Lesson Plan: Cover Stories

Twin TowersTwin Towers (Grades 35)

1. Display or distribute copies of The New Yorker cover titled Twin Towers. Do not reveal the title to students.

2. Ask students to look at the cover. If possible, zoom in to focus on specific sections. 

3. Lead a guided inquiry by asking the following questions (note: follow-up questions are designed to get students to support their responses with observations). Record their observations on a smartboard or chart paper by category.
-  What: Describe what you see on this cover. What else do you notice?
-  What: What do you notice about the buildings? What else can you see?
-  Who: Do you recognize any of the buildings? Which ones? 
-  Where: Where does this take place? How can you tell? 
-  When: When was this cover made?   

4. Recap the recorded responses from students. Reveal the title of the cover to students — Twin Towers. Why do they think the artist chose that title? Ask if anyone can connect the title to an important event (you can remind students of the date the cover was made).

5. Share the following background information with students:

The Twin Towers were famous buildings in New York City that people from all over the world could recognize. On September 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked, or taken over, by 19 terrorists and flown into important American buildings. Two of those planes were flown into the Twin Towers. The damage caused both towers to collapse, or fall down. This forever changed the skyline of New York City.

6. Ask students, How does this cover help us to remember the Twin Towers? 

Image courtesy of The New Yorker © Condé Nast


Additional resources about the Twin Towers and memorialization:

9/11 Memorial & Museum: World Trade Center History
9/11 Memorials Registry: Memorials Around the World
Inside the Collection: Freedom New York