Session one: what is work?

Please don't look ahead if you haven't done the session yet in the classroom, as that'll ruin the fun!


Compete against the clock. How many different jobs can you think of in 60 seconds? What is work? Can you come up with a definition?


The working world is continuously evolving and changing. Throughout history, big events in society and important inventions have affected how we work. These things that make big changes to the way we do things are called turning points.


Check your learning by taking part in this quick quiz!

Which event had the biggest effect on work? What effect did it have?


Sketch time! Daw a quick sketch of a:

  • cleaner
  • pilot
  • doctor
  • nurse

Which genders did you draw for each job? Why?

A stereotype is when you assume that all people within a group are the same. For example: “all cleaners are women”. They are often not true! Have your sketches thrown up any stereotypes? What other stereotypes are there about the jobs people can or can't do?

Stereotypes based on what men and women can do for work have changed over time but they still exist. Look back at the Turning point events posters.

  • Which of these could have started to change stereotypes about work?
  • How might stereotypes limit what someone thinks they can do for a job?
  • How might stereotypes have a negative impact on the future of work?
  • What could be done about gender stereotypes in work?



What is work?

  • When would these things be examples of work? When wouldn’t they be examples of work?
  • If you are paid for something, does that automatically make it work? If you don’t get paid, does that mean it’s not work?
  • What would the world be like if people didn’t do these things? Does that make some more important than others?


Why do people work? Do people just work for money?

Have a look at these things that are considered work and the jobs they are connected to.

Work PowerPointkd (1).jpg

  • Are jobs more important if people get paid more to do them? Why / why not?
  • Are these workers paid fairly? Why / why not?

CHALLENGE: what stereotypes are there about these workers? Why are they unfair?

You can find out why certain jobs are paid different amounts here.


Salaries are not just decided on how hard someone works, they are decided by the type of work someone does and by how many people are able to do that job. People don’t always do a job because of the money they can earn, there are lots of reasons why people work, including to:

  • support family
  • be remembered
  • help others
  • enjoy the job
  • feel proud
  • be like everyone else
  • buy nice things
  1. Choose one job you have talked about. What would be the top two reasons why someone would want to do that job? Why?
  2. Which two reasons would motivate you to do a job? Why?

Over to you!

Head to the comments section below to share some of your thoughts on the activities and see what club members in other schools think.

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