5 Patriot Day Read-Alouds

What do you do for Patriot Day?

Like other historic events in US history, it is important to teach about the history behind Patriot Day with accuracy and sensitivity. September 11, 2001, forever changed the United States. Americans from various walks of life became heroes and patriots that day, performing extraordinary acts to help others. Some of us lived through the attacks in real time. For our students, however, this day is a historic event that happened before they were born. Some may have personal connections through family members. Others have only read about it in books or heard about it on the news. So how do you teach the importance of this event?

Use read-alouds to teach students about Patriot Day.

With that in mind, I have this quick list of read-alouds that you can use for upper-elementary students for Patriot Day. You can use read-alouds in a variety of ways. The class might use a read-aloud for a morning starter. This is especially helpful if you are looking at introducing the class to Patriot Day activities. You can select these titles and others for your classroom library and allow students to select what they are interested in as a free read. Or, create some comprehension questions for students to answer from a choice read. Students could also have an exploratory activity. Offer a selection of books to read independently or as a group and have students share what they learned. Students then think about what was meaningful to them rather than answering a worksheet. The possibilities with read-alouds are really endless! 

If you’re looking for a succinct activity for Patriot Day that pairs well with read-alouds, be sure to check out my Patriot Day Flipbook activity. Read on for some of my favorite Patriot Day read-aloud suggestions.

Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of John J. Harvey by Maira Kalman

Highlighting the everyday heroes of the September 11th attacks, this is a beautiful story of a fireboat that served for 60 years prior that steps in to help save many people following the attacks.

America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell by Don Brown

The watercolor illustrations in this picture book display the graphic destruction, as well as the human emotions that were felt by all. Real-life accounts tell the events of the attack on the World Trade Center in chronological order.

Ground Zero by Alan Gratz

This novel takes the perspective of two children impacted by 9/11. One perspective focuses on the terrorism at Ground Zero. The second perspective is the aftermath in Afghanistan.

Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin

In this story, four middle schoolers from different parts of the United States share about their lives before, during, and after the 9/11 attacks. 

Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Fifth-grader Deja learns about the towers falling 15 years later and how the events of September 11th affected all communities. 

If you’re looking for a resource that will provide students with a variety of activities related to understanding and remembering September 11th and honoring heroes of that day, I have this flipbook resource you can use with this list of book suggestions for upper-elementary students. 

The flipbook activity features a cover page, informational paragraph, acrostic poem activity, brainstorming sheets, comprehension questions and timeline, informational passage, and a coloring page. There’s a color and black and white version for printing, and answer keys for teachers. 

Click HERE or the button below to check it out!

Patriot Day Flipbook with September 11th Reading Comprehension

What other read-alouds do you like using for Patriot Day? Do you have activities that work well with younger students? How do you commemorate this historic event in your classroom? I love finding new activities and ideas to share with my students. Be sure to add to the teacher community with your favorite ideas!

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