Paths to Different Jobs

3, 4, 5

Students explore the ways people around the world earn and spend money. They brainstorm possible careers and graph their personal interests on a class graph.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session

The learner will:

  • brainstorm and graph ways to earn money.
  • identify civil society sector corporations and local people who work for nonprofit organizations.
  • identify paths to careers around the world.
  • a grid on the floor made with tape or other method to make a physical graph with students' shoes
  • index cards
  • chart paper or other place to record a brainstormed list
  • Handouts are for educator background information
  • common good: working together for the benefit of everyone
  • save: to keep or put aside for future access
  • invest: to put resources, such as money, in an account or in an organization for the purpose of growing the resources’ value and/or impact
  • spend: to use money or resources for something you want or need
  • donate: to give time, talent or resources for a charitable purpose with no expectation of something in return
  • incentive: positive or negative factors that motivate or influence people


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Tell students that people all over the world use money to trade for the things they need. Ask them to explain how using money is like trading. Discuss why currency (money) is more efficient than trading. Tell them that the money from different countries has different names and values, but almost everyone uses some form of currency to trade. Optional: Refer to handout two to share facts about currency in countries around the world.

  2. Ask, "How do people make money? (They work at jobs and ean money.)

  3. Ask students to think about ways people make or earn money as they move to an area of the room where they can sit in a circle on the floor in an area big enough to make a physical floor graph. The group will make a career graph on the floor using their shoes as markers.

  4. Have students sit in a large circle on the floor. Have them brainstorm different ways people can earn money (this may include types of jobs). Expand their idea of possibilities by asking them to think of products and resources they encounter. Remember to include technology and overseas jobs. Help them identify jobs/organizations in the civil society sector and local people who work for nonprofits.

  5. Write some of their ideas on index cards and place the index cards in a row on the floor in the middle of the circle. Have students put their shoes on the “graph” in columns above the categories to indicate ways they might like to earn money some day. (Make sure they line the shoes up evenly so the columns compare easily.) Each child may place up to two shoes.

  6. After the shoes are placed, have children count the column values, compare the numbers, and discuss the most and least common ways they would like to earn money (job ideas).

  7. Discuss paths to different jobs for which students show interest.

  8. Tell them they all have the right and capacity to be successful in careers that are needed on the world stage.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define and give examples of civil society sector corporations.
      2. Benchmark E.10 Identify local people who have jobs in the civil society sector.