Henny Ray Abrams/AFP/Getty Images
From Terror to Hope

We bring you the story of a girl who was in school just a few blocks from the World Trade Center when the planes hit on September 11, 2001. A powerful personal essay about growing up Muslim in post 9/11 America follows the article.

By Kristin Lewis
From the September 2016 Issue

Learning Objective: to explain how the article’s title applies to both the article and the personal essay

Lexiles: 1010L, 820L
Other Key Skills: text structure, author’s craft, interpreting text, synthesis, key ideas, inference
Topic: History,

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Guiding Question

How can we find hope after tragedy?

Speech: George W. Bush

As a class, watch President George W. Bush’s remarks to the nation on the night of September 11, 2011.

Video: The September 11 “Survivor Tree”

Have students view this video of the “survivor tree” that withstood the attacks on the World Trade Center. Ask: What does the survivor tree symbolize for New York City? What does it symbolize for America?

Speech: President Obama

As a class, read the full version of President Obama’s speech on the 10th anniversary of September 11. (An exceerpt of the speech is included on page 9 of the article.)

Step-by-Step Lesson Plan

Close Reading, Critical Thinking, Skill Building


2. READING THE ARTICLE (35 minutes)

3. READING THE ESSAY (15 minutes)


Teaching Tough Topics: Helpful Guidelines for Teaching 9/11

Header icon Differentiated Writing Prompts
For On-Level Readers

Think about the title “From Terror to Hope.” Explain how the title relates to both the article and the essay above. Use text evidence to support your ideas.

For Struggling Readers

In a well-organized paragraph, describe how the title “From Terror to Hope” relates to the article. Use text evidence to support your answer.

For Advanced Readers

Discuss the effects of the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. Consider the effects on individuals, New York City, the United States, and the world. Support your ideas with details from “From Terror to Hope” and “Growing Up Muslim in Post 9/11 America.”

Literature Connection: Other texts that explore resilience

by Rudyard Kipling (poem)

A Long Walk to Water 
by Linda Sue Park (novel)

Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood  
by Ibtisam Barakat (memoir)