1. Topic-
Life at the Pentagon Before September 11, 2001 and Getting to Know the Department of Defense
2. Content-
This lesson will teach students about the Pentagon, the Department of Defense,and give a general sense of life at the Pentagon prior to September 11, 2001.

Key Vocabulary Terms:
Department of Defense
Secretary of Defense
3. Goals: Aims/Outcomes-
1.Describe the general purpose and structure of the Department of Defense

2. Identify the Pentagon as home to the Department of Defense

3. Know the approximate number of employees in the Pentagon
4. Objectives-
1. Articulate that civilian and military (men & women) work together in the Pentagon

2.Know that those who were attacked when the terrorists flew the plane into the Pentagon were vulnerable and unsuspecting of an attack

5. Materials and Aids-
Flip Chart Paper
6. Procedures/Methods-


Use a wordsplash to activate prior knowledge " "Department of Defense"

* Allow students 2 min to write everything they know about this term. Discuss.


1.Teach: the purpose and structure of the Department of Defense (DoD)

Purpose: the Pentagon is the headquarters for DOD.

Mission: DOD's mission is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of our country.

General Structure: 23,000 military and civilian employees and 3,000 non-defense support personnel work at the Pentagon.

Military Service Structure and History: all 4 branches of the US military are headquartered in the Pentagon:

Army, Navy, Marine Corps " all established in 1775.

Air Force " established in 1947.

The Department of Defense includes 1.4M active duty men and women, 718,000 civilians, and 1.1M in the Guard and Reserve. (Obviously, these don't all work in the Pentagon!)

Other: the Pentagon is the world's largest office building by floor area with almost 6,500,000 square feet.

2. Activity: students draw a chart of DOD., including the 4 service branches, military and civilian employees, and DOD. leadership (Sec Def)

Sec Def
Joint Chiefs of Military Depts (four)
Office of the Sec Def Staff

3. Teach: what is a typical work day in the Pentagon. This is what it was like on 9/11 and possible tasks people could have been doing:

Attend briefings

Attend meetings with Contractors

Participate in Video Teleconferences with people outside the Pentagon

Participate on conference calls

Run down to Pizza Hut

Answer questions from Members of Congress

Respond to the media

Prepare to testify before Congress

Stop at Starbucks for some coffee

Answer email

Make phone calls

Visit the Gym for a workout

5. Activity: make a list with students of various activities, routines, etc. of Pentagon employees. For example, people worked in:



Around conference tables

In cafeterias

At restaurants like McDonalds (the Pentagon has approximately 20 fast food places!)

At coffee shops like Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks

Behind computers

On telephones



Bank of America

Exercising at the Physical fitness center (POAC)

This Lesson Plan is available at (www.teacherjet.com)