I don't know about you all, but Career exploration with my students is my favorite time of year!!! I love doing career development activities!! Helping and watching my students learn about themselves in personality assessments and learning about different careers. In my humble opinion, Career Development in elementary school is just as vital as career development in high school, because we lay the foundation!! Listed in this post, you will find a few of my favorite career development activities. I usually have time for 2 maybe 3 lesson per grade level for career exploration. Listed in this post, you will find a few of my favorite career development activities for First Grade:
When I start this lesson by telling the students that we are going to be exploring the world of work!! I ask them why they think it's important for them to have a job to kick start the conversation. I tell the class that I have a story about a first grader who was challenged to think about what she wanted to be when she grew up!! I then read the story: The World is My Playground, What Should I Be? By: Shandra Hall ( Yes!! That's Me!!) Followed by the activity, we talk about all the different things we can do in the world and then I have the students to think of 3-4 different things they want to be when they grow up, then draw AND write a sentence about it!! Below is the link to the book if you don't already have a copy!! I also included a link to the worksheet I created for this lesson!!
Lesson 2 follows a similar pattern. I read the book What Shoes Will You Wear? by Julia Cook, which talks about the different shoes people where when they do a certain job. While reading the book, we talk about the tools the person would use in the job described as well.
Another option for Lesson 2 is to do the Alphabet Careers activity. I usually do this as a group activity. I separate the students into small groups based on the alphabet (A-D, E-H, I-L etc) and have them brainstorm jobs that start with each letter they are assigned. The groups have to discuss what a person with that job does, what tools they need to do their job and what their work clothes would look like. After the discussion, the students each pick one and they have to create a page with the listed information described above. Because this is a long lesson, we usually do this over 2 periods. I bind the books for each homeroom and let them keep them in the classroom for future use. The amount of letters you give each group is determined by the number students you have in your class, so it helps to have this determined before you go to do your lesson. The students must write a descriptive sentence and have detailed picture for the their assigned alphabet.
As a culminating activity, I like to have a "Career Day" where students can dress in what they want to be when they grow up! This is usually school wide, but this past school year only our First Graders participated.