Creative Careers Activities
This outlines some ideas for teachers in delivering further exciting careers lessons and activities using Panjango Online, and our board and card games, and some generally ideas for creative careers activities.
The page is broken into three sections: quick games and exercises; creative development and role play; and careers across the curriculum.
1. QUICK GAMES & EXERCISES
What’s My Career?
Divide the class into pairs. On a sticky note, each pupil writes the name of a career and, without revealing it, sticks it to their opponent’s forehead. The pupils then take it in turns to ask questions about their mystery career. The winner is the first to correctly guess their career.
To make the challenge more difficult you could restrict the pupils to ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answers to the questions or you could expand the career selection to also include careers which are not featured in Panjango.
A variation to this game is ‘20 Questions’ which can be played in pairs, groups or as a whole class. One pupil is chosen to be the answerer. That pupil chooses a career but does not reveal this to the others. All other players are questioners. The questioners each take turns asking a question which can be answered with a simple "Yes" or "No". Lying is not allowed, as it would ruin the game. If a questioner correctly guesses the mystery career, that questioner wins and becomes the answerer for the next round. If 20 questions are asked without a correct guess, then the answerer has stumped the questioners and gets to be the answerer for another round.
Can be played in pairs, groups or as a whole class activity. The word to guess is represented by a row of dashes and the pupil must declare the category of the word at the start of the game. Categories could include careers, places of work, pieces of equipment or skills needed.
Some teachers may prefer not to use the image of a hanging man, so a common alternative is to draw an apple tree with ten apples, crossing out the apples as the guesses are used up.
Working in pairs, groups or as a whole class, a pupil selects a secret career. The pupil then mimes actions for the other players to guess. Hand signals can be used to indicate how many letters a word may contain. The cupping of the ear gesture may also be used to indicate the word ‘sounds like’ what they are about to mime. Game variations could include miming places of work, equipment or skills.
Working in groups, a pupil selects a career without telling the rest of the group. The pupil then gives the group brief descriptions of the place of work, equipment, skills and/or activities relating to that career. The first player to guess the correct career then takes a turn at articulating a career.
This exercise can be carried out in pairs, groups or as a whole class activity. A pupil says one true and two false statements about a particular career. The other players then have to guess which one is correct. The player who guesses correctly then takes a turn to be the bluffer.
Alternatively you could use objects or pictures of equipment with pupils stating three careers in which the equipment may be used. The other players would then have to try and correctly identify the correct career in which it is used.
2. CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT & ROLE PLAY
Many of the games detailed above, and the challenges in Panjango, can provide settings for creative writing and could easily be extended to storyboarding an opening setting for a piece of fiction. Characters can be created out of roles given to players in, for example, Career Charades or What’s My Career? Description of background and lifestyle can be deduced or created based on the information and challenges within Panjango or the income and lifestyle that one imagines might go with a given job.
The pupils could look at their own environment and consider public buildings or urban and rural environments from the perspective of work and careers. They could consider how work is shaping the immediate environment around the school or the street on which they live. Discussions could lead to geography work or a study of a particular locale near the school and the historical/social/demographic changes that have occurred due to development in careers and work patterns.
The teacher or a pupil names a random place of work and the pupils then brainstorm careers that belong in that workplace. As a challenge the class could try to find the workplace with the highest number of associated careers. A discussion could also be held about how the careers work together within a workplace.
Variations could include the teacher or a pupil naming or drawing items that belong in a place of work with the rest of the group/class discussing who might use the object and what workplace it might belong in.
This exercise can easily be developed into creative writing work. For example, pupils could write about encounters between a surgeon, a paramedic and a cleaner, or could develop a storyboard of a person’s journey through the hospital and all the different people who they meet on that journey.
Select several candidates and an interview panel. Run a drama exercise where the panel interview candidates for a pre-selected job. Prior to the interview, the candidates and interview panel should research the job so they are prepared for the interview. In particular they should make sure they have an understanding of:
- the skills are needed for the job
- what tasks they would do in the job
- who they may work with in their job
- why they think they would be good at the job
The interview panel should also write a list of questions to ask each candidate in turn. Once the interviews have been completed the panel discusses which candidate would be best for the job and then gives brief feedback (positive) feedback to the candidates. If the drama takes place in front of the rest of the class rather than in groups then the class could be asked to vote on which candidate they thought performed best in the interview.
This exercise involves working in small groups. Each group must select a product they wish to manufacture or a service they wish to deliver. The group must then decide on a job role for each team member which will be useful in manufacturing the product / delivering the service. Panjango's careers information can be used to help students select of product/service and the job roles required.
Once the ‘dream team’ has been assembled, the group should then give a short presentation to the class possibly considering:
- why they selected their ‘dream team’ roles
- how the team will work together to manufacture the product / deliver the service
- which role would be the leader in the team and why
- what other job roles were considered but not included
Variations to the exercise could include creating a fictitious product or service or using fictitious job roles. You could provide them with a theme, e.g. space exploration or time travel, to help them come up with ideas.
Further follow-on work could include designing a marketing campaign, design and construction of product packaging or customer survey work involving other year groups or at home.
This activity encourages discussion and application of teamwork and cooperation. All skills are valid in the process of production. This is potentially quite difficult but can be made easier by being run as a whole class activity with the teacher making the initial choices.
To extend the activity, pupils could write their own job description and design an advert to attract people to that particular career. I.T. could also be used, for example, using PowerPoint to prepare the presentation or demonstrate the production / service delivery process.
Desert Island Survival
Scenario: 10 professionals have crash landed on a desert island and have caught the terrible disease chickenitis. You only have enough vaccines to save six of the survivors from turning into a chicken! Which of the survivors should receive a vaccine? Without hope of rescue, who will be most useful in helping the group survive and maybe even escape from the island?
After the class has been presented with the scenario a list of ten professionals should be written on the board. An example list is as follows, however, feel free to amend as you see fit:
- Company Director
- Countryside Ranger
- Police Officer
Select 10 pupils to take on the role of one of the professionals. They must then make a short presentation to the rest of the class as to why they deserve to receive a vaccine.
Once all the presentations have been delivered you should lead the class in a discussion about the useful skills each role may bring to the group (including how skills may be adapted to the scenario). A vote is then taken to determine which of the 10 professionals receive the six vaccines.
This exercise, of building a social group based on need, can be used as a stimulus for further discussion into PHSE. In particular, it can be a useful exercise to discuss the concept of stereotyping. Furthermore, it could be an excellent starting point for creative writing work and further investigation into the skills and attributes of different professionals.
My Dream Career
Each pupil picks their dream career. You may want to consider restricting the selection of jobs to not include, for example, footballer or pop star. An open debate in class follows where participants have the chance to argue why their chosen career is the best one to have. They may be given the opportunity to give a short presentation about their chosen career. You may want to help the class come up with a list of requirements which are important when choosing a career. These could include:
- job satisfaction
- hours worked
- physical effort
- difficulty in securing employment
- perks e.g. travel, working from home etc
- social impact
At the end of the discussion, the class could vote on which career is best although it is important to say that it will always depend on an individual’s own preferences. Alternatively, each career could be scored according to the agreed criteria and then the ‘dream career’ could be worked out mathematically. Data handling exercises could also then be carried using the data generated. A discussion could also be held on why some jobs are paid more than others, and whether this is fair.
Write a Letter to an Employer
Each pupil selects a career. They then write a letter to an employer who has a vacancy for this position. As part of the creative writing exercise they would need to consider, for example, what type of company they are writing to, why they want the job and why they would be good at the job.
You could print off some actual job vacancies from online or perhaps build a link with a local company so the pupils can investigate the jobs that exist within a real business.
3. CAREERS ACROSS THE CURRICULUM
Literacy, numeracy and science challenges feature extensively within Panjango, but here are some more suggested exercises for careers-themed activities across other subjects of the curriculum.
1. Research tools and equipment used by particular careers and find out how technology has changed the work of people in those careers.
2. Imagine what the jobs would be like if they existed a hundred years ago (or a hundred years in the future).
3. Examine whether such careers would be possible without technological change.
Art and Design
1. Create marketing materials for products e.g. a billboard poster, information leaflet or TV advert.
2. Design a new product and its packaging or re-design an existing product for people to use a hundred years in the future.
3. Create a job advert or an advert promoting a company, perhaps following on from the ‘My Dream Career’ exercise.
1. Work and the urban environment – investigate how work influences the kinds of buildings we find in an area or how the careers of the pupil’s parents influence housing, transport and urban infrastructure in their community.
2. Contrast work undertaken in varying environments e.g. rural or agricultural settings in Africa with urban environments in Africa.
3. Run a debate where jobs and work patterns come into conflict with each other e.g. a commercial tourist development in a fishing community, or an industrial development planned to take place in rural Britain.
1. Examine how the changing role of work and changing careers built the urban environment around the school? Access online documentary and archive materials to carry out a field study.
2. Contrast contemporary work with jobs that might have been done in an area 100 or 1000 years ago.
3. Use an artefact from a job of the past and play a ‘Career Bluff’ game to explore new words and historical careers.
1. Create pieces of music, or a sound collage, to convey the different soundscapes and aural environments associated with different rural and urban environments, jobs or activities. Consider taking field recordings to inspire the music creation.
2. Research the careers that may exist specifically within the music industry and examine the process of producing a chart hit.
3. Research classical and contemporary composers who have created pastoral or industrial pieces of music.
All the above activities will enable the use of I.C.T to enhance presentation and to allow more in-depth research.
We are sure that teachers will be able to think of many more ways to use the elements of Panjango and embed the learning outcomes across the curriculum.
Find out more about Panjango Online here or our collection of careers board and cards games here.