In fourth grade we learned the relationship between success in school and future success in a career. Our students had a great time taking some job "tests" that I'm sure they'll bring home and try to trick their parents too! This is one of my favorite lessons to do because the students get caught off guard and often tricked by the cleverness. The lesson comes from "Puzzle Pieces" by Gwen Sitsch & Dian Senn.
I began by having students brainstorm a list of all the jobs and careers they could think of. I read a description of mystery job, leading students to the realization that they do currently have a job - a student!
We then talked about behavior and about how repeated patterns of behavior can become habits. Once a behavior becomes a habit, it can be difficult to break. I used examples of habits that we could have right now that would greatly affect us later in life in a career or occupation - being late, failing to complete a task, speaking disrespectfully to authority, or not getting along with peers.
Students then learned about 3 keys to being successful at any job through a series of "tests." The first test taught them about following directions. The second test reinforced concentrating. The third test emphasized thinking. You cannot always go with your first impulse when answering a questions or performing a task. Most times decisions require thought and concentration.
These ideas can help students not only in future careers but also in their current schoolwork. School is the practice field for most of life's experiences, and students in fourth grade are at an age where they begin to realize that everything they learn is relevant and applicable to everyday life.