Oklahoma City has experienced a renaissance of sorts since the Oklahoma City Bombing. After the tragedy, the residents of Oklahoma City banded together and rebuilt with vigor. The city now enjoys a beautiful Bricktown area, a pro NBA team, a gorgeous music hall, and water sports on the Oklahoma River. Oklahoma City embodies the word “resilience,” and was even listed by National Geographic as one of their “Must-See” places in the world in 2015.

Lesson Summary

Students will read about the revitalization of Oklahoma City in the years following the bombing, then write a persuasive essay about how good can come from hardship.

  • Essential Questions: Can good come out of a bad situation? What makes a person or a community resilient?
  • Time frame: 1 class period
  • Grade level(s): 6-12
  • Subject(s): English, Social Studies, Oklahoma History

Materials Needed


  1. Ask students, “What is resilience? When is a time in your life you have had to show resilience?”
  2. Read handout, Resilience: the Revitalization of Oklahoma City.
  3. Post the following 2 statements:
  • Good came from the evil that occurred in the Oklahoma City bombing.
  • Good came despite the evil that occurred in the Oklahoma City bombing.
  1. Assessment: Briefly discuss the differences between the 2 statements, pointing out that there is only one word that is different. Students should choose the statement that they believe to be true and write a persuasive paragraph or essay to support their argument.

Oklahoma Standards

Oklahoma Academic Standards for Social Studies; Oklahoma History Content Standard 5:10; grades 9-12:

Cite specific textual and visual evidence to analyze the causes and effects of the domestic terrorist attack on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, including the responses of Oklahomans to the event, the concept of the “Oklahoma Standard” and the creation of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.

Oklahoma Academic Standards for English Language Arts Standard 6.3.W.3; grade 6

Students will clearly state an opinion supported with facts and details.

Oklahoma Academic Standards for English Language Arts Standard 3.W.3; grades 6-12

Writing for Argument: Students will introduce a claim and support with varying amounts of evidence depending on grade level.

National Standards

Common Core Standards for ELA; Writing #4; grades 6-12

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

National Council for the Social Studies 4.g; grades 6-12:

Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of individual development and identity, so that the learner can analyze a particular event to identify reasons individuals might respond to it in different ways.