Monday, February 29, 2016

Looking to the Future (Careers)

We spent the last few weeks learning about different careers in conjunction with our unit about communities.

Each student chose a career they wanted to learn more about; it wasn't necessarily what they wanted to be when they grow up, just what they might be interested in.  I only allowed one student to do each career.  I found a little "menu" of careers on Pinterest, it seems I didn't pin it and can't find it, but it was basically a table with 30 careers in it.  Each child was called over one at a time and able to choose a career to learn about; if they had their own idea that wasn't on this menu, they were certainly encouraged to learn about it.  Careers chosen include: author, illustrator, artist, actor/actress, dancer, musician, doctor, nurse, dentist, vet, investigator, chef, coach, teacher, news reporter, Dunkin Donuts worker, custodian, banker, librarian, pilot and counselor.  As a class, we learned about a police officer, fireman and mayor as we all attended presentations about these careers; I did not allow any students to then choose these careers.

My little "illustrator" teaching her group about drawing using a Steve Harpster video.  She interviewed him via e-mail.

I wanted this to be a "speaking and listening" experience as much as it was academic, so I set out to find people in these careers my students were interested in to interview.  This proved to be MUCH harder than I anticipated!  I used resources in the community I teach in as well as my church, blog buddies and the community I live in.  Facebook helped me connect with a few people as well.

In-person interview with the Children's Dept. librarian from our local library.
We came up with a list of 5 questions every child would ask: "What do you have to do to be a _____?" (background, interests, education), "Do you have to wear special clothes?" "Do you use special tools?"  "What do you do at your job?"  "Where do you do your job?"  For a few jobs, some of these were obvious (like the child who chose teacher obviously knows where many teachers do their jobs).    Students then got to work interviewing; we had FaceTime, phone, in-person and e-mail interviews.  For the e-mail interviews, I taped the kids asking the questions so they at least had the experience of asking.  I then went over the e-mailed responses with them as if I was being interviewed.

In the end, it took me about 3 weeks to get all the interviews complete. It was a crazy process; I do have a student teacher, which freed one of us up to be with each phone, FaceTime and in-person interview to be the "note taker" for the child.

After learning about their career, students then decided upon a short activity to do with their peers related to their career.  Each day, 4-5 students presented their careers.  I broke the rest of the class into groups, and these groups rotated to each of the day's presenters.  So, by the 4th rotation, the presenters had their ideas down pat.

The "coach" teaching his group to dribble.
The "investigator" fingerprinted each child in his group.
The "vet" showed her groups animal x-rays.
The "nurse" took each child's temperature.
The kids loved everything about this project!  It helped them learn about some new careers they had never heard of, and it gave them great practice talking to the peers as well as an adult.  After learning about all 21 careers, one student said to me "I have no idea what I want to do now!".  I asked him if he learned something new and found something else he might want to try.  He responded "Yes!" This is all I needed to make me want to do it all over again next year!

**If any of our friends who were interviewed see this, thanks so much for your help!

1 comment:

  1. Another FABULOUS lesson happened in Kindergarten and I am blessed to get to read about it! I LOVE this idea and so want to do it with my firsties!!! You never cease to amaze me!! xxoo
    Lucky Lucky Kinders!