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Career Gaming

Grade Levels

6 - 8

Purpose

Through project-based learning, students will design games that will assist others with identifying a variety of agricultural careers, possible emerging agricultural careers, the education required for agricultural career options, and the types of salaries that can be expected in each career.

Estimated Time

Nine 45-minute class periods

Materials Needed

Milestone 1: Entry Event

Milestone 2: Planning and Design

Milestone 3: Development and Prototype

  • Make Your Own Board Game video
  • Paper/poster board
  • Items that could be used as game markers
  • Various office supplies: sticky notes, tape, colored pencils, markers, paper clips, binder clips, stickers, etc.
  • Daily game log
  • Career Gaming Rubric

Milestone 4: Production and Final Product Presentation

  • Paper/poster board
  • Items that could be used as game markers
  • Various office supplies: sticky notes, tape, colored pencils, markers, paper clips, binder clips, stickers, etc.
  • Daily Game Log
  • Career Gaming Rubric

Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)

Vocabulary Words

career: an occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one's lifework

economy: a way to make a living; how people produce, sell, and buy whole goods and services

Background Agricultural Connections

Career Gaming is a Project-Based Learning (PBL) plan. PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge.1 A quality PBL experience requires seven essential elements.

  1. Challenging Problem or Question: The project is framed by a meaningful problem to be solved or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
  2. Sustained Inquiry: Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of posing questions, finding resources, and applying information.
  3. Authenticity: The project involves real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact, or the project speaks to personal concerns, interests, and issues in the students' lives.
  4. Voice and Choice: Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
  5. Reflection: Students and teachers reflect on the learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, and obstacles that arise and strategies for overcoming them.
  6. Critique and Revision: Students give, receive, and apply feedback to improve their process and products.
  7. Public Product: Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying, and/or presenting it to audiences beyond the classroom.2

Agricultural Careers

Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions a person can make. When selecting a career path, it is important to be aware of a variety of careers and informed about the educational requirements and types of salaries associated with the career options. Every industry or occupational endeavor has entry-level, mid-level, and highly skilled/educated positions. It is also important to consider individual interests, abilities, and skills.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) anticipates more annual job openings in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and the environment than can be filled by U.S. graduates. Agriculture is a big "career umbrella."3 While an agricultural career may not involve working directly on a farm, the "fruits of your labor" may be linked to farm production through the processing and manufacturing of farmed goods and provided services. Farmers and ranchers work with scientists, technicians, business people, and educators to produce safe, inexpensive food. Researchers and scientists help to develop new seeds, safer crop protection, and more efficient machines that are part of a large, complex system that provides us with the things we use every day. Opportunities have expanded in the field of agriculture to include unique positions in sustainable farm management systems, biotechnology, forestry, marketing, engineering, and more.

Important

Career Highlights
This PBL plan asks students to investigate agricultural career opportunities. The list of careers to be highlighted will be developed through completion of the project. Explore the career profiles at agexplorer.com to discover job outlooks, education requirements, and average salaries.

 

Interest Approach - Engagement

At the beginning of the project, students are introduced to key content using a compelling situation that provides context and serves as a catalyst for an authentic problem or challenge. In Project-Based Learning (PBL), this authentic problem/challenge is referred to as an "Entry Event." Students use the Entry Event to initiate inquiry by reflecting on their prior knowledge of the key content, generating questions that they need to know the answers to in order to successfully complete the project or process that will solve the problem, and identifying what their next steps might be to answer their questions. These questions are used in an ongoing way throughout the project to track learning and guide inquiry.4 While students may have several questions, one driving question needs to be agreed upon that, when answered, should address the initial solution. Refer to Milestone 1 for Entry Event procedures.

Procedures

In PBL, projects are organized into milestones. Each milestone represents a significant stage of the project. Click on each milestone below to access instructional procedures.

Milestone 1: Entry Event (approximately 2 days)

Milestone 2: Planning and Design (approximately 1 day)

Milestone 3: Development and Prototype (approximately 3 days)

Milestone 4: Production and Final Product Presentation (approximately 3 days)

Concept Elaboration and Evaluation:

As a final wrap-up, review and summarize the following key points:

  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) anticipates more annual job openings in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and the environment than can be filled by U.S. graduates.
  • Every industry or occupational endeavor has entry-level, mid-level, and highly skilled/educated positions.
  • Not all agricultural careers involve working directly on a farm.

Important
We welcome your feedback! Please take a minute to tell us how to make this lesson better or to give us a few gold stars!

 

Author

Debra Spielmaker

Organization Affiliation

National Center for Agricultural Literacy