Teacher: Gail Frydkowski & Zach Rothman-Hicks
School: High School for Health Professions & Human Services, NY
Principal: Robert Gentile
Foundation: The Brooke Jackman Foundation
Ms. Frydkowski and Mr. Rothman-Hicks asked their language arts students to identify a “defining moment” in their own lives. The teachers used this to explain how 9/11 was a global defining moment for many generations and is now identified by some people as a “Day of Infamy.”
After discussing the events and facts of that day and creating biographies about individuals or groups that were affected, students focused on the humanitarian efforts that followed. Students were asked to think about their personal responses to this world-changing day. Finally, the teachers tied these topics together through the theme of memorialization. Students each created a memorial art piece about the victim or group they had studied previously in their biographies. Art pieces were displayed in a “gallery” and ranged from photography, to drawings, to poetry, to song playlists.
This project encompassed seven class periods and utilized statistics, literature, film, oral histories, and music in the class discussions. As the school is located in a neighborhood that was directly affected by 9/11, this project was of strong interest to the students. One reflected: “[Learning about 9/11] made us stronger…and made us appreciate what we have in life. This class made me realize the importance of love.”