(This unit was originally intended to span a ten-week period in a low average to average academically oriented eighth grade class. Reading levels would probably range from grade three to grade five. Several colleagues have suggested it would not be at all inappropriate for the unit to extend throughout the entire eighth grade year. The plans presented here reflect the basic ten-week course of study. Several ideas for extending the unit are also included. I hope that anyone using this unit will feel free to modify any plans discussed and add any new ideas for extending the program. The user should make every attempt to work with the unit in a comfortable manner.)
Week I. The World of Work—Awareness
Motivation and awareness are essential at the onset of the unit.
Students’ awareness of the working world will be inventoried through lists and discussions of occupations known to them through their families and acquaintances. The student himself will then list five occupations that he might want to work at sometime in his future. A slide presentation will be shown with an emphasis in the following discussion placed on career clusters and “invisible” jobs. The
Dictionary of Occupational Titles
will be circulated as a prime reference tool for the unit. The concept clusters and “invisible” jobs. The
Dictionary of Occupational Titles
of future-focused role-image will be introduced and students should begin to visualize themselves as contributing members of society.
: Examination of jobs more prominent in the past (ie. blacksmith). Jobs that may develop in the future (bionic repairman). Jobs in the media (What does Fonzie do?) Movies detailing occupations. Occupations in literature. Occupation in songs. Daily log of facts learned outside of school concerning occupations.
Weeks II—III. Reading Skills
All reading done in these weeks should be occupation-related. Job descriptions and advertisements for jobs will provide the fundamental basis of reading. Students will read material that will help them answer the guiding questions proposed in the thematic portion of the unit. Sources such as
All in A Day’s Work
Yellow Pages Career Library
will be used. A detailed examination and explication of the newspaper want ads will also be brought to the students’ attention. Vocabulary development through occupational, newspaper, and application jargon should also occur at this time.
: Book reports, book talks concerning people at work. Spelling and vocabulary lists for study from reading.
Weeks IV—VI. Writing Skills
These three weeks should be spent strengthening the necessary writing skills to be used in the future. A detailed examination of an application form and practice in completing such forms should begin this portion of the unit. Job applications from various companies should be introduced as well as applications to Eli Whitney Technical School and other private high schools. Social Security card applications and summer employment applications should also be introduced. Time should be spent discussing the purpose and importance of the resumé. Several types of resumés will be discussed and practice in writing these will follow. Students are urged to write and mail business letters to any organizations responsible for dispensing free occupational literature pertinent to their future-focused role-image.
Complete application and resumé packet for desired job.
Weeks VII—IX. Oral Communication
These three weeks are devoted to the importance of oral communication as a necessary tool for the future. Primarily, students will study the interviewing process. Students will gain experience as both the interviewer and the interviewee in role-playing sessions which eventually will be taped. Typical do’s and don’ts of interviews will be examined, and the importance of speaking clearly and coherently will become paramount. Body language in an interview will also be discussed.
: Guest speakers can be interviewed about their jobs. Videotaping of interviewing sessions role-played by students. Student talks about their job interests.
Week X. Summation
The last part of the unit is designed to allow students full license to reflect upon the work done in previous weeks. Students will openly discuss the job choice of their future and detail for the class the nature of their position, the educational requirements, the demand for the position, earnings, and any other special considerations involved in doing the job. Each student will also hand in a job information packet containing a sample job application, a description of the job applied for, a list of terms used on the job, a resumé, and a sample business letter, all of which have been compiled throughout the length of the unit.
: Examination of banking. Establishment of mini-society whereby students assume roles of occupational choices. Unionism and contractual agreements.
Lesson I—Job Awareness
This lesson would be best taught the first or second day of the unit as it will immediately call for student response and involvement which is one of the key ingredients for a successful unit.
Give each student a piece of paper and a pencil. On one side of the paper have students list the five jobs that they think they would most like to do in the future. (If a student does not have five occupational interests, two or three will suffice.) After students have completed this occupational inventory, have them turn the paper over and list the occupations of all their relatives and acquaintances using the person’s first name or initials as a check to guard against confusion. Allow students no more than ten minutes for this exercise.
Teacher: Today we are going to check our awareness of the different types of jobs known to us. First let us see how many of us know people who are doing the type of work we might want to do in the future. How Many of us know at least one person that is doing one of the jobs on our original list?
Allow time for discussion if any students do fall into this category. Make sure all students realize that their families and friends can be resources. After this discussion has progressed sufficiently list on the blackboard all the jobs from students’ second lists. An easy way to accomplish this would be to call for jobs beginning with the different letters of the alphabet so as to avoid repetition. At the end of the class or when all student lists have been exhausted count up the number of jobs on the blackboard and compare the total to the total number of entries in a resource such as the
Dictionary of Occupational Titles
. As a preparation for the next day, have students take their original list of five occupations and list one responsibility or task for each different job.
Lesson II. Oral Communication—Interview Techniques
This lesson should be done only after extensive training in interviewing has taken place. Secure a cassette recorder and ask for one volunteer from the class to participate in a role-playing exercise where the teacher is the employer and the student is the prospective employee. The role can be either a mythical occupation (bubble gum tester for Bazooka) or one in which the student is genuinely interested. At the conclusion of the interview have students comment about poise and character of the employee and employer. Point out different techniques in body language that may have occurred in the interview. Follow this discussion with a playback of the tape so the employee can hear himself and perhaps contribute a self-evaluation of his efforts. This lesson may be repeated several days and throughout the unit with students playing both roles.
Lesson III. Writing Skills—The Business Letter
Explain to students the many uses of a business letter: its value in applying for a job, a tool for praising and/or complaining about goods received, a request for information and/or products. Stress the importance of the six basic parts of the business letter: heading, inside address, salutation, body, closing, and signature. An overhead projector may be invaluable for this exercise as a tool to easily demonstrate some examples of business letters. One students seem to understand the mechanics of the business letter, pass out dittoes with the six parts labeled (see following example). Have students fill in the blocks of this outline by writing a letter to a mythical company in order to praise its products. As students receive more practice in writing business letters, eliminate the lines. Students eventually will write business letters on their own to real companies praising their products and to various organizations in search of free occupational literature.
A sample business letter form is detailed on the following page.
(1) Heading ____________________
____________________ (2) Inside Address
____________________ (3) Salutation
(5) Closing ____________________
(6) Signature ____________________