Avatars at the Virtual Career Fair

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 6.44.14 PMWhere will YOU be in 2033? I will most likely be enjoying retirement, but my current 4th graders will be very busy professionals. As the culmination of our CareerSmarts unit, each 4th grader imagined  him/herself in a future career, wrote a script, and created an avatar who talked about his/her job. They did amazing work! You can read more about the CareerSmarts unit at Creating CareerSmarts, My Multiple Intelligences: The First Stop on the CareerSmarts Journey, CareerSmarts Task 2: Web-Based Career Exploration, Coordinating Career Day, and Kid-Created Career Trading Cards.

There were a few requirements for the project. First, the students had to choose a job that required at least a bachelor’s degree. In their scripts, they had to relate their career choice to interests that they currently have as fourth graders. They had to refer back to what they had learned about their own multiple intelligences earlier in the unit and describe how they use their three strongest multiple intelligences in their work. They had to tell about the degrees they earned and their college and graduate school majors. Finally, they had to say what they like about their jobs. Here’s an archivist who works for the National Zoo:

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The kids LOVED creating their avatars, and they worked diligently through several edits of their scripts. Every student, despite ability level, was able to participate. Some of them shone in ways I hadn’t seen before. I am so impressed with their work, which exceeded my expectations. The avatars enabled my students to demonstrate their learning (and gave me a great way to assess it!). In addition to meeting ASCA Career standards, this unit, and in particular the avatar project, addressed a number of the 4th grade Common Core standards in Writing and Speaking & Listening. ASCA and Common Core standards addressed are listed at Creating CareerSmarts

To make their avatars, the students used Voki Classroom. Voki is also available in a free version, but Voki Classroom, which costs about $30/year, provided more professional-looking characters and allowed me to manage student accounts. You can get a free 2-week trial to check it out (but if you don’t purposely cancel it when the free period is over, you will be charged) and I got 15 months (plus the free 2 weeks) for the price of 12 months when I signed up in May.

You can check out all the career avatars at the three (different) links below. The jobs include:

Group 1: Astronaut, Mathematician, Medical Illustrator, School Counselor, Second Grade Teacher, Dancer, Recreation Director, P.E. Teacher, Mechanical Engineer, Fiction Writer, Video Game Designer, Veterinarian 

Group 2: Musician, Special Agent & Criminal Investigator, Video Game Designer, Veterinarians, Architect, Pediatricians, Wildlife Biologist, Sales Account Managers, Actor & Acting Coach, Robotics Engineer, Police Officer, Artist, Sports Communication Director 

Group 3: Math and History Teacher, Video Game Designers, Project Manager, Archivists, Biomedical Engineers, Animal Control Officer, Chefs, Illustrator, Police Officers, Art Teacher, Veterinarian

Not everyone chose to include their employer, but those that did work at NASA, the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, the National Zoo, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Burton Snowboards, Nike, Mongoose Bikes, and, equally impressive, the Town of Hartford, Vermont.

I’m not sure where the school counselor below works, but I’m sure you’ll be able to find her at the ASCA National Conference in 2033. She’ll be the one presenting about Conflict Resolution. And possibly pushing me in a wheelchair.  

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Stay tuned! Now that it’s just about summer, I’ll be catching up on blogging and will share all the details about the lessons that led up to the career avatar project very soon. 

You might also be interested in: 

School Counselors, Meet the Common Core!  

Role Models – on Paper  

Goodbye Bully Machine, Hello Integrated Learning 

Revenge of SuperCounselor!


  1. Oh dear Rebecca … you do AmAzInG work! Thanks for sharing yet another incredible idea. I’ll bet your students are over-the-moon excited when they get to create with you!

  2. Hi Rebecca,
    I stumbled on this but wanted to comment on it. It looks like a great project to get the kids thinking about the future. I’m happy to see that they all wanted to work at something. I wondered why you made it a requirement that a Bachelor’s Degree was required for this? As an owner of an electrical construction and maintenance company I take a different view on this. We are lacking good,trained trades people in all of the trades, including ours. I believe part of the problem is that the trades are not always recognized by the schools as viable vocations nor given proper respect or consideration as a career path. A college degree is not necessarily required to be in the trades. Other forms of training such as Apprenticeship Schools and on the job training is required. Like everything else, the trades are becoming more and more technical and more training is required as time goes on. In VT. the Apprenticeship program is administered through the state and VTC. Students do receive college credits for successfully completing the program.
    Thank you for your efforts to get the kids thinking about their futures and please don’t take this as a slam to you program.
    Steven Richard

    • Hi Steven,
      I am glad to respond to your question about why I required kids to use careers that required a Bachelors degree or above for their avatar in the final CareerSmarts project. I know that jobs in the trades are rewarding, both financially and personally, and that many important careers require an Associates degree or technical education and I’m sure that a number of our students will pursue them. Certainly not every one of them will go on to complete a Bachelors program. This unit was their very first introduction to careers and they spent several session exploring many different careers that required a range of education and training, from certificate programs through professional and doctoral degrees. One of the goals of this unit was for kids to make a connection between their current learning efforts and habits and their futures. For many of these kids, this was the first time that they really gave any thought to college or why they would want to consider it. A good number of them come from families where going to college has not been the norm or even an option, and I want to make sure that all kids get exposure to many possibilities. I want these kids to imagine broadly and learn about careers they’ve never heard of, and to think about the value of taking on challenges in their education, both now and in the future. Some kids can have the tendency to quickly decide that they want to be out of school as quickly as possible, so I purposely set it up so that, for the final project, their avatar had to have a job that required a Bachelors degree. (This got in the way of a few dreams of “straight from high school to the NBA” too!) With more time I’d love to be able to introduce them to all the possibilities of technical education too, but know that they will get wider exposure to it in middle school through outreach from the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center. Thanks for your insightful comments. They are really helpful as I think about how to broaden my career exploration units in the future.



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