Lesson 3.8: Social Studies Connection

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He's a Winner

David Bates was the winner of the Weekly Reader American Values contest. The U.S. Army and the Pentagon sponsored the contest. Nearly 14,000 children in grades 3 through 6 had entered it.

Entering the contest meant writing an essay to answer this question: “Which of seven American values — loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, or courage — is the most important in your daily life?”

David chose selfless service as the most important. He said that he thought the other six values are all part of selfless service. “It is most important in my everyday life because it incorporates all the other values,” he wrote.

David, along with his parents and his brother Andrew, traveled from his home in Spanish Fork, Utah, to Washington, D.C., to get his prize. On November 11, he and his family attended the Veterans Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery.

The next day, David was made Honorary Mayor of the Pentagon. He toured the Pentagon, where he met Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers.

Word Wise

A quality or belief that is considered to be important: People who share the same values can become good friends.

Firm support and faithfulness: Buff's loyalty is unmatched by any other dog we have had.

Something that someone is supposed to do: Since I take violin lessons, it is my duty to practice every day.

Personal pride and integrity: Sarah works hard to live her life with honor.

Absolute honesty: After he found a lost wallet, he showed his integrity by returning it.

Bravery: It takes all my courage to stand up and speak in front of the class.

Include: An essay should incorporate everything that the writer thinks is important.

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David Bates got the title “Honorary Mayor of the Pentagon” for sharing his ideas about the U.S. Army's seven core values.

Write a few paragraphs about your own values. Which of the seven core values matters most to you? Use examples from your life to explain your thinking.

Data Hunt

The Pentagon is the headquarters of the U.S. government's Department of Defense. This includes the army, navy, air force, marines, and coast guard. The building itself is in the shape of a regular pentagon, having 5 equal sides.

Look at the table below. Use the data in the table to answer the questions. Then, write a question of your own using the Pentagon data. Challenge a classmate to answer your question.

Area of Pentagon building 29 acres
Area of center courtyard 5 acres
Parking capacity 8,770 vehicles
Length of each side 921 feet
Number of floors 5
Total length of corridors 17.5 miles
Rest rooms 284
Drinking fountains 691
Windows 7,754
  1. The Pentagon was built in 16 months by three crews of 5,000 workers each, working around the clock. How many workers was that?
  2. What is the perimeter of, or the distance all the way around, the Pentagon?
  3. Approximately 25,000 people work at the Pentagon. The building is split up into 5 sections. Suppose equal numbers of people work in each section. About how many work in each section?
  4. Before a section can be modernized, everyone who works there must move somewhere else in the Pentagon. Suppose approximately equal numbers of workers moved from one section into the other four sections. Then how many would be working in each of the other sections?