On Friday November 14, I had the wonderful opportunity to teach a fifth grade class at Tonti Elementary School about free enterprise, the skills required for many jobs in the business world, and how people work in a global economy. I had a lot of fun with the students and the best part about this whole experience was knowing that I passed my knowledge to these students. I was extremely impressed with how excited each and every student was to participate in all the activities that were planned for them. After every activity, the students would ask questions about the types of careers we talked about, the vocab words we learned, and even questions about what I am involved with as a college student!
I co-taught a class with my JA partner Lubhna Saiyed, and our very first activity was called What Is Your Big Idea? This activity involved the students getting into groups of eight, and we asked them to develop a plan for a product or service. The students were encouraged to consider a name for the product, what their product would do, and how much their product would cost. It was very interesting to see how the students took their ideas and turned them into products/services for actual businesses. The students learned what it meant to be an entrepreneur and they had lots of fun creating a product that they would be selling at their business. I was very impressed to see the kinds of products the students came up with. Some of my favorites were the Super Soccer Shoes, the Ebola Medicine, the Crazy Cool Car, and more! You can see their work below:
Our second activity was a board game, and students go the chance to learn more vocab words. This game was called Get Connected, which highlighted different types of needs for resources. Students learned the three types of resources (human, natural, and capital) and they got to explore different ways in which these three types are used. Through this activity students were able to learn the skills they were interested in acquiring and the things that they could start doing now to become a valued worker in the future. Below is a picture of the students playing their board game!
For our third activity, the students learned about the different types of skills needed to grow a business and earn profit. We talked about how businesses hire people who can invent new products and develop new ways to keep products in demand for buyers. During this activity, students learned what supply and demand meant and we talked about various skills needed for many jobs. The students learned that it is important to have multiple skills in the areas of science, math, technology and engineering. We played a game called In Demand, where students got to learn about the types of skills needed for certain jobs.One of the students talked about how she wanted to be a nurse when she grows up, and to do this she will be using what she is learning in her math and science classes in order to be a successful nurse After this activity, the students saw that for whatever job they choose to have in the future, whether they become a nurse, teacher, electrician, it is important to have skills in all areas so that they could be more marketable for future employers. The picture below is a job skills chart created by the students which shows the different professions placed in the four categories (math, science, technology, and engineer). In the end, the students concluded that the the courses they are taking now will be beneficial to them in the future.
After the activities, my partner Lubhna and I left the students with questions and things to think about for the future. I could tell that the students had a wonderful experience and they were able to get a lot of their questions answered. The reason I chose to get involved in Junior Achievement (and will encourage others to do so), is because it was such a rewarding experience! Regardless of what you are teaching the students, it is important for them to know that someone cares enough to take the time to invest in them and their education. I can't wait to participate next year!