Paws in Jobland is a free, web-based program that allows students to explore a wide variety of careers in a fun and interactive way. I used this program with 1st – 4th graders, but it may be applicable to K and 5th graders as well.
First, I had my students click on “Job Finder” and take the 26 question “quiz.” This part of the program helps students figure out which career areas they may be interested in by asking them questions about their interests and abilities.
Once they finish the quiz, they are taken to “Jobland.” Each of the buildings in Jobland is assigned to a career category, for example, the school is called “Education and Training,” the town hall is called “Government and Public Administration,” and the police station is called “Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security.” Based on their answers to the “Job Finder” quiz, the program highlights which buildings, or career fields, would be most interesting to the student. When students click on a building and then on a specific career title, they can watch an interactive video that teaches them about the basic job requirements and daily life of an individual in that career.
As my 1st-2nd graders navigated through the videos, I asked them to draw a picture of the career that interests them the most on a handout that I provided to them. The 3rd and 4th graders filled out a worksheet that asks them to list and describe their top 3 career choices.
Once students have read about all of the careers that the program selected for them (based on their answers to the “Job Finder”), they can go back to the home screen and click on “Jobland.” In Jobland, they will be able to see ALL of the careers that the program offers.
Not only did the students really enjoy this activity AND learn a lot about the world of careers, but it was a GREAT way to integrate technology into my curriculum. Not to mention that it really impressed the parents, teachers, and principal! I overheard students talking about their future careers for weeks afterwards! I also provided this link on my school webpage so that students can share it with their parents.