Career Exploration Using PA CareerZone: A MS Career Lesson

Title of Lesson: Up The Ladder (PA CareerZone)

Course Name: PACE        

Grade Level: 6        

Author’s Name: Michelle Waiter        

School District: Palmyra Area School District

PA Academic Standards for Career Education and Work
13.1.8 Career Awareness and Preparation
13.1.8.A.  Relate careers to individual interests, abilities, and aptitudes
13.1.8.B.  Relate careers to personal interests, abilities, and aptitudes
13.1.8.F.  Analyze the relationship of school subjects, extracurricular activities, and community experiences to career exploration.
Learning Objectives
Students will
  • Explore a variety of career clusters in order to investigate pathways within each cluster.
  • Learn about the education and training needed for various occupations.
  • Learn about tools needed for each job, as well as the various activities performed in each occupation.
  • Move from “intern” to the “associate” level through completing tasks throughout the exploration process.
  • Identify three careers of interest and list three facts for each occupation.
Conceptual Background
A teacher would need to create an account on and become familiar with the various activities within the website.  Specifically, a teacher would need to familiarize him/herself with the Up The Ladder activity under the Explore Tab on the website.  I would recommend creating an avatar and playing the game to see how badges are earned and how to navigate around the program.  In order for students to be able to access the Up The Ladder activity on the website, each student will need to create his or her own account.
Instructional Procedure
Day 1
3 MinutesLesson Introduction
  • Share the essential question for the class: “What careers relate to my interests?”  
  • Explain to students that they will be creating an account on the PA CareerZone website in order to access the game “Up the Ladder” to explore career clusters and investigate careers of interest.
10 MinutesPACareerZone Login
  • Walk students through how to create an account on their iPads.  Have them go to
  • Click on the sign in button and create an account.  Students will create a username and password.  
  • They will continue to follow the instructions to create their account.  Have them use their school email address, so that if they forget their username or password, they can reset it by having a link sent to their email.  Once each student has created his or her account, have them place their iPads face down.
10 MinutesUp the Ladder
The teacher will project his/her computer to show students how to get to and navigate the “Up The Ladder” activity.  
  • Explain to students that they will go to the explore tab on the website.  
  • Under the occupations title, students will click on the Up The Ladder link.  
  • Once the activity comes up, students will be directed to create an avatar by clicking on “start new.”  
  • Students will select a name and then create their “ID badge” by selecting skin color, hair color, and head style.  
  • Once their badge is created then they can begin to investigate.  
  • Students will be directed to click on a specific cluster or on the spinner to begin the game.  Have students get on their iPads and create their ID badges.  
10 Minutes
  • The teacher will show the students how to navigate through the clusters.  
  • Students will either be able to click on the spinner to have a random cluster selected, or they can pick one of their choice.  Once a cluster is selected students can watch a brief video about the cluster.  Students can click on the activity and popularity links to learn about the cluster in general.  
  • Students can then click on a pathway below to investigate further.  Information about wages, education, tools used, and job outlook will be shared.  More specific occupations underneath the pathway are listed.  Information such as interests, work values, wages, and possibly a video link is shared.  
  • When students are ready to leave a cluster they can click on the x to get back to the list of career clusters.  
  • Students will notice along the way that they will earn badges for exploring pathways, clicking links of information, and “liking” occupations or pathways.  As students earn badges they will move from an intern position to an associate position.  
  • Students will also complete by the end of next class an occupation fact sheet.  As they explore careers of interest they will write three facts about three different careers they explored and in which they have an interest.
12 MinutesAllow students to begin to explore areas of interest in the game.
Day 2
5 Minutes
  • Remind students that they will be getting onto and logging into the accounts they created last class.  
  • Teacher will remind students how to get to the Up the Ladder activity and navigate around it.  
  • Teacher will hand out the occupation summary sheet, and explain to students they will be looking to complete this along the way as they investigate careers while playing the game.
30 MinutesAllow students to navigate and explore careers.  Monitor student progress along the way by looking at the badges earned and the completion of the worksheet.
10 MinutesHave students share at their tables one of the careers of interest they wrote about and the facts they learned about it.  Collect occupation summary sheet at the end of class.  Summary sheets will be put in students individual career portfolios.
Formative Assessment
  • Observe the advancement on the student iPads from intern to associate throughout both classes
  • Completion of the occupation summary sheet
Materials Needed
PACareerZone Fact Sheet  
Pennsylvania CareerZone

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