Career Lesson Series Part I – Job Portraits

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Even though my elementary and middle school students won’t be choosing a career any time soon, I want to make sure they get the tools and information they need to make that big decision one day. So, how do we encourage career exploration with younger students so that they can make informed choices as adults? I personally utilize classroom lessons, and today I will be sharing a career lesson I use with my 2nd grade classes.

Here is my planned schedule for the rest of this series {so you can anxiously await each post}:

Tuesday – 5th Grade Career Lesson: Personality and Career Choice

Wednesday – 6th Grade Career Lesson: Career Gender Stereotyping

Thursday – 7th Grade Career Lesson: Researching Careers

Friday – Career lessons borrowed from some of my favorite bloggers {the ones I use with 1st, 3rd, and 4th grade students}

Job Portraits: A 2nd Grade Career Lesson

I start all of my career lessons by asking the class what a career is and how a career is different from a job {i.e. careers typically require more education/training; careers are usually more long term; one can change jobs yet keep the same career, etc.}

Once that info is covered, I pass out blank paper and instruct the students to draw a portrait of themselves as what they want to be when they grow up. They are also encouraged to think of and draw any tools they mights need for that career {ex. doctor needs a stethoscope}. Here are some 2nd grade creations:



When everybody is done and has had the opportunity to show their creations to the class, I read the book When I Grow Up by Al Yankovic {yes, Weird Al wrote a children’s book, and it’s awesome}.

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In the story, the main character first tells his classmates that he wants to be a chef when he grow up, and then proceeds to list about a dozen other careers he wants, like tarantula shaver and chocolate mousse sculptor. The moral of the story is that kids do not have to choose a career, but rather they should explore many different possibilities. {My 2nd graders LOVE this book, btw.}

The students then turn their papers to the back and list any and every career they may be interested in. They have the chance to read their lists to the class, then we close out.

Career Lesson Series Part II: Personality and Career Choice

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