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Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers and tape
  • Optional: Photos or items that represent your work

Preparation for Activity

  • Prepare to speak for one or two minutes about your current work or a job you have done in the past.
  • Optional: Gather photos of yourself at work, a tool you use in your work or something you made as part of your work.
  • Post several sheets of blank newsprint.

Description of Activity

Gather the children. Tell them the group's work today will be to learn about work. If you are employed at a job, tell the group about your work in general terms: your job title, where you do your work, your general duties, how you get to work, what kind of clothing you wear, and what tools or materials you use. If you do not currently hold a job, choose one or two past jobs to describe. Be sure to include one or two things that you enjoy(ed) about your work. Show and/or pass around any photos or work-related items you have brought.

Now ask the children to tell you about the jobs they do. Write these down as the children call them out. You may choose to have children call them out, "popcorn" style, or raise their hands. Children often hear from adults that their job is going to school, so expect this response. Prompt to help children broaden their thinking and reflect on their own work. Responsibilities for children this age might include care of siblings, a pet or house plants. Some may have jobs such as keeping track of their own borrowed library books or DVDs, cleaning their bedrooms or play areas or making their own breakfast or lunch.

You might ask:

  • Who here has chores you are asked to do at home?
  • What other things do you do to help at home, even if they are not assigned chores?
  • What's the difference between "fun" and "work?"
  • Can work be fun?
  • Can work be unpaid? Besides money, what is the difference between work we are paid to do and work we are not paid to do?

Ask one last time if the list of jobs is complete. Leave it posted for reference throughout the session.

Including All Participants

Repeat each item as you write it down so children who cannot read or see the material on the newsprint can participate fully.

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