JA Our Nation®

JA Our Nation introduces fifth-grade students to the intersection of work readiness and upper elementary grades social studies learning objectives. Through hands-on classroom activities, the program provides students with practical information about the nation’s free market system and how it serves as an economic engine for businesses and careers. The curriculum also introduces the need for entrepreneurial and innovative thinking to meet the requirements of high-growth, high-demand careers and the concept of globalization in business. JA Our Nation is volunteer-taught and kit-based. Included in the kit are five 45-minute sessions, a supplemental session focusing on business organization, and enhanced extension activities.

Session One: Free to Choose Your Work or Business

Students are introduced to the nation’s free market system and how it supports businesses and careers. They experience how pricing affects consumers’ buying decisions.

The students will be able to:

  • Identify the characteristics of a free market economy.
  • Explain how pricing guides economic decisions.

Session Two: Innovation Nation

Students experience how entrepreneurial thinking can spur new businesses and the opportunity for future income. They use an engineering design process to reimagine a product or service.

The students will be able to:

  • Define entrepreneur and entrepreneurship.
  • Describe resources and how entrepreneurs use them.
  • Explore STEM skills and the process of innovation.

Session Three: Career Clusters

Students learn about career clusters. They participate in a Career Quest and answer specific questions using information found on the Career Cluster Trading Cards.

The students will be able to:

  • Examine career groupings and the skills necessary for a variety of careers.

Session Four: Get and Keep the Job!

Students examine important work-readiness and behavioral skills needed for career success. Through playing a board game, students learn about the soft skills employers are looking for.

The students will be able to:

  • Identify the soft skills wanted by today’s employers.

Session Five: Global Connections

Students explore how the United States is connected to the global economy. In groups, students use puzzle cards to assemble products using resources from around the world.

The students will be able to:

  • Discuss why businesses specialize and trade.
  • Define opportunity cost.

Optional Supplement: Business Organization

Students examine entrepreneurship, free enterprise, and business organization by role-playing starting and growing a business.

The students will be able to:

  • Identify three basic ways businesses are organized.


Join us is empowering the future in Arizona