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Become a Special Agent for the FBI

Grade level:



This exercise will dispel popular misconceptions and help students understand how this governmental law enforcement agency really operates. Students will outline the duties and activities of FBI agents, outline FBI jurisdiction, and become familiar with the processes involved in an FBI investigation.


The students will:

I. Describe the circumstances surrounding the FBI's creation and the ways in which its responsibilities have changed over time.

II. Develop a report that outlines how one becomes an FBI Special Agent and what the duties of a Special Agent are.

III. Summarize a current news issue that falls under the purview of FBI investigation by describing how the FBI plays a role in the issue at hand.

IV. Use specific information on the FBI's roles as obtained from the FBI Web site.

Warm Up Activity (Anticipatory Set): How Does The FBI Fit In The Government?

Allow small groups of students to use the Internet to locate the department that contains the FBI.

Direct students to the White House Web site at Direct them to click on the Citizen's Interactive Handbook and then on "the President's cabinet" link. The Web address for this activity is

Students should click on the various cabinet departments until they find the one that answers each of the questions.

1) What is the title of the head of the FBI?
2) The head of the FBI has to answer to which government official (in other words, what is the position that is the boss of the head of the FBI)?
3) Who is the boss of the answer to Question Number 2?
4) In what branch of government is the FBI?
5) Why is the FBI a part of this branch of government?

Create a diagram that illustrates the position of the FBI in the Federal Government and include the heads of the departments you show in your diagram.

Main Activity (Instructional Input): Online Student Investigations

All of the student activities that involve Internet access can be found on the student worksheet at the end of the teacher information in this lesson.

A) Distribute worksheet packet to students. Instruct them to complete the sections you assign to them individually or in groups.
B) Review assigned sections with students when they have completed their research.

Wrap-Up Activity (Closure): Writing a Job Description

Have the students write a short job description of the position of FBI Special Agent. Instruct student to include the qualifications for the job, daily duties, and special activities or requirements the job entails. The writing sample should be one or two paragraphs long and should include some of the characteristics of the job students learned throughout the lesson. Students may also want to include an estimated starting salary for the position. Have students share their paragraphs with the class and compare to see if each student came up with similar or different job descriptions.

Reproducible student sheet for this exercise