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Ready-Set-Tech: What Will I Be?
What Will I Be?

We often ask children what they want to be when they grow up. They answer, but rarely know much about what they would really do on the job, the salary, or how to "get there." This project helps them to do research in a field in which they are already interested. The children decide which profession they would like to pursue as adults. They research that profession on the Internet, looking for information such as salaries, education required, job requirements, and associated careers. Then they type up a paragraph about what they would need to do to be successful in that career. After that, they create business cards for themselves incorporating graphics from the Internet.

The students are enthusiastic about finding information online, and they enjoy creating a professional business card which allows them to feel that this job is a real possibility. Students can share with the class the different professions they researched. It helps them to look at their talents and imagine how they could use them in the future.

Gail Forsberg

Gail Forsberg is the computer teacher at P.S. 41Q in Bayside, New York. She teaches grades K-5 (over 400 children a week). Her Bachelors and Masters degrees are in Art Education. Her previous experience includes teaching art
in junior high school for six years.



Language Arts, Technology

Grade Level: 5

Time: This unit will take between 4-6 weeks, depending on how often students can get online to conduct research.

Materials: Computers with Internet access, Microsoft Publisher software, printer, business card stock.






Students will:

1. Collect and gather information from the Internet related to jobs.

2. Write a paragraph summarizng information found through research.

3. Use the tools in the Publisher program to create a cohesive and well-planned business card.

4. Gain a better understanding of different professions.

Web sites:


- http://google.com

Type in “requirements for ____________”

- http://bls.gov/k12/html/edu_over.htm

- http://washburn.k12.il.us/neff/careers/careers.htm

- http://kids.gov/k_careers.htm

- http://kidinfo.com/careers/careers.html

Click on Student Index, Click on Career Information, Click on Careers and Work

- http://umanitoba.ca/counselling/careers.html

- http://jobstar.org/tools/career/spec-car.cfm

- http://whatdotheydo.com/

- http://icpac.Indiana.edu/careers/career_profiles

- http://uhs.berkeley.edu/Students/

- http://nycareerzone.org

- http://calmis.cahwnet.gov/htmlfile/subject/guide.htm

- http://careers.co.nz/jop.htm


Day One:


Background: Our children have been working with Word and Publisher for several other projects. Though the business card is a different area, the tools are familiar to them. This is a good way for them to understand what a business card is, and also to hone their research skills in finding out requirements and salaries for the professions they think they would like to follow as adults.

Time: One 45 minute period plus a second period later in the week

Objectives : Students will be able to identify the area in which they are interested and proceed to research the career goals and rewards.

Materials: Computers with Internet connection

Procedure: The week before beginning this project I showed the students some business cards and asked them to think about what they would like to do as adults. I asked them to come to this first session with an idea.

After introducing the topic again, I gave out the research questions and web sites. We discussed the suggested questions on the paper and how the questions might not apply to each career. I have several suggested web sites which I have researched and feel they are “kid friendly.” I listed them on a sheet, but the children already know how to go to Google, Yahooligans, and AJkids to use search tools to continue their research.

After discussing that the information they find will be typed into a paragraph in Word to be displayed with their business cards, they begin their research on their own.

Some children have Internet access at home and take the research paper home with them and others leave them for work the next period.


Day Two:


Background: During the last 2 sessions we discussed how to research the career they wish to follow. They were given sheets with suggested questions and web sites. They began their research and should be fairly well done with it by the end of the second period.

Time: One 45 minute period

Objective: The students will write a coherent and intelligent paragraph explaining some facts about the career they haveresearched.

Materials: Computers with Internet connection and Word

Procedure: Today, they will type in Word the paragraph giving information about their career. I will stress that it is not acceptable to simply say, “You have to study hard and you'll make a lot of money.” They need to include many specifics. They might not have been able to get all the information but they should now know several facts. They will need to proofread their paragraph, and do spellcheck before submitting the printed copy to me.


Day Three:


Background: The students have researched a career and prepared a paragraph summarizing the "career information" guiding questions. Now they will begin to prepare a business card.

Time: One 45 minute period with a follow-up period later in the week

Objectives: Students will choose a business card format in Publisher and begin to include necessary information.

Materials: Computers with Internet connection and Publisher

Procedure: I use Altiris to show a demonstration of how to use Publisher to create their cards. What I do on my computer shows on all the students' screens. Alternatively, you could connect one computer to a projector.

I proceed in the following order:

Open Publisher – choose business card from the selections menu

Start Wizard

Cancel Personal Information

Choose a color scheme

Say no to logo placeholder

Make sure they choose several tiled on a page

As I go through all these items I explain why we're choosing what we do. We discuss that the purpose of a business card is to give people a small paper they can put in their pocket or wallet and contact the person later. It's like a miniature billboard. They will need to give an address, phone number, FAX number, and e-mail besides their name and profession. We stress that the information given should not be their actual address, phone number, etc. for their safety and security. We discuss how some colors and designs would be appropriate for some careers and not others. For instance, if you were running a daycare program you might have pastel colors and “cute” print and designs. If you're a trial lawyer, you might want to present a stronger image. I show students a sample of a business card I've created for myself, a computer teacher.

They proceed then to begin their own cards. They will save them at the end of the period.


Day Four:


Background: The children have researched their career, typed up their paragraph describing it, and have begun to create their own business cards.

Time: One 45 minute period with a followup period late in the week

Objective: Students will continue to create their own cards.

Materials: Computers with Internet connection and Publisher

Procedure: Today, I will remind the students how to import clipart from the program and save graphics from the Internet. I will also remind them that they can use different borders from the clipart menu. They also can go to Insert and then Design Gallery Object to find other accents and designs they might want to include. Stress that their name should be the largest. The card should reflect in color, style and font the kind of business it is. When complete, we will print a sheet of them on cardstock. There are 10 cards to a sheet. I will keep one for display and the students can have the other nine.

They enjoy trading cards with each other. See sample here.


Career Information

Are there any requirements for you to get into the training program (physical, age, etc.)?

Education required –

Are there any college degrees required? If so, what are they?

Are there certain colleges which have the programs you need? Name one or two.

Is there an apprenticeship (training period on the job) that you have to go through?

How long is the study time in general?

Do you need a license to practice?

What is the average salary for someone in your career?

Is there a special reason you chose this career? Why is it important to you?



  • Research - collecting information, informational writing
  • Technology - demonstrate advanced draw program skills, conduct basic searches and navigate independently within a web site, import information and pictures from the Internet into a document, produce a published work
  • Speaking - be able to summarize information and relate it to fellow students.




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