Lesson Plan Guide: Passion or Profit

By Matt Andrews on July 17, 2014

TITLE: Passion or Profit

GRADE LEVELS: 7-12

CONTENT AREAS: Advisory, Life Skills, Homeroom, English, Social Studies and Careers

PLEASE NOTE:

 

The lesson detailed here is designed to be delivered over 50-70 minutes.

Teachers who elect to deliver lesson over two short class periods should complete Reading & Questions sections on day one, with Webquest and Reflection on day two.

(Day two items may also be assigned as homework, if preferred.)

GOALS:

• Students will learn about the effects of economic recession on hiring/downsizing decisions.

• Students will learn insights of professional career counselors regarding career aspirations in trying economic times.

• Students will consider their own career aspirations in light of the circumstances created by an economic recession.

• Students will learn about future prospects in desired occupational field through use of federal statistics resources.

OBJECTIVES:

• Students will read “Passion or Profit” (Reproducible C) and answer brief question set.

• Students will use the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Occupational Outlook Handbook to learn more about a preferred occupation’s future prospects and salary ranges and complete a brief question set.

STANDARDS ADDRESSED:

This lesson aligns with the following American School Counselor Association Career Development Standards:

• C:B1.2 – Identify personal skills, interests and abilities and relate them to current career choice

• C:B1.5 – Use research and information resources to obtain career information

• C:B1.6 – Learn to use the Internet to access career-planning information

PRIOR KNOWLEDGE:

No specialized prior knowledge is necessary to complete this lesson.

MATERIALS:

• Class set of Activity Handouts

• Readings: “Passion or Profit” (Related articles)

• Internet access

LESSON OVERVIEW:

The lesson has six progressive stages (Stages may be omitted at teacher’s discretion):

• Anticipatory large-group class discussion (7-10 minutes, with introduction)

• Content reading and questions (10-15 minutes, extend if necessary to accommodate range of reading rates)

• Web quest: Bureau of Labor Statistics research to complete question set (25-35 minutes)

LESSON PROCEDURE:

Anticipatory large-group discussion (7-10 minutes, with introduction)

1. Open the class period informally, throwing out a question about the personal impacts of the economic recession.

2. Segue into the content-based portion of the lesson, connecting the hardships caused by the recession to students’ own career journeys. Explain that the Student Paths article they’ll read and answer questions about has to do exactly with such questions: how tough hiring times affect people’s career decisions, what career-counseling experts advise, etc.

3. Direct students to use the next 10-15 minutes to read the article and complete the handout’s question set.

Readings, questions (15-20 minutes)

1. Have students go through the provided reading (“Passion or Profit”) and answer the corresponding questions on their handouts.

STUDENT QUESTIONS AND ANSWER KEY:

“Passion or Profit” Questions

1. The American economy has caused larger-than-average layoffs and levels of unemployment. What is the term given to this economic downturn?

- Recession

2. Though the current job market is dismal, why does Mr. Bob Bardwell, a high school guidance counselor, consider current high school students to actually have a “luxury”?

- Current high school students will not have to enter the job market for a few years, and things could be much different by the time they do.

3. Though Mr. Bardwell offers good tips for finding jobs in any time period (advising that you watch the trends of the society you live in), other career counselors in this article advise students to not lose sight of their passions when thinking about their future careers. How does Brett Farmiloe define a passion?

- “…isn’t just something you ‘love’…it’s what motivates and moves you to action.”

4. Thinking of Farmiloe’s definition, write down here 2-3 things you’d consider passions in your own life. What’s important enough to you to “motivate and move you to action”?

- Answers will vary by individual student

5. What challenge does Bardwell often face when talking to the high-school students he counsels about their future career paths?

- Some don’t believe they’ll be able to follow their passions due to their financial or family circumstances.

If only using Day One/first section of this lesson, have students proceed to final reflective response at this point.

Introduction/Review (5 minutes—omit if lesson delivered in continuous session)

1. To introduce day’s activity, briefly re-visit previous activity. Refresh students’ memories by discussing how the previous activity focused on the challenges of making career decisions in a struggling economy.

2. Segue into the activity, a Webquest in which students will be given questions to research and directions for finding the necessary information.

Webquest Research: Re-visit/gather info about career preference (20-25 minutes)

1. Re-distribute students’ activity handout from the previous class session (or have students take theirs out, if they were allowed to keep) and direct to the “Webquest” section of the handout. Instruct to follow the instructions as closely as possible, and circulate about the class to answer questions, clarify activity directions, etc.

STUDENT INSTRUCTIONS/ANSWER KEY:

Webquest Directions

Follow the directions below for this activity, and use the resources to answer questions.

1. Open a new web browser and open the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (enter this address: http://stats.bls.gov/oco/home.htm). When you arrive at the main page, scroll down to the “Ways to use the Occupational Outlook Handbook site”. Here, you have a few choices about how to search: you can click on “Search box” to search like you would with a traditional search engine, or you can click on one of the alphabet letters you see to take you to a place in their index of occupations and browse.

2. Within the occupation listing, scroll down to the section titled, “Job Outlook”. Is the occupation you’re interested in expected to grow or decline over the coming years? And by how much? (List the percentages, if given.)

- answer will vary by individual student

3. Briefly summarize some of the factors that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting the growth/decline you found for question 2.

- answer will vary by individual student

4. Now scroll down to the “Earnings” section of the occupation listing. What are the median earnings for the occupation you’ve researched? Also, if typical starting salaries are listed, include those here.

- answer will vary by individual student

5. FINAL REFLECTION, WITH WEBQUEST: Looking at this occupation you’re passionate about and knowing more about (a) how available jobs will be within it in the next ten years and (b) how much you’re likely to earn, is it still one you’d consider? Explain your answer.

OR

FINAL REFLECTION, NO WEBQUEST ( for students going through day one only): After reading the insights of the career-counseling professionals cited in this article and considering your own passions and how they fit with your future job security, do you think you’ll pursue your passions first in your career search? Or will you be happy to take a secure, comfortable job? Explain your answer.

- answer will vary by individual student

Extension

Lesson can be extended into future Career Development-related ASCA standards, especially those dealing with career exploration as related to students’ passions, interests, skills, and strengths.

Reading questions

Read “Passion or Profit?” and answer the questions below.

Reproducible A 

“Passion or Profit” Questions

1. The American economy has caused larger-than-average layoffs and levels of unemployment. What is the term given to this economic downturn?

2. Though the current job market is dismal, why does Mr. Bob Bardwell, a high school guidance counselor, consider current high school students to actually have a “luxury”?

3. Though Mr. Bardwell offers good tips for finding jobs in any time period (advising that you watch the trends of the society you live in), other career counselors in this article advise students to not lose sight of their passions when thinking about their future careers. How does Brett Farmiloe define a passion?

4. Thinking of Farmiloe’s definition, write here 2-3 things you’d consider passions in your own life. What’s important enough to you to “motivate and move you to action”?

5. What challenge does Bardwell often face when talking to the high-school students he counsels about their future career paths? 

 

 

REPRODUCIBLE B

 

Activity Handout, Webquest

WEBQUEST Directions

Follow the directions below for this activity, and use the resources to answer questions.

1. Open a new web browser and open the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (enter this address: http://stats.bls.gov/oco/home.htm).

When you arrive at the main page, scroll down to the “Ways to use the Occupational Outlook Handbook site”. Here, you have a few choices about how to search: you can click on “Search box” to search like you would with a traditional search engine, or you can click on one of the alphabet letters you see to take you to a place in their index of occupations and browse.

2. Within the occupation listing, scroll down to the section titled, “Job Outlook”. Is the occupation you’re interested in expected to grow or decline over the coming years? And by how much? (List the percentages, if given.)

3. Briefly summarize some of the factors that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting the growth/decline you found for question 2.

4. Now scroll down to the “Earnings” section of the occupation listing. What are the median earnings for the occupation you’ve researched? Also, if typical starting salaries are listed, include those here.

Activity Handout, Webquest (continued)

5. FINAL REFLECTION, WITH WEBQUEST: Looking at this occupation you’re passionate about and knowing more about (a) how available jobs will be within it in the next ten years and (b) how much you’re likely to earn, is it still one you’d consider? Explain your answer.

OR

FINAL REFLECTION, NO WEBQUEST (for students going through day one only): After reading the insights of the career-counseling professionals cited in this article and considering your own passions and how they fit with your future job security, do you think you’ll pursue your passions first in your career search? Or will you be happy to take a secure, comfortable job? Explain your answer.


About the Author

Matt Andrews

Matt Andrews

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