Wizards and Resumes
- Grades: 9–12
- Unit Plan:
- Gain knowledge of the social context surrounding J.K.Rowling’s biography using the Internet
- Compile information about J.K.Rowling into a resume
- Gather, compile, analyze, and categorize information about personal interests, skills, activities, careers, and achievements in order to create a career related portfolio
- Record information to be used in the creation of a resume
- Learn appropriate resume techniques
- Internet access and projector for class viewing
- Several resume and career portfolio samples
- Chart paper or transparency
- Portfolio folders or binders with sleeves
- Any book from the Harry Potter Series (optional)
- Your resume (optional)
Set Up and Prepare
- Show students a variety of professional resumes and portfolios
by visiting the following Web sites:
My students study the biography of J.K.Rowling for this unit, although any prominent figure or favorite fictional character study will work as well. If you do not have Internet access, you may use the book Conversations with J.K. Rowling
- Schedule approx. 2-3 days for computer lab time.
- Print and copy multiple sets of various resume styles and portfolio samples for each student or small group. Prepare your own resume and career portfolio for modeling, if you wish.
- Have students bring their own 3-ring binder or portfolio folder from home. Otherwise, students should make their own folder or scrapbook to hold documents.
- Prepare the following on chart paper or a transparency entitled
- List the job you are seeking – real or imagined.
- List all the work experience you have had real jobs, household chores, extra jobs at school, volunteering.
- List your education – schools attended, grades, unique classes.
- List your extra-curricular activities - sports, band, chess club, debate team.
- List your recreational activities – surfing, dancing, camping.
- List any awards you have won, honors you have received, or special recognition.
- List your references – two contacts, not related to you, who know about your character, abilities, and work habits.
DirectionsDays 1-2 – In computer lab
Step 1: Introduce the lesson by asking students what they know about the Harry Potter series or the author, J.K. Rowling. Hold up any title, if possible. Discuss the excitement that the series has brought to the world of reading. Tell the students that they will be studying J.K. Rowling’s biography on her Web site.
Step 2: Using J.K.Rowling’s Web site, click on the biography icon entitled 1965-2005 and have students take turns reading the story aloud. Ask students to take note of her education, job history, special skills and talents, and names of people who know her.
Step 3: Inform students that they will be thinking about their future careers and learning how to write a resume, complete a job application, and how to perform in a job interview during the course of this unit study. Explain that they will first practice by preparing a resume for J.K. Rowling.
Step 4: Distribute the resume samples. Discuss how resumes function and what they should convey.
Step 5: Introduce the Writing Resumes for Fictional Characters student interactive. Review each of the five tabs, instructing students to follow the suggestions. You may have students choose a fictional character instead of J.K.Rowling if you wish. Make sure to provide appropriate research materials. This activity will require students to focus on their character’s skills, choose an appropriate job for their character, and format the resume. Remind students that J.K.Rowling’s resume would tell a prospective employer who she is, what she has done, and why they should hire her. Encourage them to limit the information to one page, detailing the sections on the Overview tab. Of course, some embellishment may be necessary.
Step 6: Allow students time to review J.K. Rowling’s biography, research the necessary information, and draft their resumes.
Step 7: Upon completion, have students follow any resume sample of their choice for publishing, tailoring it to meet the job description provided in the vacancy announcement. You may want to share a resume template from your word processing program. Evaluate the resumes before the next class meeting.
Step 1: Choose a few completed resumes that reveal the important details of J.K.Rowling’s life story in a succinct one-page document and have those students read them aloud. Generate a discussion about the importance of being clear, direct, and concise when writing a resume.
Step 2: Ask students to envision their own resume. What would it say? Would it be similar or different than that of J.K.Rowling’s? What are their job aspirations? Skills? Interests?
Step 3: Using the Resume Requirements chart paper or transparency, review the necessary information that must be on a resume. Discuss each section, asking students to provide examples from their own lives. Talk about the objective section of a resume and share some examples. Instruct students to free-write their responses to each of the 7 sections and include an objective.
Step 4: Instruct students to share their completed drafts with members of the class for review and helpful comments.
Step 5: Share the online resume templates once again, asking students to choose a resume layout. Allow students to complete and print their resumes using a word processor.
Step 1: Explain that a resume should not be the only necessity when they apply and interview for jobs. Share that a career portfolio can help them present their talents in a convincing and fresh manner.
Step 2: Using your own or online examples, introduce the purpose and components of a career portfolio. This should include artifacts or objects representing personal interests, skills, experience, certification, grades, awards, career interests, references, and a completed resume. Inform them that their homework will be to gather their own documents and artifacts.
Step 3: Using their binders or constructed folders, instruct students to set up their career portfolios in the following way:
First Section: Introduction, table of contents, acknowledgments
Second Section: 5 to 15 samples of artifacts and documents including personal information, education/special skills/recognition, work experience, completed assignments, information on careers, etc.
Third Section: Summary of the portfolio experience, what was learned from the process.
Step 4: Provide time for students to set up their binders and complete any additional documents, title pages, TOC, and their summary.
Step 5: Instruct students to share their drafts with members of the class for review and helpful comments.
Step 6: Allow students to present their completed career portfolios, including their resumes, with the class.
Supporting All LearnersAllowing students to work with a partner or in groups during this lesson would provide struggling students feedback and resourceful ideas.
Lesson ExtensionsInvite a professional resume consultant or the personnel director of your school or local business to evaluate the resumes and offer feedback and suggestions for writing an outstanding resume.
- Create J.K.Rowling resume
- Create personal resume
- Create a career portfolio
EvaluationDo you need to provide a variety of biographies to study? Did students have adequate artifacts to build their portfolios? Do you need more/less time? How might you do this lesson differently next year?
Evaluate the student resume according to the Resume Requirements Chart. Evaluate the portfolio according to the three sections listed in Days 3-5, Step 3.