Name(s) of student(s):

Age and grade level:

Goal from IEP connected to lesson:

Objective from IEP connected to lesson:

Purpose of lesson: Understanding work requires effort to achieve a result/goal.

Materials needed: Internet access


“Today we will talk about birthday parties! Planning a birthday party takes much effort, but is rewarding.”

Discussion: Effort in Party Planning

“Technically, work is engaging in mental or physical effort to achieve a result. This makes me think of planning a birthday party. If you have helped plan a birthday or other party, you know there is much to coordinate, purchase, and decide. You choose a party date, decide the location, send invitations to a specific number of friends, buy food and drinks, and plan activities. When the day of the party arrives, you help set up the room, dress for the occasion, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. After the event, you send thank-you cards. That’s a lot of work!”
Ask the student if she has helped plan a birthday party and how she prepared for the event. Did she feel any stress or social pressure?

Exercise: Planning a Party

A birthday, holiday, or “just because” party can be planned and implemented by a student or group of students. The party can be for the students themselves or a group of younger children to enjoy.
Alternatively, a student could draft a general birthday party plan, taking into account her interests, with a budget of $100. (Remember food and drinks, invitations, thank-you cards, location, activities, etc.)

Discussion: Effort in Work

“When you plan a birthday party, certain expectations are placed on the planner. Deadlines must be met and activities must be planned, and it can feel stressful. It’s true. It’s true even when you like birthday parties. You care how it turns out; you have invested time, energy, and money. You want your guests to have a fun, relaxed time.”
Highlight the effort it takes to maintain employment. Effort is put into work and stressors are present even though one may work in a field of interest.  

Exercise: Identifying Similarities

Ask your student to choose one career she may want to pursue. What effort is made in order to pursue the career? (Think about the expectations, deadlines, and stressors.)
Research answers using the Explore Careers section of CareerConnect and an Internet search engine.
Your student may consider asking a CareerConnect mentor for information if she does not know enough about the efforts, stressors, or expectations.

Discussion: The Reward

Question: If a birthday party is so much work to plan, why have one? (It’s rewarding!)
Question: What rewards are reaped for the hard work you sow when you have a job? (Financial security, health benefits, sense of accomplishment, helping others, social camaraderie, etc.)


“We like birthday parties, and yet it still takes effort to plan one. You may like animals, and it definitely still takes effort to be employed as a veterinarian. Work is engaging in effort to achieve a result.”
Progress notes, data collection, comments, and modifications: