Submitted: Emily Roberts
Collaborators: Joy McDonald ITRT
Lesson Title: Jamal’s Job Fair- a job fair for a novel’s protagonist
Target Grade/Subject: 8th grade English
Length: 5, 90 minute blocks
Lesson #: 2376
During the novel study Scorpions by Walter Dean Myers, students inferred that Jamal, protagonist of the story, was never going to move away from Harlem (setting of the story) due the conflicts in his life. Students decided to create a job fair for Jamal to provide him an opportunity to interview and choose a job that interests him. Students created their own teams to research possible job opportunities for Jamal. They considered character traits and inferred information about the character. After deciding on a job for Jamal, the teams created artifacts about the job in hopes to persuade Jamal to choose the career. Using primary wall and school space, the teams worked together and each took roles in developing the artifacts. Each team developed different artifacts- web pages, business cards, brochures, paintings, glogs, videos. After each work session, students reflected on their roles and set goals for the next work session. Before interviewing Jamal, students chose to use Skype and generated questions to ask an interview expert. Each team reflected on the expert’s answers, and created questions to ask “Jamal” during the job fair. On the day of the job fair, many different “Jamal’s” visited each team, and they conducted a mock interview. After interviewing all the “Jamal’s” the team decided which “Jamal” they would hire. After the job fair, students used a google doc to reflect not only on their role but how interviewing techniques would help them gain information.
Students applied a critical eye while evaluating a variety of resources (advanced Google searches, online databases) while researching in student formed and organized teams. They posed questions before they researched to guide them as they learned new information. Students were required to use previously learned website evaluation skills. Team members used a different digital tool of their choice to organize their information. The team assembled all their information to create interview questions and conduct an interview during the job fair.
Students formed teams and created norms when developing their job fair. Using Web 2.0 tools like Primary Wall, the class decided on the types of jobs the main character from the novel would choose. Students selected Skype as a tool to communicate with an interview expert, and reflected after each class meeting on their role and their plan for the next class meeting
Before the Skype session with the interview expert, students generated purposeful questions to ask the interview. Each team selected digital tools to conduct a job fair. During the authentic tasks of creating a job fair and conducting an interview, students used problem-solving skills throughout. After the job fair, students reflected on the ways that learning interviewing techniques will help them gain information or/and a job in the future.
Students combined their deep understanding of elements in the novel with their research on job selection and hiring in order to devise possible career choices for the main character. After selecting career field, students researched and developed a mock company in that particular field. Students then synthesized their learning by creating and conducting a job fair aimed at the main character’s skill set.
Final product video of the mock Job Fair for Jamal