Whistle While You Work

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 12120

Unless you work in a library, whistling while you work makes it go easier. Also, remembering why we work gives meaning to our labors. Learn why people work, and how to spend your earnings wisely!


Finding a Career, Social Studies

Social Studies
learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5), Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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If people didn't work, there would be no electricity, computers, chairs, police, gum, cinnamon buns, toilet tissue . . . pretty much nothing.

  • Why do people work?

Each day, millions of people around the world get up and go to a job.

There are thousands of different jobs that exist. People work in offices, hospitals, schools, construction sites, parks, and many other places. People complain about disliking their jobs all the time.

  • So, why do they keep going?

You have probably heard the phrase, “Nothing in life is free.” This statement could not be truer. The house you live in, the water that comes out of your faucet, the clothes on your back, the food you eat, and the gas in the family car, all cost money. Even turning the lights on in your home costs money. People must generate an income in order to be able to afford to live. Income is money that is earned through work and investments. Income is essential to being able to buy the things we need.

While people have to work to generate income, some people work for other reasons, too. As you watch Why Do We Work?, by PBS and Braincraft, discuss the questions with your teacher or parent:

  • Why does the tourist encourage the fisherman to catch more fish?
  • What did Adam Smith believe?
  • Why do some people think financial rewards are bad?
  • What are three things that make people want to work?
  • Besides money, what are some other reasons people work?

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The video presents some other ideas for why people work. For example, some people work because they feel that is what they are called to do or because they get to do something that they love. Either way, a job must generate income in order to fill basic human needs such as food, clothing, and shelter.

  • What is a career you could one day have that would help you earn income and be able to do something you love?

Discuss your answer with your teacher or parent.

Then, move on to the Got It? section to learn why having an income is important.

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