Student Activity 1
- Why do individuals choose to specialize?
In a community, people tend to choose jobs that match their own set of skills and talents. This specialization allows them to produce goods or services of use to other people, while doing a job of interest to them. In addition, they earn an income that they in turn give to others to pay for the goods and services they need, but no not produce on their own.
Conducting an Interview
Have the children respond to the following question:
- Why do people work?
Accept several reasonable answers and use these responses to initiate a written response to the question. Provide time for students to work in groups to complete their responses. Display the written responses and discuss.
Extend the discussion by having the students generate a list of jobs that people do in communities. Talk about the special skills and talents that people must have to do each of the jobs.
Have each group choose one of the jobs listed to further talk about the skills and talents needed to do the job. Have them construct a chart to record their responses.
Skills and Talents Needed for the Job
If time allows, have them add additional jobs to their charts. Have each group post their chart and share the discussion with the total class.
Talk about the wide variety of skills and talents needed to make a community grow and prosper. Discuss the following question:
- Why do we need to depend on other people to do jobs for us?
Relate this discussion to your own community. Have each group of students interview a parent, neighbor, school employee, or mentor using the following questions as well as other questions generated by the class.
- What is your job?
- What skills and/or talents are needed to do your job well?
- Why did you choose to do this job?
- Is there any other job you think you would enjoy? Why?
Have each group report the findings from their interview.
Check for Understanding:
- Write a summary of the interview based on responses to the questions.
Connections to Literature
- Read to the class: Miss Nelson Is Missing, by Harry Allard. Have the students focus on:
- Miss Nelson’s job
- The problems she has with it
- The personal qualities required for her job.
- Relate this story to other stories you have read about in which characters in stories have had interesting and useful jobs. Have the students write a description about one of these jobs. In the description, be sure to have the students think about:
- Which character in your story has a job and what is it?
- What did you learn about this job by reading the story?
- What problems did the character have with the job?
- How were these problems solved?
- What traits does the character have that influenced the job?