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Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — West Elementary School fifth-grader and exhibit tour guide Brandon Johnson, 10, shows other students Sept. 11 projects Wednesday.
Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — West Elementary School fifth-grader and exhibit tour guide Brandon Johnson, 10, shows other students Sept. 11 projects Wednesday.

West Elementary students display 9/11 class projects

Published 12:01am Thursday, September 12, 2013

NATCHEZ — Tyrone Williams wasn’t alive when two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in 2001, but he knows it changed America forever.

The West Elementary School fifth grader proudly displayed a model Wednesday he made for a class project commemorating the anniversary of September 11.

“I know it was a very sad day because a lot of people who were in the twin towers or on the airplanes lost their family members or children that day,” Williams said pointing to his model, which featured two towers made of poster board. “Even though it was a sad day, in a way it brought everyone together all over the country.”

Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Johnson points to a photograph of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Johnson points to a photograph of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Williams’ teacher, Loran Scott, said she issued the project to the students only a few days after the new school year began.

“They’ve had to see these projects through from start to finish,” Scott said. “We’ve made maps of the United States, so they understand where the events occurred. We used certain vocabulary words related to the event, and the final part of the project was to create what they brought in (Wednesday).”

The students made replica models, a storyboards or a posters that depicted something from Sept. 11, 2001, as well as a brief summary explaining their project.

Davion Davis chose to make a poster for his project and drew the twin towers of the World Trade Center with a plane flying into one of the towers.

“When the plane hit the tower, it eventually collapsed and killed a lot of people,” Davis said as he explained his project to his fellow classmates. “It was a sad day.”

Other replica models scattered throughout the hallways of the school used everything from paper towel rolls to cotton balls colored in black to represent smoke rising from the towers.

Inside the classroom, other students watched a documentary of the events surrounding September 11, as well as the hunt for and eventual killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011.

“The entire school year is around United States history, so this is only one unit we’ll be doing this year,” Scott said. “When they do hands-on projects like this, it really helps the students not only learn the material but retain it and realize why it’s important.”