Lesson Plan: Cover Stories

Tourist (Grades 912)

1. Display or distribute copies of The New Yorker cover titled Tourist by Edward Sorel. Tell them that you are going to work together to discover how this cover connects to both 9/11 and today.

2. Ask students to look at the cover for one minute and write down what they notice on a sheet of paper. If working in small groups, ask students to look at the cover and share their observations.

3. Lead a guided inquiry by asking the following questions:
-  Where: Where does this take place? How can you tell?
-  Who: Who do you see? What makes you say that?
-  What: What is happening in this image? What are people doing? What makes you say that?
-  Why: Why do you think the reactions to the central figure are so different?

4. Review all student responses to questions and share the following background information with students:

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, U.S. citizens were deeply concerned about safety. As a result, the government increased law enforcement’s ability to investigate suspected terrorists by passing the USA PATRIOT Act and creating the Department of Homeland Security. After 9/11, many people had a hard time differentiating between Islam and Islamist-Extremism—the ways in which Muslims and Muslim Americans were perceived drastically changed after 9/11. Citizens were also encouraged to watch out for each other and be proactive to prevent another terrorist attack. For example, the “If you see something, say something” campaign became very prominent in post-9/11 life.

5. The title of this cover is Tourist by Edward Sorel. Ask: When was it published? (March 3, 2003)

6. What changed in the two years after 9/11? What point do you think the artist is making with this cover? (Responses may include concerns about security subsiding over time because people are not paying attention, or increased suspicion of people perceived to be Muslim.)

7. What role do you think U.S. citizens should play in preventing future terrorist attacks? Are there any positive or negative consequences to placing that responsibility in the hands of citizens?

Image courtesy of The New Yorker © Condé Nast


Additional resources on how the 9/11 attacks influenced changes to the FBI's counterterrorism approaches and operations:
Public Program: A Conversation with FBI Director Christopher Wray

- 16:45–18:08 (Christopher Wray explains how the threats the FBI are confronted with are shifting and how these changes in terrorist threats result in changes in approaches to security. How do ISIS and AQ terrorists present different types of challenges to identify and track?)

- 19:00–20:03 (Christopher Wray discusses the change in tasks and roles of the FBI, from 9/11 to current day.)

- 37:55–40:55 (Christopher Wray explains the differences between AQ and ISIS and how these two terrorist networks pose distinct threats to the FBI and the U.S.)