My Work Profile 4: My Body at Work

My Work Profile 4

My Body at Work

Created by Elana Himmelfarb May 2017

Applies To: Work and Career, Awareness Development and Executive Function, Self-Awareness, Critical Thinking

Purpose: To better understand the physical demands associated with work and that many of those tasks the student has done before


  • To understand physical demands related to working
  • To relate various on-the-job physical demands to past experiences that are similar
  • To break down job tasks to more easily identify physical demands
  • To facilitate brainstorming and making connections, comparisons and predictions about workplace physical demands
  • To identify strengths, challenges, preferences and sensitivities related to various physical activities in the workplace
  • To introduce stamina as a physical experience (task specific, emotional, social and overall) when thinking about physical demands
  • To facilitate self-reflection

Materials needed:

  • Space to move around
  • Manipulatives to simulate physical demands as needed  (preview worksheet in order to assess needed materials)
  • Comfortable clothing for both facilitator and student for easier movement
  • Access to computer to provide supporting visual supports (images or videos) as needed to strengthen comprehension
  • Provided Worksheets
  • Provided Summary sheet
  • Pens/Pencils, 1 highlighter
  • Energy and attention—include breaks as needed

Activity Steps:

  1. Set Climate. We will be talking about different job tasks, moving our bodies to act some of them out and activating our brains to imagine what it feels like to do different on the job tasks. Some of these physical actions you have done before, so we will also be using our brains to find and recall memories of activities we have done before that are similar to on the job tasks
  2. Navigate worksheet with student. Use gesturing, pantomime and physical objects to stimulate physical sensations related to work demands. For example, the food prep section can be covered in a kitchen while preparing food in real time. Use verbal prompts to facilitate memory recall. Capitalize on shared prior experiences with student that might increase understanding. Note: not intended to complete in one session, Can change/add jobs to fit student interests and affinities. A word bank has been provided filled with action words associated with a wide variety of jobs. These words can be defined as needed and acted out in work activity simulation, role play and improvisation. 
  3. Summary sheet: use the summary sheet to review the different actions the student tried and/or evaluated. First categorize them by easy, medium and hard. Then have student form an opinion on whether the activity is something they are willing or want to do/learn on the job. Opinions can be solicited as the student is putting work actions into categories, or to facilitate easier processing the opinions can be assigned by the student after the actions have been categorized, either in the same session or a different session depending on mental stamina. If printing up a hard copy of summary sheet, format spacing before using.
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