Lesson: Career Pathways

Lesson: Career Pathways

Welcome to the lesson: Career Pathways. In this lesson we will be exploring the crossroads of talent, dreams, and curiosity. Just like in the lesson, The Circle of Life, it is useful to reframe what we think a career is.

What Is a Career Discussion

Why are careers so difficult? Is it because we don’t understand what is out there? Is it maybe because we don’t yet know what we are good at?

Maybe it’s all of this. In this lesson, we are going to explore why it’s easier for some people to find a career. We will also explore why careers are so difficult.

First Start With Passion

Walt Disney/Lucasfilm

Ask yourselves these three questions – and you have to answer, regardless if you know or not. Do or do not. There is no try. There is no wrong answer.

  1. What do you love to do?
  2. Why do you love to do it?
  3. Do you know anyone who does this?

After you ask yourselves these three questions, ask a member from another team to write your answers on the board. Then write theirs on the board as well. Spend a few minutes looking for themes.

We are looking for Themes. Do the students think there will be themes? Maybe have them work discretely so they can’t see each other’s ideas until AFTER the the exercise is done.


  • Whiteboard
  • Whiteboard Markers
  • Computer
  • Display
  • Wifi
  • Internet connection for research
  • Bag of 12 tokens, six red, six blue
  • Red yarn
  • Painter’s Tape


  1. Start by allowing kids to reflect on what they love.
    1. What are their hobbies?
    2. What do their parents do?
    3. Do they know why careers are a thing?
  2. Allow students to pair into teams of two by random selection of red or blue tokens.
  3. Red tokens go first, blue tokens go second.
  4. Have each red token student write the answers given them on the whiteboard.
  5. Then have each blue token student write the other answers on the whiteboard.
  6. When this is done, use yarn and tape to make lines between themed responses.
  7. The board should look like an investigation board.
  8. Let it sit for an hour or two.
  9. Then allow students to review the 10 most popular emerging careers in the next 5 years.
  10. Did they see a new path for themselves?
  11. Record that data.

Learning Integration

This is a great way to get young learners looking for patterns and commonalities between themselves, others, and using data to make inferences. The pattern, process and structure of this activity has very little to do with actual careers, but about establishing empathy and commonalities between people.

At it’s heart, this about Social Emotional Learning, and creating informed decision making and critical thinking skills. It also provides a great opportunity for students to practice self-reflection and listening skills.

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