Where 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
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.
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