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September 11 ESL Lesson Plan

September 11: Why We Remember

Student Level


Video Length: 3:23

Updated on: 09/08/2023

Lesson Time: 1–2 hrs.

1 Credit

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September 11 ESL Lesson Plan Description


This September 11 ESL lesson plan contains PDF worksheets, activities, and digital materials for upper intermediate B2 students. By the end of the lesson, students will understand and be able to express the significance of 9/11 and various perspectives and memories about it. Students will also be able to use the verbs say, tell, and talk to share stories and memories about other historical moments or personal moments.


This ESL lesson plan on September 11 starts by having students describe images showing memorials and tributes of 9/11. Students then have the opportunity to discuss some questions about the events and significance of 9/11 from their own perspectives. In addition, there are some paraphrased quotes from the video that students can assess. Students write a noun they think could fit each quote about remembering 9/11. Later, students can refer back to these sentences and compare their answers with the quotes from the people interviewed in the video.


Students engage in one more brief, preview discussion question about comparing 9/11 to other historical events or days. After that, students watch some short interviews of people sharing their perspectives about 9/11. In the video, there are a variety of different speakers, including a walking tour guide of the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. The speakers discuss the significance of remembering 9/11. In the viewing and listening activities, students listen for some key information from these interviews, as well as write the word they hear the speakers use in context. Students can then compare these answers with the quotes from the preview activity.


In the viewing follow-up, there are some discussion questions prepared for students to explore the video and the topic of September 11 in more detail. The lesson then moves on to an activity in which students use say, tell, and talk in the context of some quotes from the video. In the following exercise, students choose the verb (say, tell, or talk) that fits the usage rules based on the quotes from the prior exercise.


The final, communicative activity in this lesson has students choose a memorable, historical event (it can be something tragic or celebratory) and they must discuss some questions about this day, while also using the verbs say, tell, and talk in context. The other option is for students to think of a memorable or special day/event they have had in their lives, and do the same (use verbs say, tell, and talk in the context of it). This gives students the opportunity to discuss some significant and memorable days to them, while also reporting what others may have said, told them, or talk about on these days.

Benefits of using this September 11 ESL lesson Plan:

  • Emotional Expression: The topic can provide a safe space for students to express their thoughts and emotions about a sensitive subject, helping them process their feelings and learn to communicate about difficult topics.
  • Reflective Learning: This September 11 ESL lesson plan can encourage students to reflect on the impact of September 11 on individuals, communities, and nations, fostering a deeper understanding of history and society.
  • Cultural Awareness: This lesson on remembering September 11 can promote cultural awareness and sensitivity. Students can learn about the diverse backgrounds of those affected by the event and foster empathy.
  • Relevance: September 11 is a significant event in modern history. Teaching about it allows students to connect with real-world events and gain a deeper understanding of global issues.

Video Description

This video by the History channel covers a variety of perspectives on the significance of remembering September 11, right at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.

Lesson Activities


9/11 Events, Significance, Memories


Short Answers, Missing Information, Quote Check


9/11 Vocabulary, Quotes


Say, Tell, Talk (Usage & Differences)


Memorable Moments & Days, Quiz & Review, Lesson Reflection

Lesson Topics

9/11, September 11, Historical Moments, Tragic Events

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