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I could have died that day.

September 11, 2001

Monologues from Stuyvesant High School

Tuesday, September 11, started off like any other day at Stuyvesant High School, located only a few blocks away from the World Trade Center. The semester was just beginning, and the students, faculty, and staff were ready to begin a new year.

But within a few hours on that Tuesday morning, they would all share an experience that transformed their lives.

Now, on the tenth anniversary of September 11th, we remember those who were lost and those who were forced to witness this tragedy. Here, in their own words, are the firsthand stories of a day we will never forget.

Curriculet Details
49 Questions
55 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 9-10 grades, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining the link between the text with other real-life accounts, literary devices and the symbols included. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about speeches relating to September 11, 2001 and literary devices. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of contributors’ arguments/claims, sequence of events, and literary devices. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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FOREWORD by Anna Deavere Smith

The highlighted text contains an example of a simile. A simile compares two things using 'like' or 'as' to do so. In this sentence, the recording of history and making of art are being compared to the the large strokes of paint on a canvas. 
The MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art) is not only a well-known museum in New York City, its steps are a popular place for people to use to relax and hangout on. (This annotation contains an image)
According to Anna Deavere Smith, what makes the history told in this text so worthwhile and worthy of notice? 
Summarize the writer's highlighted words. What is the writer trying to convey with this explanation? Do you agree with her about this idea? Be sure to explain your answer and relate it to the world and your experiences. 


The image below is likely what the narrator is speaking of after exiting the subway. (This annotation contains an image)
The video below discusses personification. As you watch, consider how the highlighted text contains great examples of personification. Are flames truly able to leap? Do gashes feel anger? (This annotation contains a video)
According to the narrator, what made it so difficult for the students and staff of Stuyvesant to come back together after the attacks? 


Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently. Is there a word on this page you need to look up? 
The CNN article below chronicles the day's happenings in a broader sense. Although the document is quite long, scan through the timeline for a greater understanding of what happened (hourly) on September 11, 2001. (This annotation contains a link)
Much like the schools near the towers evacuated, so did other important buildings around the nation. According to the CNN article, what other building made this decision around 10:30 a.m., that day? 
For what reason did Stuyvesant remain closed to students, even after many New York City schools had reopened? 


The picture below is that of Air Force One. This plane is one that transports the President. This aircraft is a Boeing 747. According to whitehouse.gov, "Some features of this aircraft are the capability to refuel midair. Air Force One has unlimited range and can carry the President wherever he needs to travel. The onboard electronics are hardened to protect against an electromagnetic pulse, and Air Force One is equipped with advanced secure communications equipment, allowing the aircraft to function as a mobile command center in the event of an attack on the United States." (This annotation contains an image)
Make a conjecture as to the reason that the author has chosen to use punctuation so sparingly. What does this structural choice add to the piece? 
The video below includes several of the first news reports of the attacks. You will notice that the early reports did in fact say that the destruction was either from an explosion or a commuter plane. (This annotation contains a video)
According to the text, why was it so clear that terrorist activity was to blame for these attacks? 
According to an article on securitynewsdesk.com, "In emergency situations the body first initiates an adrenaline response and in high adrenaline situations the logical part of the brain switches off... When fear kicks in and the adrenaline response initiates then you are not well-prepared to make a quality decision". This article confirms this contributor's thoughts about rational thinking. 
Explore the difference between viewing the early news reports about the attacks (like many people around the world did on that day) and actually watching from New York City as the mayhem ensued. When considering your answer, take into account the early news reports from the annotation located a few pages back. 

Homework #12

At 7:59 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767, departed 14 minutes late from Logan International Airport in Boston. It's destination was Los Angeles. This plane was the first plane to hit a twin tower in NYC. At 8:14 a.m., United Airlines Flight 175, another Boeing 767, also departed from Logan International Airport in Boston. Its destination was also Los Angeles International Airport. With that in mind, neither of these planes could have been the flights that the speaker's friend's parents were on, unless they were already in Boston. 
What aspect of this story was needed in order to know for sure that the speaker's friend's parents were not on one of the planes that were a part of the terrorist acts? 
The video below briefly discusses the type of figurative language known as anaphora. As you watch, consider how anaphora has been used in this student's poem. (This annotation contains a video)
Choose the lines of text, from this part of the novel, that include anaphora. 
The picture below illustrates the scene of the terror attacks after 9/11. As you may notice, there is still smoke emanating out of the site, days later. (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #13

For what reason do you think that the author has chosen to introduce each contributor? What does this type of information add to each story? 
The highlighted text contains personification. A body does not have the ability to remember something; the mind does, though. Since this is true, the body in the text is being given the human quality of memory. 
Choose the option that best describes the personification used in the highlighted text. 

Homework #14

The video below provides a very brief example of a New York accent. In this video, the New York accent is being compared to a standard dialect. (This annotation contains a video)
Make a conjecture as to the reason that the author has decided to set-up this part of the poem in the way that she has. Poets deliberately place words, phrases, and punctuation in specific places. What is the impact of the placement of the highlighted text? 
It's interesting to learn that Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is not only Stuyvesant's sister school, but it is also one of the top-ranked secondary schools in the nation. In fact, Stuyvesant is on the US News rankings list, also.  

Homework #15

What is this first portion of Aleiya's poem about? 
Shea Stadium is the stadium that the New York Mets play baseball. (This annotation contains an image)
Which line from this poem best illustrates the statement below.Kids are capable of amazing things. 

Homework #16

"Catch a ride" is an idiom, which means (figuratively) to get a ride from someone. An idiom is a phrase that possesses a literal and figurative meaning. Idioms in different languages are phrases that are often understood by the native speakers of these languages because they are not easily understood by simply defining each word in the phrase. 
Before digital music, there was the Discman. They were not as compact and portable as the iPod (released in October of 2001) of today, but they played music portably. (This annotation contains an image)
Using what you have learned about this teacher, along with his actions, choose the option that best sums-up his most prominent personal quality. 

Homework #17

The large building in the middle of the picture below is Brooklyn Technical High School, which is located in Brooklyn, New York. This school was established in 1918. The 2012-2013 school year saw an enrollment of 5451 students. According to the US News Best High Schools Rankings, Brooklyn Tech was ranked #60 in 2014. This school, along with Stuyvesant is a high performing New York school. (This annotation contains an image)
What commonalities do you notice about the schools mentioned so far in this text? 
The Jehovah's Witnesses are a Christian denomination that boast a world following of 7.9 million. Jehovah's Witnesses are directed by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a group of elders in Brooklyn, New York. This group establishes all doctrines (a set of beliefs that are believed to be true) based on how they interpret the Bible. They believe that Jehovah is the only true God (unlike other Christians that believe in Christ) and the creator of all things. 
Quiz #1 

Homework #18

The video below discusses the Secret Service's job on September 11, 2001. (This annotation contains a video)
According to the annotation, what was the main purpose for putting President Bush onto Air Force One, on September 11, 2001? 

Homework #19

What does the addition of pictures add to the text? Why do you think that the author chose to include them in her text? 
The article below discusses, from a teacher's point of view, how life as a teacher is different because of the tragedies that have happened in and around schools in the United States. As you read, pay close attention to how she speaks about the way that she navigates her teaching life. (This annotation contains a link)
According to the article "How I Teach in a Climate of School Shootings," how has the life of a teacher changed in the wake of the many tragedies that have occurred in the United States, during this century? 
Often times, people are told not to let negative experiences define who they are. Do believe that this is a relevant argument? Do you think that the experience that the narrator attempted to move away from was one that she let plague her and define who she was? 
This contributor's piece possesses a very distinct shift in tone. At the beginning of the piece, the tone is fearful. During the second half of this piece, what is the tone? 

Homework #20

Beacon High School is located in Manhattan, New York. It is a school focused on the arts and technology. (This annotation contains an image)
What does this contributor's piece add to the text? Consider the author's purpose for including this piece. 

Homework #21

The video below discusses the difference between understatement and exaggeration. Please watch the first minute of this video, all the while considering which is being used in the highlighted text. (This annotation contains a link)
Analyze how Hudson's and Mr. Lopez's stories compare to one another. 
It's interesting to consider the speaker's state of mind during his recollection of the day's events. What does the highlighted text reveal about this person's personality? 
Note that the highlighted text contains anther idiom.  
Choose the literary device used in the highlighted text. 
On May 1, 2011, United States Navy Seals located and killed Osama bin Laden. In the video linked to this article, President Obama briefly discusses why this event should be celebrated by many. Please read this article, paying close attention to the references that are made to 9/11. (This annotation contains a link)
In what way does President Obama use the attacks on 9/11 as a motivation for the American people to think of the killing of bin Laden as an achievement? 
In the highlighted text, the contributor is using a metaphor to make a point about the state of her life. She is comparing her life's chaos to disconnected puzzle pieces. She is trying to say that she is trying to put her life back to the way it was or get it back on track. With that explanation in mind, think about how you would define the term 'metaphor.' 

Homework #22

The link below is a priceless artifact in Stuyvesant's 9/11 history. The Spectator is this high school's newspaper. Please scroll to the article titled "Pressure from Parents, Change of Plans." This article discusses Stuyvesant's decisions regarding the placement of students at Brooklyn Tech. While reading, pay close attention to the flaws related to sending Stuyvesant students to this new school and the remedies put into place. (This annotation has embedded rich content)
According to the article in The Spectator, how were the flaws in the original plan to send Stuyvesant kids to Tech remedied? 

Homework #23

It's interesting to learn that people were laughing about the early stages of this event. This is only the second time that a person has revealed this about people's reactions to the first plane hitting. 
What inference can be made as to the reason that people began to care about the events after someone threw a chair out of a window? Read between the lines, making a conjecture as to the real reason that this act made people stop and take notice. 

Homework #24

Why might the author have chosen to end this part of Haydee's poem with these words? 
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), "AIDS incidence increased rapidly through the 1980s, peaked in the early 1990s, and then declined... As of 1996, sharp declines were reported in AIDS incidence and deaths. From 1998 through June 2000, AIDS incidence and deaths leveled off, and AIDS prevalence continued to increase. Throughout the epidemic, approximately 85% of persons diagnosed with AIDS were aged 20--49 years." This is important to know and understand, with relation to this article because Haydee's mother most likely died from AIDS at the peak of this epidemic in the United States.  
St. John's is a private University, which is located in Queens, New York. It is located about 28 (driving) minutes away from Stuyvesant. (This annotation contains an image)
Choose the word that best describes the trait that is revealed about Hector in this passage. 

Homework #25

The Q train is also called Q Broadway Express. It is a rapid transit service in the B Division of the New York City Subway. It runs form Astoria to Coney Island. The logo for the musical Avenue Q uses the Q train's old logo. The picture below shows a new, digitized logo. (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz #2 
Very little of this poem touches on 9/11. Why do you think that the author chose to include this contributor's words/viewpoint into this text? 


What does the American flag symbolize for Mira? 
The mayor of NYC at the time of the attacks was Rudolph Giuliani. He was two blocks from the south tower, on Barclay Street, when smoke blurred his view. According to a New York Times article, "He would walk north two miles, pausing in the bay of a deserted fire station in Greenwich Village to call a television station and urge calm. Three hours later he stepped into a press conference with Gov. George E. Pataki." During this press conference, his main message was to let the public know that the goal was to save people's lives. (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #27

The link below provides the lyrics for "God Bless America." This song was composed by Irving Berlin, in 1918. While reading these lyrics, consider the reasons that people would choose this song to sing during this time in the nation's history. (This annotation contains a link)
Determine the aspects of "God Bless America" that make this song an apt anthem for the 9/11 attacks and the memories connected to this event. 
The camera that Max is describing is probably like the one below. Kodak disposable cameras are some of the most popular and well-known cameras of its kind. (This annotation contains an image)
The article below discusses the public's reaction to ads related to 9/11. Pay close attention to the differences of opinions amongst ad critics and consumers. (This annotation contains a link)
What aspect of Max's and Mira's tellings of the days following 9/11 provides a stark contrast between the two contributors' stories? 
The image below offers a definition and examples of a synonym. The word 'unidentified' is a synonym for the highlighted word 'anonymous.' (This annotation contains an image)
Using context clues, choose the option that offers the best synonym for the highlighted word. 
The link below provides a graph that charts Mayor Giuliani's approval rating during his time in office. Please read the annotations, then analyze the graph. (This annotation contains a link)
According to the graph, what event was most likely the tipping point that led to Giuliani's lowest approval percentage among New York residents. 

Homework #28

It's interesting to take notice that the title of this chapter is 'Tender Lovin'.' Usually, an author chooses to title a chapter based on a major event or main idea that is linked to that chapter. With that in mind, what is the main idea of this chapter? 
Please provide a sentence that correctly uses a synonym of the highlighted word. 

Homework #29

Choose the best explanation for the reason why the contributor/narrator would describe the highlighted event in the way she does. 
Does a plane truly have the ability to flatten a house, or is the speaker using exaggeration? 

Homework #30

What is the main idea conveyed in the first part of this poem? 
According to justice.gov, "The Drug Enforcement Administration was created by President Richard Nixon through an Executive Order in July 1973 in order to establish a single unified command to combat "an all-out global war on the drug menace." At its outset, DEA had 1,470 Special Agents and a budget of less than $75 million. Today, the DEA has nearly 5,000 Special Agents and a budget of $2.02 billion." 
What event/information from this chapter made the title 'Powerless' an apt title? 

Homework #31

The highlighted text contains a simile. The use of this literary device adds descriptive language and offers the reader insight into what the scene looked like. 
What event was the "worst thing that could happen" to the contributor? 
The highlighted text contains hyperbole (extreme exaggeration). The narrator is using exaggeration to make his point about the severity of his dislike for the situation. 
The picture below is Manhattan, New York at night. (This annotation contains an image)
The picture below was a part of an exhibition at the Miami Art Museum. This photo, which showcases the way ground zero looked at night, was taken by Joel Meyerowitz. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on the description of the city offered by the narrator, along with the picture in the annotation, choose the word that offers the best description of the mood of this portion of the poem. 

Homework #32

The article below recounts Franklin Delano Roosevelt's behavior after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. As you read this article, consider this poem's contributor and her description of grace during a catastrophic event. Did FDR act with grace? (This annotation contains a link)
According to the contributor's definition of grace, what actions by FDR, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, exemplify grace under pressure? 
According to New York Magazine, "Estimated units of blood donated to the New York Blood Center: 36,000." 
What literary element is used in the highlighted text? 

Homework #33

The school that the contributor is speaking about is Martin Luther King Jr. High School, which closed by the New York Department of Education, in 2005. It closed due to low enrollment, under performance of students, and a history of violence. In fact, in 2002, two tenth grade students were shot inside the school. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the main idea of this brief poem? 

Homework #34

The video below offers a trailer for the movie that the contributor of this poem is describing. As you watch, consider how movies have the ability to contribute to a person's paranoia. (This annotation contains a video)
What information from the text supports the idea that it could have taken later schedule teachers and students to adjust after the attacks? 
The annotation below contains an article from the Washington Post. In it, the author discusses the level of discrimination experienced by Muslim Americans since 9/11. While you read, consider how it would feel to be a Muslim American during post 9/11. (This annotation contains a link)
What is the main cause of Jennifer's worry? 

Homework #35

In the late 1970's, the skinhead movement became linked to white supremacy and gained a negative persona. 
During the first part of this poem, Mohammad discusses his fears, post 9/11. Summarize these fears, then make an inference as to the reason that the author chose to place his poem after Jennifer's. 

Homework #36

The highlighted text contains alliteration. The contributor/author has chosen to repeat the 't' sound at the beginning of successive sentences, clauses, or phrases. This is done to add emphasis to the words included and the meaning behind these words. 
Create a conjecture as to the reason that the text is set-up in the way that it is. 
The video below discusses symbolism. As you watch, consider the other instances of symbolism present in this text. (This annotation contains a video)
Analyze the symbolism present in Kern's words about the flag. What could he mean when he says, "[The wings are] both gone/but the flag is still waving." What could the flag symbolize? What could the act of waving symbolize? 
Quiz #3