As students get older, it’s important to include more exposure to vocational and transitional tasks that will serve them well in the future.
These types of tasks give students practice with everyday experiences that they will need to learn to navigate on their own, or with limited assistance. Providing this practice while in the safety of the school environment can build students’ confidence and comfort with those everyday life tasks.
We asked the veteran teachers in Mrs. D’s VIPs Facebook group to share some of their favorite transitional/vocational tasks for any classroom or age.
You can see the entire post here when you’re a member (it’s FREE!). Not yet a member of our group? Join us! We would love to have you whether it’s your first year teaching or you’re a veteran teacher.
Top 10 Vocational Tasks for Any Classroom
While the tasks listed below can be used in any classroom, they are especially beneficial for high school students as they begin to transition out of the public school system.
1. Mock Interviews
Job interviews are an essential part of life. Have students take turns interviewing one another in mock job interviews. To make them more realistic, have students create a resume beforehand and “interview” for their dream class job.
2. Filling Out Job Applications
If you have never filled out a job application before, it can be a daunting task. Practice filling out mock job applications, so students know what to expect when they apply for a job.
3. Write a Resume
Every student should leave school knowing how to write a resume. Use templates to guide students in creating theirs and show them where to find free templates that they can use once they graduate.
4. Reading Recipes
If students want to eat more than fast food, it’s essential to know how to read a recipe. Cooking in the classroom is a great way to make this happen. You can find lots of visual recipes here, and learn more about cooking in the classroom here.
Understanding the abbreviations for measurements, having a visual idea of what the difference between a teaspoon and a tablespoon is, and how mixing up measurements can make the recipe go awry is an integral part of being able to care for oneself. Following the directions in order is another crucial step to emphasize.
5. Reading Medicine Labels
While some may take this skill for granted, helping students to understand how to read a medicine label for both prescription and over the counter medications is a vital skill. They need to know the dosage, the time between dosages, and the precautions to take while using the medicine.
6. How to Read a Menu
Everyone loves going out to eat, but if you don’t know how to read a menu, it can be a challenging endeavor.
Practice having a restaurant in your classroom or take your students on a field trip to a restaurant in town. Teach them how to find the different sections of the menu and how to understand the pricing.
7. How to Read Game Directions
If they don’t know how to read and understand the directions to play new games, chances are that they won’t try them or won’t play games at all.
Gather a variety of different directions from games that are appropriate for their age and help them read through them to understand how to play. The best part? You can test their understanding by having a class game day!
8. Reading Directions to Places
With the reliance on GPS, special education students are not the only ones who have trouble understanding how to read directions to different locations using a good ole map.
Help them read a map and follow the step-by-step directions that can be printed out.
9. Understanding Public Transportation Schedules and Fares
If they don’t have cars, public transportation will most likely be your students’ mode of transportation. Teach them how to read a bus or train schedule and understand the amount of money they will need to pay as the fare. Take a field trip to a local destination using the mode of transportation studied and let the students plan the route!
10. Addressing Envelopes
Snail mail may be less popular than it used to be, but students should still know how to address an envelope. Let students practice addressing envelopes to themselves and then mailing them. You can find a few activities to practice addressing envelopes here.
Visit the post office for a unique field trip experience to see the process from start to finish.
What are some of your favorite vocational/transitional activities to do with students? Share them with us in the comments below or in our Facebook group!