Is this book kind of cliche? Sure. Is it sort of predictable? Yep! A little preachy, even? Maybe. But it's so adorable that I'm going to share it with my students to kick off a discussion about post-secondary options. If you've looked, then you know that there aren’t a lot of rich college-and-career-readiness resources for elementary school students, so that's why this little gem caught my eye.
Use Wendy’s story as a springboard to spur on thinking about what your personality has to do with your career path choice. Download this VERY informal Shapes Personality Inventory (loosely adapted from Dellinger's work) that we took at a workshop to share with your students (and staff!). The directions are simple; basically, you ask your audience to draw one of these four shapes: a square, a circle, a triangle, a squiggly line. Then, sort students by the shape they selected and either give them a list of their descriptors to share in their small group or read them aloud for everyone to hear.
See if they agree that the shape they've selected describes them. Then have them discuss things like this: In what ways does their personality match the description? How is it different? What other shapes have descriptors that match who they are? Is it possible to be a triangle AND a square, for example? And just what does personality have to do with the career they'll pursue? Find out if anyone has a box already picked out for them. For example, does Joshua's family have a pre-selected engineer box for him because he's good at math and science and his dad works at NASA? I think you'll be intrigued by their responses.
You can keep the shapes concept alive all year by using it to small group your students. (Today, I need you to work with a square if you're a square. Or: Today, squiggles can work with circles, etc.) I can see this little treasure spawning all sorts of valuable discussions with individuals, in small groups, and with whole-class guidance. I can't wait to give it a shot. How do you see yourself using it?