I begin this lesson by asking my students what do they want to be when they grow up? I give them an opportunity to share their responses as a whole group. Some students respond that they want to be a teacher, doctor, lawyer, soccer player, NFL player, etc. I explain to them that whatever their career aspirations are they need to prepare for them right now in 4th grade. Next, I have them to complete a KWHL chart about their career of interest - what they already know, what they want to know, how they will go about learning about the career, and what they learned (see attached KWHL chart resource).
I, then, explain to them that one of the primary goals of the Common Core State Standards is to prepare them to be college and career ready when they graduate from high school. The work that they do from kindergarten to 12th grade will do just that. What being college ready means is that when they graduate from high school they have gained the basic skills to go to college without the need for remediation courses or courses to help them get the basic skills in reading and math. When I say career ready, I mean that once they graduate from high school, they have the basic reading and math skills to go out and get a job that is sufficient to support them and their families.
Next, I show them a short Brainpop video on adulthood to help them know what to expect when they reach adulthood. (Click here to watch the Brainpop video on adulthood.) (Once video has played, teacher should click on "Take Quiz" in order to prepare for students to take the comprehension quiz at the close of the lesson.)
For this portion of the lesson, I have my scholars to complete a College and Career Exploration worksheet (see attached resource). The worksheet enables them to explore a particular career of interest to them, including the responsibilities of the job; the skills, training, and education required; what is a typical day like; typical salary range; employment outlook; related occupations; school subjects that would be helpful in preparing for this job; related college majors; three colleges that support these college majors; locations of these colleges; and the list of benefits and disadvantages of going to college in their hometown or in a different city.
To close the lesson, I encourage my students to finish their College and Career Exploration worksheet for homework, even if they have to interview someone in that particular job that they know. Next, I have my students to take the Brainpop quiz for the video on adulthood. We take and discuss the quiz as a whole group. As I facilitate the quiz, I get the students to show me their answers using sign language - a, b, c, d. (See the attached student work sample of the College and Career Exploration Worksheet.)