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My Favorite Ways to Teach Primary Students About Careers

Teaching our youngest students about careers is important! "College and Career Ready" begins as early as Kindergarten. It's part of our job to expose students to the wide variety of paths their future might take so that they may have the chance to explore and begin to recognize their own preferences and aspirations. Most importantly, we need to instill in students that they can be ANYTHING they want to be when they grow up!

SO, I've rounded 7 up my favorite ways to incorporate the theme of careers and community helpers into the Kindergarten curriculum.

#1 Read, Read, Read! "The Measured Mom" has compiled a comprehensive list of over 100 read alouds and picture books all about community helpers. Be sure to check it out!

#2 Make Memorable Moments! Take photos of your students dressed up as their favorite career and/or holding signs and compile to make a class photo collage!

#3 Play and Explore! Provide lots of time to play and explore various careers with hands-on activities including dress up, toys, games, and roll-playing. I LOVE this idea from Meri Cherry for creating a community model with students out of recycled materials... would make a great on-going project for any career or community helper unit!

#4 College Roll-Call! Everyone wears a t-shirt from their Alma Mater. Students can join in the fun wearing t-shirts from their favorite university. Create a graph of staff members showing who attended where.

#5 Senior Portraits! Display pictures of teachers and staff in their caps and gowns... students love to look through the photos and guess who they are.  Everyone also gets a kick out of checking out old hair styles and fashion. LOL!

#6 Senior Walk! Each year the high school seniors walk the halls of our elementary (and middle) school in their caps and gowns. The young students cheer and high five the seniors as they line the halls. The seniors bring their K-12 journey full circle as they revisited their first school and hand out honorary diplomas to teachers and staff members who influenced them along the way. Every year it leaves me misty-eyed and proud of my once-babies who are all grown up.

#7 Turn to Technology! Bring the wide world of careers alive for your students by turning to the Internet! Search for virtual field trips, send emails to professionals around the world, watch videos about various careers, FaceTime workers for real-time contact. Better yet, create your own digital content with student-made presentations, photos, and videos! Check out this playlist of fun animated songs about professions from Storybots on YouTube!

Then head over to my Pinterest board dedicated to Career and Community Helper teaching ideas!

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