30 Day Journal
Teachers:  Gerri Hajduk and Ed Hullender

Overview: The events of September 11th have truly shocked and amazed the American public. Students are bewildered and like the rest of America are trying to make sense of this national tragedy. This assignment attempts to help students understand and deal with the national disaster through the collection of primary sources, writing and reflecting. This project can be adapted to any local, state or national event-- for example natural disasters, 1996 Olympic bombing, Oklahoma bombing, or any local crisis.

Materials: Newspaper and magazine articles, political cartoons, photographs or other sources such as the Internet.

Time: Approximately fifteen minutes per day for thirty days.

Instructional Sequence:

  1. Students should collect primary source material from the newspapers, news magazines and the Internet.

  2. The document collected should contain examples of economic, political, military, diplomatic, editorials and human interest stories from the 30 day period.

  3. For each document , students should write a three to four sentence explanation of the article and three to four sentence personal reaction.

  4. At the end of the 30 day period, students write a reflection emphasizing their understanding of the events and consequences for the nation and themselves.

Evaluation: The following student products are assessed by the instructor:

  1. Variety and types of documents

  2. Summaries written

  3. A thorough analysis of the events in a reflective writing.

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