Jobs: Who Needs 'Em?


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In this lesson you will look at the importance of having some kind of job. At times it may seem that money grows on trees and you should get anything that you want. This lesson will look at the consequences/benefits of having a job, having a non-paying job (e.g. stay at home mom, volunteer worker, etc.), and having no job (whether it is intentional or not…e.g. lay-offs, disability, etc…). Hopefully, by the time you finish this lesson, you will have a better understanding the costs/benefits of having or not having a job.



You and your classmates are going to get to choose jobs and earn class dollars for the job you do. Some of you will get to have partners to help you in the game and some of you will get to have all of your money to yourself. You will get to experience the economic impact various jobs have on you and society.


Two of the students in your class may choose to have jobs they do not get paid for, like being a stay at home parent or volunteering at the hospital. Two of the students may choose to lead a life of leisure and have no job at all! Your teacher will help you decide who will take those four positions.

After your class has chosen who doesn't have to have a paying job your teacher will divide you into groups and give you a list of jobs from which to choose. You can have any one of the jobs in your group even if someone else has already chosen it. If you think of another job that your teacher didn't list ask her about it! It may fall within the choices you can make.

Next she will either assign you a partner or let you know that you are working on your own.

Now that your teacher has divided you into teams, go find a spot in the room where you and your teammates can sit without being near another team or single player. Your teacher will hand out the money for the job you picked. Add up the money for all the members of your team, ask for help if you need it, and write the sum total on your construction paper.
As a class, figure out which team made the most money and hang it on the wall. Keep hanging up your signs until you get to the people who made NO money.

Now for the fun part! Each team gets to spend their money at your teacher's store. If you are on a team you have to share your money evenly. If you are not on a team you can get whatever you can afford. If you chose to have no job and you have no partner then you can't shop.


To conclude the activity, your teacher may ask you to respond to the following questions.

  • Why do you think people with some jobs earn more money than other people with different jobs?
  • Why do you think some people choose jobs that they know won't pay as well as others?
  • Why do you think some people choose to work on a team (as a married couple, for example) in which one team member may earn little or no money?
  • Why do you think some people choose not to work or earn at all?


Now you are going to complete an interactive activity below consisting of some true/false statements concerning what we learned in the game we just played. Read the questions and decide whether the answer is true or false.

Read the true/false statements on the worksheet. If the statement is true color the piggy bank and if it is false then color the man with empty pockets. When you are finished color the picture of the career that you think you would most enjoy. Remember, making lots of money is not the only thing that is important in choosing a career. You also have to think about whether it is a job you want to do for a lot of years. Who wants to make lots of money if you hate going to work everyday!? Money is never worth being miserable.


In your studies, you have looked at the importance of employment versus unemployment. Now you will take the things you have learned and put them to use over a period of time prescribed by your teacher. Think carefully about the choices you make during the game because they will affect your paycheck and the way you get to 'live' in the end.