Learn All Year Long
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Create a Career Blog
|Grades||7 – 12|
|Activity Time||Two hours and 30 minutes (plus additional time to add more blog entries and review comments)|
- Computer with Internet access
- Careers Note-Taking Form
- Blog Entry Publishing Checklist
- Occupational Outlook Handbook
- U.S. Labor Department’s occupation list
- Free blogging website such as Blogger or Wordpress
|1.||Before beginning this activity, familiarize yourself with the career sites listed under What You Need. You also might visit Blogger or Wordpress to see how to create an account. But be sure to let the child or teen do the fun stuff, such as selecting a color scheme. You also might want to check out a few blogs that you can share as examples. A favorite athlete or author might have one.
|2.||Print copies of the Careers Note-Taking Form and the Blog Entry Publishing Checklist.
|3.||Start by choosing a career. Discuss the idea of a career. What does it mean to have one and is there a difference between a career and a job? Which careers has he or she always been interested in?
|4.||Explain the activity—that the child or teen will be researching three or more careers, collecting information about each, and posting the findings on a blog. Suggest he or she start thinking of possible careers, especially unusual ones.
|5.||Share the Careers Note-Taking Form. Discuss the four aspects of each career detailed on the form: basic description, educational requirements, necessary skills, and other interesting details. Ask which type of information the child or teen believes is most important to include in the blog. Specifics may include daily tasks, pay rates, demand in the job market, and famous people in this field.
Because the end result will be a personal blog, invite him or her to also explore why each career is appealing. The blog may be shared with family and friends, so what would that audience want to know about these career possibilities? For instance, “Anyone who’s ever tried my cheesecake knows that I’ve always been interested in being a professional baker.”
|6.||Share career websites and visit them together. Use these sites to help select the careers to be researched. The most common ones—doctor, lawyer, teacher—will come to mind first, but suggest broadening the search by considering less common careers, such as jewelry makers, physicists, and airplane mechanics.
|7.||Spend time exploring blogs together. Ask if he or she has read a blog or has a favorite blog. Share your favorites if you have some. What does he or she notice about blog format? What’s the writing like? What about the use of photos and other images? How does a blogger make a blog unique? The audiences for blogs vary. Some are intended for a broad audience, such as a sports figure who blogs for fans. Other blogs may be more personal and intended only for a few close friends.
|8.||Once you have chosen a few blogs to read and selected several careers, encourage the child or teen to work independently, doing research and taking notes.
|9.||When the research is done, it’s time to create the blog (you may choose to complete this part of the activity at a different time. Visit the blogging site you have chosen. When selecting the settings, you might consider allowing only blog members (family or friends) to make comments. The child or teen can then invite these members to comment on the blog. You can also choose to use “comment moderation,” which means the child or teen can review any comments and approve them before they appear. As you create the blog, it’s a good time to review the rules about being online. Remind him or her not to share personal info with strangers and to alert you if contacted by a stranger.
|10.||Show how to post entries—and how to delete them. Encourage the child or teen to use the Blog Entry Publishing Checklist before finalizing entries. But remember that the nature of a blog is dynamic, so it’s easy to make changes or delete posts.
|11.||After he or she has published the career postings, it’s time to invite some readers. Grandparents, neighbors, and friends are the perfect audience. Consider encouraging feedback by asking readers what they know about the selected professions. Do they know anyone currently in these careers? Could they see the child or teen in that particular job? Why?|
Take the blog to the next level by inviting readers to participate even more. Which careers most interest blog members? Did the adult readers end up pursuing the careers they most liked in childhood? The child or teen also can ask blog members to brainstorm “next steps” in his or her career investigation. Perhaps there are people to meet or places to go that would teach more about a certain career. And after a field trip, there will be even more to blog about!
An online journal or personal webpage with multiple entries that usually appear in reverse chronological order. Anyone with an Internet connection and a Web browser can publish on a blog, and they can be set up so that more than one person can write entries on them. Blogs can contain words, photos, and links to other websites. The word blog can also be used as a verb.