Religious Response

This lesson goes along with the Religious Response Gallery.

Lesson Type(s) Grade(s) Description

Social-Emotional, Language Arts, Service, Social Studies

4th, 5th

Learn about the religious response to 9/11 and create something to encourage tolerance.

Activity Prep Materials Heart Badges


Paper, Pencils, Markers/Crayons, Art supplies/p>

Human Rights


EXPLAIN: Despite the fact that a mixed-up understanding of religion motivated the 9/11 terrorists, religious leaders around the world know that almost all religions call for peace. Also, many people find religion to be comforting when something bad happens. So they stepped up to respond to the events of 9/11 and to demonstrate that they loved and cared for people of other religions.

VISIT: Religious Response Gallery on the 9/11 Lesson website:


  • Is there a response that moved you? Why?
  • What are the similarities between each response? 
  • How would you want a religious leader to respond to something difficult that had just happened?
  • EXPLAIN: Today, you’re going to get the chance to call for tolerance and respect among people of different religions, just like religious leaders did after 9/11.
  • DEFINE: Tolerance: the ability to feel empathy for beliefs other than your own.



  • When and in what way have you seen tolerance?
  • When and in what way have you seen intolerance?
  • Are there times when people are more or less likely to show (in)tolerance? What are they?

EXPLAIN: We are each going to create an item to demonstrate and encourage tolerance. It may be a speech, a piece of art, a poem, a play/skit, or something else.

GROUP: students according to their preferred method.


  1. Consider an intolerance problem you know or see (or think about what you would have said after 9/11).
  2. Research to understand the problem a little better.
  3. Create your item.
  4. Share it with the class.


DISCUSS: How can tolerance help us see what we have in common, instead of our differences?