The following are various career resources that can easily be integrated into the elementary curriculum. Just click on the underlined titles to access more information.
In addition, we would like to thank the following group of Southern Methodist University graduate students in a counseling program for classifying these resources into the appropriate elementary grade level, as well as providing further explanation of the resources: Melissa Berger, Veronica Bangs, Lauren Fleschler, Tyler Harding, Cynthia Payne, Yahaira Rodriguez, and Kathleen Riojas.
Pre-K through Elementary (some beyond):
All Terrain Brain (3rd thru 6th Grade) -- This site provides definitions for new vocabulary in a fun, interactive game environment. The design of the site may intrigue younger students rather than the 6th graders on the spectrum. Content is appropriate for intermediate elementary because of the vocabulary and amount of reading involved.
American Society for Civil Engineers (4th thru 6th Grade) -- This site provides lots of definitions describing architectural structures of buildings, bridges, etc. Great for older students interested in engineering to explore the "why" in how buildings are built. Younger students may have difficulty manuevering several of the games and activities. Younger students may also struggle with the vocabulary and reading the definitions provided on this site.
Astro-Venture (5th & 6th Grade, or older) -- NASA interactive website that allows students to explore different areas of science through training and then a mission. Great for exploring various interests in science and various careers in NASA.
Believing the College Dream (4th thru 6th Grade) -- This website encourages college exploration beginning in 4th grade. The program is comprised of comprehensive lessons that build upon each other and encourage college aspirations.
BizKid$ (3rd thrugh 6th Grade) -- This site provides an interactive game that explains business vocabulary in more kid-friendly terms. Students make career decisions to save, earn interest, and move to each level. They are also given advice from other characters in the game. Complexity of the game and vocabulary may be more applicable for older elementary students.
Bizzy Bees Working Together Game (K thru 1st Grade & 4th thru 6th Grade) -- Students can explore a variety of career options based on interest inventories. Provides a 30-day free trial of the program. Two curriculum options on this site targeting the grade levels listed above. Cost is $11.95-$39.95 depending on what you purchase.
Career Aisle (K thru 6th Grade) -- This site provides career awareness through the 16 career clusters and video examples of what each profession may do. This site has coloring pages applicable for younger grades and in-depth videos using real people in the industry that are more applicable for older elementary students.
Careers Are Everywhere! Activity Workbook (K thru 6th Grade) -- This activity book can begin as a coloring book with various career options available and evolve into a mature career awareness piece for older grades. Students are asked to explore themselves and attempt tasks such as writing their first resume.
Career Awareness Lesson Activities for Elementary Students (1st thru 5th Grade) -- This site provides a systematic planning guide for each of the 16 career clusters and assigned corresponding grade levels. This site also provides lesson plans and activities for each of the clusters depending on the assigned grade level for which it is intended. The curriculum is developmentally appropriate for each grade level.
Career Awareness Lessons (3rd Grade) -- At this site, there are two career awareness lessons that you are able to download. Lesson #1 is about introducing the students to the concept of careers, gender stereotypes and careers, and tools and uniforms needed for careers. This lesson wets their appetite for all types of careers that are available in the community. Also, this lesson lends itself to exploring gender equity and access. In Lesson #2, is about types of education and training needed for careers and being able to to gather helpful information about careers from adult family members and family friends.
Career Bingo (K thru 3rd Grade) -- This BINGO activity helps students become familiar with careers related to agriculture. They can match careers with definition of jobs. It also provides discussion questions, as well as other related activities, to help students learn even more about these careers.
Career Day Activity Packet (2nd thru 5th Grade) -- This 33 page packet includes everything you need to host a successful and inspiring Career Day. It contains a letter to parents, an art activity about chosen careers, Show and Tell, a word search, a graphic organizer to use when researching a career, a crossword puzzle, a My First Resume sheet, a My Family's Career Tree sheet, a Career Day version of the game of I Have...Who Has that contains 27 cards, and many more activities as well as a list of resources, videos, and songs. The cost is $5.99.
Career Exploration (5th & 6th Grade) -- This site provides several elementary lessons and ideas by an elementary school counselor to help students see the value of work and understand the importance of exploring careers that match their interests, skills, and personality.
Career Exploration for Younger Students (K thru 5th Grade) -- This site provides a variety of career resources that are organized based on activities and desired objectives, such as career guides and activities for kids. elementary career curriculum guides, career coloring books, and so much more.
Career Game Explorer Edition (3rd thru 6th Grade) -- This site provides numerous tools to help students connect their interests to their personality and then to possible careers. Explorer begins by asking questions that help students recognize the thoughts, feelings and events that hold clues to their future. Includes a series of color-coded activities designed to identify individual personality types based on the Holland codes. Cost is $1.59 per student for 30-99 students, and the cost is less for 100 or more students.
Career Guidance Blueprint: (K thru 6th Grade) -- This site provides various career education lessons for students to better help them understand the value of work and the importance of their education in reaching their future career goals. All of the links on this site are downloadable pdf documents of these lessons related to each grade level and to the career guidance standards in Idaho.
Career Hangman (1st thru 5th Grade) -- On this site, a student can guess the letters in a hidden word or phrase relating to career education.
Career Heroes (3rd & 4th Grade) -- This is a set of career education tools designed around the theme of popular trading card games. The goal of Career Heroes is to introduce 3rd and 4th graders to the concept of career planning and teach them the basics of using career information. Career Heroes consists of a career awareness workbook and teacher’s guide with additional classroom activities.
Career Investigation (5th thru 8th Grade) -- Published by the Texas Workforce Commission, this resource encourages middle school/junior high students to “Explore Your Options” in an interesting, user-friendly, motivating approach, presented in a magazine circular format.
Career Jeopardy Games (1st thru 5th Grade) -- The goal of the Elementary Career Jeopardy Games is to create career awareness. The games are designed to be facilitated by a teacher in a classroom setting with the entire class participating.
Career Portfolio Project Bundle (5th Grade) -- This career lesson bundle includes 4 main resources for teaching the 5th Grade Career Portfolio Project OR any career report project! Cost is $4.50 to download.
Career Town (K thru 5th Grade) -- This is an interactive game for students that has three levels to help students learn about jobs on each level. The Career Town has an educators guide for each "level' of the game. The educators guide has ideas of how you can utilize the game to meet standards and includes ideas for extension activities.
Career VIEW (K thru 5th Grade) -- This site provides elementary career worksheets/lessons, activities, and more for each grade level.
Catch the Bug—Career Awareness for Elementary Students (2nd thru 4th Grade) -- Meet Caleb, the career bug! Just like his antennae makes him aware of things around him, he’ll help students develop “career antennae” for discovering the thousands of career opportunities in our big world! Let’s go!
Career Aware I and Career Aware II
CIA KidsZone (K thru 5th Grade) -- This website helps students understand what the Central Intelligence Agency does and how they do it. It provides links to help students learn about the CIA, the various jobs available in the CIA, and how to become a CIA expert. It also provides fun stories and games.
Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do (Pre-K-2nd Grade) -- In this lively, rhyming picture book young children use clothesline clues to explore the jobs people do! But watch for other clues, too, and see how all these people come together at the end. Cost is $6.99 for the paperback. Read a review and find extensions activities by clicking here.
Early Start Career Series (1st thru 5th Grade) -- The Early Start Career Series Instructor's Manual provides teachers and other adults with lesson plans and additional resources for using My Career Adventure, People at Work, and the JIST software Mission: Careers. Erik Orndorff has written an outstanding manual that is easy to use and inspiring for anyone who is challenged to introduce children to career-related concepts, develop their character, and strengthen their understanding of the relationship between education and careers. Cost is $26.95.
Elementary Career Development Lessons (K thru 6th Grade)-- These lessons are designed as activities that can be used in the classroom to help with student career development. Each activity contains the National Career Development Guideline that it meets, the intended grade level and relevant school subject area.
Elementary: Career Counseling (Pinterest) (K thru 5th Grade) -- Large group ideas to promote & enhance career development for elementary age children.
Energy Kids (1st thru 5th Grade) -- This site provides great information about energy, careers in energy, and fun games and activities, such as science fair experiments, for students to see and learn from. A teacher's guide is provided for guiding students on this site.
Exercise Your Mind (3rd thru 5th Grade) -- This is a career activity book for elementary students. It provides 22 activities on career exploration, seven activities on student development, two activities on critical thinking/logic, and one activity on financial literacy.
Exploring Career Clusters in Elementary Toolkit (K thru 3rd Grade) -- This toolkit focuses on introducing career clusters to younger students. The resources inthis toolkit are designed to promote fun, interactive ways to learn about career clusters at the elementary level.
Family Tree of Careers (2nd thru 4th Grade) -- This printable tree diagram includes places for children to document the careers of various relatives as they conduct an interview with one or more family members. It can be used as a fun, meaningful, and beneficial aspect of the process of children’s exploration of the work world.
FBI Kids Page -- (K thru 5th Grade) -- This site is designed for students to learn more about the FBI through age-appropriate games, tips, stories, and interactives. They also introduce students to their working dogs and show how FBI special agents and analysts investigate cases.
Get Ready Curriculum & Lessons (5th Grade) -- This site includes a workbook titled, "What Will I Be?," about goal setting and self-esteem, and ties skills and interests to career choices.
KAPOW: Kids and the Power of Work (1st thru 6th Grade) -- The curriculum has eight lessons, each of which features a work-related concept. The lessons are interactive, educational, hands-on and FUN! This curriculum has been developed by professional writers, with teachers and program volunteers as consultants. You can be assured that the material is age-appropriate as well as educationally sound and up-to-date. Career awareness can be built into every aspect of students’ lives -home, school, hobbies, and community activities. The Bibliography and Cross- curriculumConnections in each lesson give suggestions for connecting career themes to other subject areas and for expanding career awareness. Between lessons and the volunteer’s visits to the classroom, teachers can reinforce the KAPOW work themes.
Kids.gov—Career Awareness Videos (K thru 5th Grade) -- This site provides a resource of videos and games for elementary students related to all types of jobs in the U.S.
Kids National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (K thru 5th Grade) -- This site provides great educational resources and activities to help students learn more about the career fields in environmental health sciences.
Kids Work! (3rd thru 5th Grade) -- This interactive site allows students to explore interesting jobs in a virtual community of workplace. They will have the opportunity to explore the history of a particular type of workplace, such as a hospital, using a timeline; meet real life professionals and learn about their jobs in that particular workplace; play three job fun activities that shows how school work relates to real work; and explore real work places.
Making the Link (2nd thru 5th Grade) -- This book provides lessons and activities that you can use to help children make connections between important school-success skills and the world of work. The activities in each chapter focus on skills needed to improve school success. Then children learn how these same skills will help them in their future careers. The cost is $34.95 for the CD.
Mission: Careers CD-ROM (K thru 6th Grade) -- Dez the Dawg makes career exploration an exciting adventure for students in kindergarten through grade 6, as well as for children with special needs. Over 140 occupations come alive through colorfully illustrated 12 career clusters, 'Kid's Career Lift-off Challenge" game, and easy-to-use assessment. It includes current data on salary, education needs, outlook, and areas of study. Elementary students will love to learn with Mission: Careers in a class or computer lab setting! Introduce students to the world of work, and reinforce reading and vocabulary skills while promoting their future goals. This meets the National Career Development Guidelines. Cost is $79.99 for used CDs.
My Career Adventure (3rd & 4th Grade) --
This is another workbook that features Dez the Dawg. Dez meets a number of people working in the downtown area and speaks with them about their careers (including their career clusters). The book includes a list of career-based vocabulary words, “what if?” career scenarios, and several other activities that promote students’ awareness of how their own skills line up with the careers that are presented in the book. Based upon the language used and c
ontent presented, I believe that his book would be of most use to third and fourth grade students. The presentation of material by Dez the Dawg might not appeal to older students. Cost is $8.93.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration -- NASA for Kids (K thru 6th Grade) This site includes videos and articles that expose students to the world of science in regard to space exploration. There are not any materials on the site that are expressly meant to serve as career guidance tools, but the available materials can serve to inform students’ understandings of the subject matter that is involved in space exploration. This resource would probably be most effective as a career guidance tool if interpreted as such by a counselor or teacher. The site is divided into sections based upon grade-level (K-4, 5-8, 9-12), though the individual articles and videos in the elementary section seem to cater to either kindergarten and first graders or third and fourth graders (I think the third and fourth grade materials would also be appropriate for fifth and sixth grade students).
National Geographic Kids (3rd & 4th Grade)-- This website includes short videos that expose students to the world of science and nature; more importantly, they can provide students with insight into the kinds of things that are involved in the pursuit of a career in science and nature. Although these videos are not explicitly intended to serve as career guidance pieces, they can certainly be a valuable resource to students when coupled with the guided interpretation of a counselor or teacher. The content in the videos may be a bit advanced for younger elementary grades, but too child-oriented in presentation for older elementary grades. This resource would be most appropriate for third and fourth grade students.
Ned's Career Day for Children: B-girl/Breakdancer Lesson -- Massive Monkees dancer Fides Mabanta (aka "Anna Banana Freeze") achieves her dream to be a professional dancer after she is introduced to a kind of dance called breakdancing. Now she's "breaking" with one of the best breakdancing crews in the world and teaching with "Mini Breaks!" Her inspiring story of passion and effort demonstrates the incredible rewards that come with always doing your best. Here is the lesson plan that goes with this video: http://www.thenedshow.com/assets/aevideolesson-k-6-annabananafreeze.pdf.
Ned's Career Day for Children: Molly Moon's Ice Cream Lesson Plan (K-4th Grades) -- At age 8, Molly Moon ran lemonade stands. Today, she runs some of Seattle's favorite ice cream shops! In this video, students will meet Molly and learn that she accomplished her dream through working hard and believing in herself. Here is the lesson plan that goes with this video: http://www.thenedshow.com/assets/aevideolesson-k-4-mollymoon.pdf.
Ned's Career Day for Children: Tech/Gaming Lesson (3rd-6th Grades) -- Mark and Colleen are living their dream of working for a game-making company called PopCap Games. They attribute much of their success to being able to stick with difficult challenges and never settling for "just good enough" when they are working on a project. Students will connect the dots between important elementary school habits and the tough demands that come with working a "dream job." Here is the lesson plan that goes with this video: http://www.thenedshow.com/assets/aevideolesson-3-6-mark-colleen.pdf.
PAWS in Jobland (1st & 2nd Grade) -- In this interactive program, students are taken to Jobland, where they may click on buildings to find out what kinds of professionals work within them. Paws the Dog acts as a sort of tour guide and chimes in with questions and comments as students listen to professionals speak about their job descriptions. The program includes an alphabetized job list, interest inventory, and summative quiz for students to take as well. Although this program includes a wealth of information about each job featured in Jobland, the goal of the program seems to be more oriented around fostering the students’ understanding of where certain professionals work and what those professionals look like. For these reasons, I believe that the program is most appropriate for students in first and second grade.
People At Work! 2nd Edition (3rd & 4th Grade) -- This book includes a collection of first-person accounts of what it is like to work in a variety of different environments. The reader accompanies Dez the Dawg as he explores his own potential career options. The book includes a basic interests assessment, online resources for further research, and descriptions of twelve career clusters. This resource would be best suited for third and fourth grade students, who are at an age when they can begin to explore a more specific and wider scope of the different ways in which they may apply their developing skills in the world of work. The information included in the book would be of value to any age group, but the manner in which that information is communicated (through a cartoon dog that needs help finding a career) may not be taken seriously by students in grades higher than fourth grade. This meets National Career Development Guidelines. Cost is $13.97.
STEMVentures (5th & 6th Grade) -- This resource includes two informational videos regarding the kinds of careers that are available in the STEM field. Students are invited to create their own avatars, which are then included in the informational videos. The presentation seems to be targeting older elementary students (evidenced both by the language used by the video narrators as well as the avatar options that are available), but may be of use to 3rd and 4th grade students if appropriately interpreted by a teacher or counselor..
The Career Game (5th Grade) -- This multimedia package of workbooks, CD-ROMS, and videos allows students to explore possible careers based on their personal interests. The Explorer workbook at a 5th grade reading level and students also need to be able to navigate the interactive interest inventory online.
Thrively (3rd-6th Grade) -- Every student has a genius – that combination of passion and unique strengths in which they absolutely thrive. It's Thrively's mission to uncover that genius in everyone! This site provides a Strength Assessment to get an uplifting strength profile of the student, as well as enriching career activities and eye-opening videos, which are all personalized to the student's unique strengths.
To Be or Not To Be? (3rd-5th Grades) -- This lesson guides students through web sites that examine careers that are typically of interest to 3rd- through 5th-grade students. By completing the steps outlined in the lesson, the students will explore careers and report their findings.
Underwater Study: Marine Biology (3rd-5th Grades) -- The ocean is one of the most unexplored places on Earth. Oceanographers, marine biologists, and many others are devoting their careers to exploring the oceans' ecosystems, learning about and preserving the health and inhabitants of these amazing places. In this lesson, students will learn about marine biology as a career, the types of plants and animals marine biologists study, and how technology helps them in their work.
Visual Arts Careers (K-4th Grades) -- This lesson exposes students to three careers in the visual arts. Students will move through three different "art stations," where they can explore and create in the medium using art supplies. Students will make a career book, which will contain a description of each visual arts career: Fashion Design, Architecture, and Graphic Design, and a work sample of the medium.