Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Guidance Lessons: Careers and the Media (6th grade)

By 6th grade, students should be starting to develop their interest in their future. One way to get them started is by asking them about what careers stick out in the media. This acknowledges that our students are interacting with what they see and what they choose to watch in the media. The goal of the following lesson is to help students think about what they see and what the role of careers plays in the shows and movies they watch. The below lesson also brings in the opportunity to develop research skills and public speaking skills.

Careers Portrayed by Robin Williams
Robin Williams has shown us many career options
including President, Wish Granter, and Psychologist!
Guidance Lesson: Careers and the Media

Age level: Grade 6
Grouping:  Seated at desks in classroom in standard format

Objectives: Educate participating 6th grade students on the variety of possibilities in the career world and what a career entails. Students will share information based on guiding questions to further explore careers that they have noticed portrayed by the media.

Rationale: Your school’s counseling staff desires to encourage the exploration of careers in order to foster a culture of achievement and aspiration in students. By learning to recognize and evaluate potential careers and by learning to identify careers of interest, the 6th grade participants can actively pursue additional knowledge on the subject area.
ASCA Standards Met:
C:A1.3 - Develop an awareness of personal abilities, skills, interests, and motivations.
C:A1.2 - Learn about the variety of traditional and nontraditional occupation.
C:B1.4 - Know the various ways in which occupations can be classified.
C:B1.5 - Use research and information resources to obtain career information.
C:B1.6 - Learn to use the internet to access career planning information.
C:B1.7 - Describe traditional and non-traditional occupations and how these relate to career choice.
C:B2.1 - Demonstrate awareness of the education and training needed to achieve career goals.
C:B2.5 - Maintain a career planning portfolio.
C:C1.1 - Understand the relationship between educational achievement and career success.
C:C2.3 - Learn to work cooperatively with others as a team member.

Materials Needed:
“Careers ‘n’ Stuff” PowerPoint (Get it here!)
Computer Access for students and presenter and availability of the following two websites:
Class whiteboard to use at will (e.g. brainstorming career list)
Guiding questions worksheet (Get the worksheet here)
Room set up - Student’s normal classroom or computer room

Lesson (30 to 35+ minutes):
Introduce self and purpose of the day’s lesson: Today we are exploring careers we notice portrayed in the media. After brainstorming what careers are out there, we will have the opportunity to research a bit more into the details within those careers. At the end, we will share either an interesting fact about the career or one way the reality of the career differs from how the media portrays that career.
                                                                            ∑ 1 to 3 minutes
Primary Content:
To start with, invite students to activate previous knowledge through the following prompts:
What actors/actresses do our students enjoy? What careers/jobs do they portray in their films or tv shows? What are careers are found in your favorite movies or tv shows?

While students brainstorm careers, add them to a list. This list will guide what students may research in the next section. [8 minutes]
The Mindy Project shows us a different insight into doctors!

Transition into the research activity (e.g. ground rules for computer use, hand out worksheet).
“Now that we have a list of careers we have noticed, let’s look more closely at what goes into those careers...” [2 minutes]
Discuss the guiding questions (presented on the ppt and worksheet)
  • What category does your chosen career fit into?
  • What level of education do you need to enter into your specific career?
  • What is the expected salary of this career?
  • What is one difference between the information you found and how the media portrays the specific career?
  • What is one interesting fact about your career?
Discuss categories of occupations - Each career can be described by one of these categories. Ask for examples of what careers come to mind for a couple of the categories.
Allow students time to find answers to the guiding questions for one of the careers that was suggested during the brainstorm activity. Provide examples of websites that may be helpful and circulate to better answer questions (two examples are already in the powerpoint). [12 minutes]
                                                                         ∑ 22 to 26 minutes
Examples of careers that can be found in 
“The Game Stands Tall” are teachers, coaches, and 
even potential football players!
Bring attention back to the class. Have students share either an interesting fact about the career they researched or one way it differs from how the media portrays that career.
Conclusion: “We have spent the last half hour discussing different career possibilities. You have shown that you can research careers and that you can identify how they may differ from their portrayal in the media. Before you leave, hand in your worksheets for your career planning portfolio. If you would like to meet with one of the counselors at another point to discuss career and/or planning options, you can schedule an appointment before you leave.” (If they want to schedule an appointment, distribute sign-up slips)
                                                                ∑ 30 to 35 minutes

Bill Murray also provides many career examples
Helpful Hints:
  • For a printable version of the lesson plan use this link
  • The list of Occupational Categories was found HERE! The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides more details about each category as well.
  • Going around the classroom and having students share about what they learned will alter depending on the size of the class. This lesson may potentially take up to a full class period.
  • To fill unused time in the class period, consider extending the allotted research time. Be sure to not allow so much time that the students become distracted or disinterested.
  • Some students may need some extra time or assistance to develop their research skills. Be sure to check for progress with all students.
  • If there is even more extra time, the facilitator of the lesson can encourage students to talk with adults they know about careers and job experience.
  • If you want to further explore and discuss the differences between how media portrayals differ from the reality of any specific career an additional resource is the following article:
  • And remember, it’s all about the kids. You got this!

Images retrieved from:

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