Monday, August 5, 2013

Planning for Careers Unit

What a fun summer this has been.  It's been relaxing, recharging, and full of new ideas for next year.  As I write, I'm dreaming of the Legends of Summer concert I'm attending with friends tomorrow evening...that's right, Justin and Jay-Z.  And me.
It's also been fun to host so many of my colleagues as guest bloggers this summer.  Today, I am sharing a post from the one-and-only Amanda Schreiber.  She is, in a word, amazing.  Amanda is my first go-to colleague when I need ANY idea, from a one day activity to leave for a sub, to an incredibly well-planned book club.  Her classroom is organized, colorful, and fun...just like her.  She is a curator of fonts, novels, and DVDs for which I am forever grateful.  Plus, after attending a summer wedding with her, she has some sa-weet dance moves.  What more could you want in a colleague?!

First and foremost, I want to thank Amy for letting me be a guest blogger! I’m truly excited to be posting on The Art of Teaching. You can also hop over and check out my blog My Shoe String Life. Thanks, Amy, for letting me blog with you!
Although, it’s only the end of July, I’m already thinking towards May of next year. I recently have been looking at our new calendars for Language Arts and Social Studies trying get back into “school mode.” We have a few changes to Social Studies this year and I know once I’m in a classroom with students, assignments, grading, and so on… I don’t have the luxury of always perusing the internet at great lengths to find quality materials. I make the time usually but I’m trying to use my time wisely this year. So, I thought I’d look into our newest unit, Careers. It’s going to be an end of the year “fun” unit in which we teach students about careers and personal finances. Students need to understand possible career choices, education and skills careers require, and how having a career can help with personal finances. Whew! That’s a lot to cover in May! Where to start?
I started with a Google search of Career videos and lesson plans! I hit the jackpot right away! The website has an entire section on jobs! You can access the site by clicking here. They have two different sites one for grades K-5 and one for “Teens” grades 6-8. I can’t make out the difference in videos. It appears my fifth graders could access either site. I don’t see a huge difference. On the site they have lists of jobs grouped by “subject” and then there are links to articles, videos, etc. that describe the career. They even have a video to get kids thinking called “What Do You Like?”  The website is SO user friendly and easy to use! Check out the screen shot below.

After checking out the introduction video, students could then watch videos based on their interest to help them narrow down several careers they might want to research. One of my favorite videos will hit home to a lot of my athletes, it’s on the career of a physical therapist. You can check out the video here on You Tube.

While googling, I found another website that also very informative. The website is called KnowItAll.Org. You can view real profiles of professions in certain careers. It’s great because you can pull up real people to get more information on specific careers. There are also videos for each career on this site as well! What wealth of authentic information! Here is an example of a profile from the site for a Dietitian.

Now what should students do with all this great information? I found a great unit plan on Teacher’s Notebook to help teachers and students organize all this great information! You can find the unit in My Book Boost’s shop or by clicking here.  The unit plan is structured so that students are able to see a list of careers, choose their top choices, and organize their research. There are also discussion questions and three reflection pages for students to complete after their initial research. At only $1.50 for the entire unit, it’s a steal and a time saver!
As the culminating activity, I’m hoping to have students create some sort of presentation about their favorite career. I was thinking of perhaps having a “career fair” sort of day so that we can get through all the presentations in one day. If students rotate, they can meet the Common Core’s speaking and listening standards by presenting their display to me and other students while also getting an opportunity to visit other students’ booths. I’m also hoping to involve some parents and hopefully get quite a few guest speakers to come in and talk about their personal careers as well. Good thing I have until May to pull this off!
Thank you, Amy, for allowing me to guest blog! I can’t wait to come back again!
What do you think? Does your school teach careers? Any lesson gems out there?
Thanks so much for reading my post!



  1. I love this, Amanda! I am so happy you plan ahead. The kids will be so engaged! If I only had an ounce of your energy...

  2. great post ! I think read on of the best post.....................thanks