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    Tell Me About Lesson Plan

    Topics: Autism & Preschool Lesson Plans, Elementary (4-12), Lesson Plans

    Lesson Overview:

    Students will learn job identification and better understanding of tools and identifying features of particular workers as they respond to the prompt, "Tell me about..." to describe a worker and/or a worker’s job as depicted on Language Builder Occupation Cards.
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    Students will describe a worker and/or a worker’s job depicted on an Occupation Card by responding to the teacher’s prompt of “Tell me about…”

    Skills Practiced:

    • Job identification
    • Understanding of tools used for certain jobs
    • Recognition of identifying features of particular workers (i.e., uniforms)
    • Increased awareness of helpers seen in the community
    • Vocabulary development

    Materials Needed:


      • This lesson is designed for 1:1 instruction with a teacher or therapistlanguage-builder-occupation-card-box-with-5-card-display

    Set Up:

    Decide which cards you would like to work on with your student. Occupations with which your student is already familiar work best for this activity. Depending on the content you are teaching in class, you may decide to choose workers your student is likely to see on an upcoming community trip, athletes, workers you see in a school, etc. Note that each occupation shows male and female workers.
    Sit across from or next to the student.


    1. Model what you’d like your student to do by choosing a card (for example, firefighter, #44) and placing it on the table facing your student. Ask your student to identify the job, and then tell them about that occupation.

      • At first you can use information that is easily identifiable in the picture (for example, “The firefighter drives a big red truck”; “The firefighter carries a hose”; “The firefighter wears a special uniform to keep him safe”).male-firefighter-by-fire-truck

      • As your student becomes more advanced (see step #5 below), you may identify aspects of the job that are not as obvious from the picture (“The firefighter puts out fires”; “The firefighter climbs a ladder to reach high places”, etc.)

      • You may choose to model a few cards in this manner until you feel that your student understands what will be expected of them.

    2. Then tell the student it is their turn.

    3. Choose a card (for example, police officer, #89) and place it on the table facing your student.

    4. Ask your student to tell you about the occupation shown on the card, using the name of the job in your statement. For example, “Tell me about the police officer.”

      • If your student names the occupation itself, “Police officer”, reinforce the correct label and encourage them to tell you more about the police officer’s job. For example, “That’s right, she is a police officer. Can you tell me more about her?”

      • If your student needs more prompting, try pointing to different elements of the photo (such as the police car, her badge, the pad of paper in her hands) to give the student a reference point from which to begin.

      • Depending on your student’s vocabulary, encourage them to use complete sentences to talk about the worker.

    5. “The police officer writes tickets.” rather than, “Ticket.”female-police-officer-by-police-car
    6. As your student becomes more familiar with this activity and the occupations, encourage them to identify aspects of the worker’s job that are not readily apparent from the photo.

    7. For example, “The police officer can help you if you are lost”; “The police officer will respond if you call 911”; “The police officer arrests people who break the law”, etc.

    8. Repeat for the remainder of the cards.

    9. Shuffle and repeat.


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    Jenna Wharff, Ed.M.

    Written by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M.

    Jenna Wharff is a special education teacher at HOPEhouse at Cotting School, a transitional boarding school for students age 17-22 with special needs, in Lexington, MA. She specializes in helping her students prepare for life after high school by teaching independent living, vocational, and social skills as well as practical academics and providing opportunities for her students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to their everyday lives. She aims to help students and their families make the transition from special education to adult services as smooth as possible, while providing her students with the skills and knowledge necessary to lead productive and meaningful lives after leaving HOPEhouse. Jenna received her Master's degree in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2007.