved and share your story with MY HERO. Consider creating a film of your efforts.

5. Mattie Stepanek wrote poems of peace and hope. What is your wish for peace? What do you hope for? Consider writing a poem and submitting it to MY HERO. 

6. Ask your parents, other family members or neighbors about their memory of September 11th, or memories of another disaster in their area, from anywhere in the world. 

Students analyze the artwork below.

How are the events of September 11th depicted?

Consider creating your own work of art honoring a hero from 9/11 or a service project in your community to submit to the MY HERO Gallery.

The Heroes Among Us

By: Barbara Shen

Cradling a loved one right after 9/11 makes for a powerful image.

I really admire firefighters because when everyone rushes away from danger, they face it with a brave heart, especially on September 11, 2001.

My Heroes--Firefighters, by Danielle from Los Angeles
Credit: Danielle Soloway of Taft High School

A tribute to the love Americans felt for each other and for the first responders after 9/11.

9/11 Memorial at Main Beach, Laguna Beach, by Doug Miller
Credit: Doug Miller


Outstanding essays submitted to MY HERO will be considered for a certificate/t-shirt prize or be featured on the Story Homepage.

Submit your artwork to be entered in the MY HERO art contest or to be exhibited on our Gallery Homepage.


Learning Outcomes

Students will develop a better understanding of the significance of the events of September 11th and the sacrifices made.

Students are are asked to think about past tragedies where they live and how their community came together.

Students are encouraged to identify and participate in a service project. 


Laura Nietzer

The Patriot Day lesson plan was created by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.

MY HERO Calendars for use in the Classroom

MY HERO's Teachers Calendar Features Lesson Plans and Multimedia Resources

Teachers Calendar
Credit: MY HERO

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom

Related Links and Resources

Teardrop 9/11 Memorial
Credit: Robert London, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

The Teardrop Memorial is a 10–story sculpture by Zurab Tsereteli was given to the United States as an official gift from the Russian government as a memorial to the victims of the September 11th attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. It is located in Bayonne, New Jersey. 

September 11th Digital Archive
Credit: 9/11 Digital Archive
Lesson Plan Resource for Service and Remembrance from 9/11 Tomorrow Together
Credit: 9/11 Tomorrow Together

9/11 Memorial and Museum
Credit: 9/11 Memorial and Museum
The Daffodil Project Website
Credit: New Yorkers for Parks

Students can share their Hero Essays, Films and Art through our Create Program

Organizer created on 7/31/2019 1:29:12 PM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 6/26/2023 1:39:00 PM by Laura Nietzer