Lesson 6: Planning a Summer Work Experience

Name(s) of student(s):

Age and grade level:

Goal from IEP connected to lesson:

Objective from IEP connected to lesson:

Purpose of lesson: Discuss and research summer work experience possibilities regarding transportation.

Materials needed: Preferred note taking device


“Last session, we discussed seeking input from mentors already working in your field of interest. Now, we’ll talk about any responses you’ve received from your mentor emails and get started planning for a summer work experience.”

Discussion: Responses from Mentors

Discuss responses, if any, from the mentor emails. Ask if students have additional inquiries.

Discussion: Summer Work Experience

“Looking at your career action plan, I see your next step is obtaining summer work experience to gain skills and earn an income. Let’s begin the discussion and planning.”

Facilitate lesson with a question such as, “Suppose you work part-time, about 12 hours a week, this summer as a _________ (job related to a student’s career field) and you make $8.00 an hour, which works out to earning about $800 after two months. How might you spend or save this money? How would it feel to earn your own money?”

Together, consider the benefits of work experience. Some examples: An increase in career-specific knowledge; firsthand understanding of work-related expectations; gaining skills that can build a resume and meeting people who can provide references; increasing self-confidence as the student recognizes his or her skills and potential; income; learning and practicing social skills; personal growth through job successes and challenges.

Exercise: Setting Work Experience Goals and Expectations

Assist students in generating work experience goals and expectations.  Ask students what they hope to gain from the experience. Ask them to describe what they hope to achieve and what the experience will be like. Make a list of realistic goals and expectations for a summer work experience.

Exercise: Brainstorming Opportunities

Have students brainstorm entry-level employment opportunities relating to their careers of interest and current goals/expectations. Consider local businesses and entrepreneurs and “neighborhood jobs” such as babysitting. Have students think about how they might use their social networks to find job leads or seek referrals.

Questions to consider: Do you know anyone working in your field of interest or a related field? How can you find out? Maybe someone in your network knows someone in your field of interest. How can you find out? If paid work experience is not an option, have students consider volunteer work at non-profits, cultural institutions, or small businesses. Have students record two lists: opportunities and people to contact.

Discussion: The Importance of Transportation

Emphasize the importance of considering location and transportation whenever students seek work experience or a job. Reliable, affordable transportation is critical in order to get hired and keep employment.

Exercise: Transportation Options

Review all brainstormed employment possibilities while taking transportation into account. Are any opportunities within walking distance of your home? Which prospects are accessible by bus route? Are paratransit services available? If so, what is the cost? Is taxi-sharing a possibility? Can students carpool, compensating the driver accordingly?

Discussion: Consider Preparation

Ask students if they feel prepared to work part-time this summer. What are the elements of employment that you are confident about? What are the elements that you’re worried or concerned about? How can you begin preparing so you feel ready to work when the summer comes?


“Today we discussed the value of a summer job and brainstormed employment possibilities and transportation options. Next time we will create something called a personal data sheet, which is a form that will help you complete job applications.”

Progress notes, data collection, comments, modifications:

Next steps/lesson: Creating a personal data sheet.