Red highlights indicate the focus you will want to use in presenting the unit to create a smooth transition. Suggested Activities for an 18-week Career Class

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The learning activities have been written as stand-alone lesson plans. If you are teaching a career development class, you may want to use selected units in an order that supports the educational planning process. Below we have suggested a sequence of activities that will accomplish many of the learning objectives of a career education class. In some cases, we have listed options. The red highlights indicate the focus you will want to use in presenting the unit to create a smooth transition.

Suggested Activities for an 18-week Career Class
(approximately 54 class sessions of 50 minutes)

Self Knowledge



Learning about Ourselves

1 session

Students identify their own and one another's unique and shared characteristics. They give and receive positive peer feedback.
Sets tone for course - self-exploration, involvement, individualized


A Piece of the Puzzle

1 session

Students put together a puzzle containing words that relate to career self-knowledge, such as interests, values, and skills. When the puzzle is completed, they discuss reasons for considering all these factors when making career and educational choices. Following this, they take the IDEAS (TM) Assessment.
Introduces career assessment, particularly formal instruments. If your site does not license IDEAS, skip those steps and/or use an instrument you have.


The Party

2 sessions

Students participate in interview groups to determine one another's three-letter Holland codes.
Introduces informal career assessment, in this case a tool that acquaints students with the Holland codes.


Skills Match

3 sessions

Students complete the SKILLS self-assessment worksheet and enter their results into the SKILLS self-assessment in CIS. They print copies of their SKILLS information.
Completes the initial self knowledge activities with the SKILLS component of CIS.




Rainbow of Roles

2 sessions

Students use career concepts, interviews, and CIS Occupations information to understand that career development is a continuous process that is unique to each person's lifestyle and life role.
Introduces some tools of research while stressing the individual nature of career planning.


Occupations for Terry

1 session

Students demonstrate attitudes, behaviors, and skills that may contribute to gender bias and stereotyping by reviewing a fictional student's profile and recommending occupations.
Asks students to look at their own possible gender barriers before researching occupational categories for themselves.


Comparing Resources


Students will research occupations of choice using different career information resources. Students will complete worksheets analyzing how well the resources met their criteria. Students will "sell" their resource to the rest of the class, and the class will select their "resource of choice."


Television Jobs Match

3 sessions

Students complete an activity matching television characters with their occupations. They then list some of a selected character’s duties and responsibilities, based on what they see on television. Following this, students use CIS Occupations, CIS Military Employment, and other resources to obtain current and accurate occupation descriptions. They write a brief paper comparing and contrasting the information obtained from different sources.
Introduces students to the types of resources and topics of information available to them.


Experts Tell All

5 sessions

Students research occupational information and make group presentations using media-style interviews, panel presentations or another format specified by the teacher.
Provides opportunity for broad exploration of a variety of fields through the class presentations. Could be done in conjunction with informational interviews or job shadows.




Work, Family, and Lifestyle

3 sessions

Students learn about different theories (models) of work, family and lifestyles. Working groups, formed around each of the three models, research and defend their model. Class discussions focus on how individual perspectives on the roles of work and family affect lifestyles, thus learning that careers influence lifestyles.
Opens the decision-making units with a view of some of the important influences in one's career choices.


Bobilator 2


Students rank six occupation titles (fictional titles; real occupations) having no information about the occupation. They discuss the need for additional data. Pieces of information are given, and the students rank the titles again with each new information set. After learning the actual occupation titles and discussing the impact of current decisions on future choices, students complete an analysis of what they learned from the activity.


Getting What I Want


Students use Career Focus to determine which labor market characteristics are important to them and to learn how their career preferences are influenced by the nature of an occupation.


Introducing Career Focus

1 - 2 sessions

Students use Career Focus to determine which labor market characteristics are important to them and learn how characteristics influence career goals.
Provides an opportunity to look at the labor market in relation to personal preferences.


Prospective Hindsight

1 session

Students use forecast and hindsight as two decision-making methods to develop possibilities for their future. Students gain a greater understanding of the continuous changes in male or female roles.
Introduces two decision-making methods for students to use in considering their career goals.

Educational Planning



Relating Education to Careers

2 sessions

Students research knowledge, skills and abilities, and preparation required for five occupations from their SKILLS Top 30 Occupations list. They identify recommended high school classes and create diagrams to portray how their school classes contribute to preparation for each career.
Returning to their SKILLS results, or any other occupation list, asks students to look carefully at the connection between their career options and high school classes.


16 Keys to Self-Employment

4 sessions

Students review CIS Self-Employment, take the Interactive CIS Entrepreneurial Career Assessment, and then interview someone who is self-employed. They write a report summarizing specific characteristics necessary for successful self-employment and include a personal statement reflecting whether or not they see self-employment in their future.
Considers if self-employment is a career option and provides opportunity to link educational plans to the skills required.


Know What You Want . . . or You May Get What You Don't

1 session

Students develop and use a decision-making grid for selecting postsecondary schools.
Teaches the use of spreadsheets to evaluate options using criteria set by the students.


Managing Resources

2 sessions

Students discuss relocation and living on their own in relation to going to school or finding a job. Students compare budgets (income and expenses) for at least three postsecondary education options over the period it would take them to complete the programs. They also prepare a budget for living on their own after completion of their education or training.  A discussion is held on the long-term advantages of completing a postsecondary program versus not completing one.
Has students look at the costs and outcomes of postsecondary educational options. Consider using Financial Aid Sort (including tutorial) after this lesson.

Job Search



Where Do I Go from Here?

3 sessions

Students use a variety of resources to find information about job opportunities. Student groups report their findings to the class. A panel of guest speakers from employment services, the military, and college career/counseling services speak to the class describing their services to culminate the activity.
Overviews job search skills and resources.


Presenting Yourself Well on Paper

3 sessions

Students research and practice skills for completing applications and resumes. Students learn the different types of resume formats, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and develop a resume of their own using the resume content and style studied.
Teaches resume writing.


Presenting Yourself in Person

4 sessions

Students learn and practice proper interviewing behaviors. Students work in groups to conduct and record mock interviews using a video recorder. Review of recorded interviews help students learn and practice proper interview behaviors and style.
Develops interview skills and behaviors.


Positive Interactions


Students work in groups to role-play employer-employee conflict situations. They give feedback on other groups' presentations.


The Fishbowl

2 sessions

Students role-play an on-the-job conflict while being observed and videotaped. They discuss their own and others' behavior in these role-plays.
Provides practice in job-keeping skills.

Evaluation & Management



Lifelong Learning and Change

2 sessions

Students hypothesize how their own lifelong learning plan might look by comparing occupations and educational options and interviewing a working person.
Reinforces the need to continue education throughout one's life.


Designing Me

5 sessions

Students complete statements about themselves in several different ways. Using these statements and a chosen media, they create depictions of themselves and share them with the group. They identify some short-term goals from these depictions.
Concludes class with an activity that allows creativity and self-expression. Targets short-term goals.

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