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Objective: To teach students that each career or work situation offers both personal and material rewards and that they should consider both of these aspects when they are making their career choices
Grade Level: Grades 7 through 12
Time: Three class sessions, plus time outside the classroom for research
Materials: Chalkboard and chalk, paper and pencils, resources with occupational descriptions, summaries, and briefs (optional, and as available from the school counselor or library), currency such as play money or paper notes to use during the auction
Procedure: This career auction is designed to be conducted over a week and consists of three parts:
Getting Ready - Today's session will consist of the preliminary activities.
Tell students that each work situation (job) or career offers its own personal and material rewards, which are an important part of job satisfaction. Ask them to brainstorm a long list of occupations (50 to 60), and list the suggestions on the board.
Ask them to remove from that list occupations that are not typical to your region. (In Appalachia, for example, there are not many professional surfers.)
If any of these suggested occupations reflect gender-biased titles (such as fireman and policeman), change those titles to eliminate this bias (firefighter, police officer). The final list should consist of occupations found in your geographic region, with job titles free of gender bias.
Have each student select five occupations from the list that she/he might be interested in pursuing. Then give the students one week to research their five occupations and compile a list of personal and material rewards for each occupation. Give them the Examples of Occupational Rewards handout, which contains a list of some examples of occupational rewards as well as resources for conducting their research.
Have the class decide on
Distribute the currency and read aloud the following instructions:
All students will try to buy at public auction a selected occupation or occupations from the list posted on the board (or paper). Each career will go to the highest bidder. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to express, on the basis of what you buy, what you'd like to be. Bid on each item based on how important the personal and material rewards of the occupation are to you. Think before you buy. No refunds or exchanges will be allowed.
Allow a few minutes for them all to read the list on the board and write down the occupations they wish to bid on.
The auctioneer will then try to sell each occupation one at a time by telling the rest of the class about the personal and material rewards of each occupation. The auction ends when all of the students have spent their currency.
After the auction, discuss with the students what they learned about themselves and others from the occupations they bought.
The discussion can focus on the following points:
Have the students research regional occupations as a first step before they brainstorm the list of occupations to be auctioned.
Adapted from Exploring Work, WEEA Equity Resource Center, Newton, MA, 1996.
Examples of Occupational Rewards Handout
The above excerpt was from Raising the Grade, a curriculum about Title IX. It is available from WEEA in the Spring of 1998. Call 800-793-5076 to order.
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