Project 1: 9/11

Approximate Lesson Length: 15-20 hours

Subject Line for Email: YourlastnamePr1911


Upon completion of this lesson the student will be able to:

  • Better understand the causes and events of September 11, 2001 on the American public and the world as a whole
  • Analyze and interpret information about the event and its repercussions

Lesson Links

Please click on any of the links below to take you to the specific section of the lesson.
SEC 1 Assignment
SEC 2 Evaluation
SEC 3 Labeling
Lesson Review



The September 11 attacks were a series of coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda upon the United States on September 11, 2001. On that morning, 19 Islamic terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners. The hijackers intentionally crashed two of the airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing everyone on board and many others working in the building. Both buildings collapsed within two hours, destroying at least two nearby buildings and damaging others. The hijackers crashed a third airliner into the Pentagon. The fourth plane crashed into a field near Pennsylvania, after some of its passengers and flight crew attempted to retake control of the plane, which the hijackers had redirected toward Washington, D.C. There are no survivors from any of the flights.

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You will research this important historical event, concentrating on its causes and repercussions for the U.S. and the world.

You will follow the procedure below to structure your project.

There are no texts for this course, so we will make extensive use of the Internet.

PROCEDURE: Start by saving the Planning Template from the course home page. Click on the tab at the top that contains your course outline, introductory lesson and planning template. Then, read through the project directions, and complete your plan to submit BEFORE continuing on your project. USE THE CHECKLIST in the link below TO BE SURE YOU HAVE COMPLETED EVERYTHING. Print or save it, and tick assignments off as you complete them. Put the time you spent on each part for your time log later.


Part A: Causes and Comparisons

1. The 9/11 attacks have been compared to the attack on Pearl Harbor in WWII. The sites below give some insight into the comparisons and contrasts between these two major American events:,13319,120133,00.html

As you read through these sites (or you can do your own search), with their various opinions, list the comparisons and contrasts made between the two events. Be sure to give the site credit for any information you use. Then, give your own analysis of whether Pearl and Harbor and 9/11 can be considered similar events, using the list as support.

2. After your response, provide some good photos of the Pearl Harbor bombing by copying and pasting them into your project. Be sure to put beneath the photos descriptions of what we are seeing. Also, provide a map of the area where Pearl Harbor is located.

3. So, what really caused 9/11? Were there outside forces at work far earlier than the attack itself? Was it an "inside" job as some Muslims, and others, believe? Let's take a look at some of the theories surrounding the causes of the attack:

Now, answer the following questions in full sentences:

1. What are some of main theories about the causes of 9/11?



2. Which theory seems MOST unrealistic, in your mind, and why?



3. What group does Osama Bin Laden claim was solely responsible for 9/11?



4. Some of the theories surrounding the causes of 9/11 are plausible but flawed, according to Peter Bergen in the first web site. Fill in the chart below with the main points of each theory:

Theory Main Points









Weak and failing states



The Saudis



The Clash of Civilizations




The death rattle of political Islam


5. Bergen goes on to give what he believes are the most credible explanations. Read through them, answering the True/False questions below:

1. Each explanation, in itself, could fully explain the cause of 9/11.

2. Al Queda definitely played a huge role in causing the tragedy.

3. Bin Laden blamed the "humiliation" felt by Muslims, and the negative effect of US policies in the middle east.

4. Bin Laden has never actually called for a Holy War against the U.S.

5. The American government's traditional support of Israel has fueled great resentment in the Arab world.

Part B: Actual Events

1. Perhaps the best way to actually "live" the events of 9/11 is through watching videos of it. There are many amateur videos that capture the shock and horror as the planes crashed into the World Trade Towers.

Google 9/11 videos and choose any three short videos to watch OR choose one or more of the following for three in all. Make brief notes on the information in point form.
Give the sites in your document.

2. Next, you will have a choice....any one of the following:

a. An imaginary interview between a "witness" or "9/11 survivor" and an investigative reporter. The interview will cover the sights, emotions, shock and aftermath of the actual event. This interview should be a minimum of 1.5 pages.

b. you can create a memorial power point or web site depicting photos of the event, along with full descriptions of what actually transpired. (you will, of course, do a search for this information). Your power point will have a minimum of 6-8 slides with photos and text. If you choose to create a web site, be sure to fill up the page.

Part C: Repercussions

1. We know that American society, and indeed the world, was changed by the events of that fateful day. But, how far-reaching were they? September 11, 2001 was perhaps the most important incident of first term of President George W. Bush and led to what he has called the Global War on Terrorism, or war against terrorism. The accuracy of describing it as a "war" and the political motivations and consequences are the topic of strenuous debate. The U.S. government increased military operations, economic measures and political pressure on groups it accused of being terrorists, as well as on governments and countries accused of sheltering them. October 2001 saw the first military action initiated by the U.S. Under this policy, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in order to remove the oppressive Taliban regime (which harbored al-Qaeda) and to capture Al-Qaeda forces. The invasion was supported by a large number of countries. Prior to the invasion, the Taliban had refused to hand over bin Laden without being shown evidence of his connection to the attacks. While the primary objective of capturing bin Laden failed for some time, the invasion did succeed in uprooting the extremely oppressive Taliban from power, enabling the implementation of a government cooperative and supportive in the search for bin Laden and the general "War on Terrorism". The invasion removed a safe haven and base of operations for al-Qaeda. The U.S. government has also asserted that the U.S. invasion of Iraq is connected to 9/11.

Because the attacks on the United States were judged to be within the parameters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO declared section 5 of the military alliance to be met, making the US war on terror the first time since its inception that NATO would actually participate in a "hot" war.

Go to the following site,,_2001_attacks and read about the changes to airport security. Make notes of the most radical changes, then answer the question: Do you believe these changes will prevent another attack? Why or why not?

Many see what they call "an erosion of civil liberties" because of Homeland Security's tightening of anti-terrorist laws, etc. Others see the Iraq War as a direct off-shoot of Bush's retaliation against Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan. Still others feel that the whole event opened the door to future acts of mass terrorism, biological warfare and destruction.

2. Now, go to the following site,,_2001_attacks#Security and read about the different effects on Security, Health, Hate Crimes, etc. Make point-form notes on the information.

Finish off this project with one of the following:

Choice One: In the same web site, Click on Conspiracy Theories, look at the graph and text, and write several paragraphs on: Who do you think was behind the terrorist attacks, and why?

Choice Two: Do a search for political cartoons on 9/11, and paste them into your document. Try to find at least two good ones, and beneath each, write the message you believe the cartoon is trying to convey.

3. Osama Bin Laden is now dead! Click on the link below for some notes, then answer the questions that follow:


1. How certain were the Americans that they had indeed killed Bin Laden? Do you feel that this percentage is enough to be certain?
2. What was the main reason that Bin Laden was buried at sea, according to the article? What are some other possible reasons why the US may have chosen this way to dispose of his remains?
3. According to the article, did Bin Laden make any show of resistance to being attacked? Who were also wounded/killed in the attack?
4. Who was involved in the gun battle, and where on his body was Bin Laden shot?
5. Do you feel that the Americans should have killed Bin Laden, or arrested him and put him on trial? Why do you feel this way?


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This assignment marked out of 100%.

Part A: /30

Part B: /30

Part C: /30

Bibliography /5

Time Log /5

Total: /100



This assignment will take you approximately 15-20 hours to complete. 



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Send in Your Assignment:

Post your project in the drop box in Moodle, email to me as an attachment, or scan to email, or drop it off at the office if you did things in hard copy. Don't forget a bibliography and time log (how much you spent on each part of the project).

  Please label the subject header that you attach to your document or picture as follows:

          Your last name + Pr.1911

  It is very important that you take the time and effort to complete this aspect of the assignment EXTREMELY CAREFULLY :)   Thank you!

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By the end of this project you will fully understand the impact of 9/11 on North American, and World, history.