The Essential Skills – A Brief Overview + An Activity

NIU STEAM continues to provide leadership and resources with regards to providing students with learning opportunities related to the Cross-Sector Essential Employability Skills, also known as the Essential Skills.

Essential Skills

The Essential Skills and career exploration are increasingly being built into a wide range of NIU STEAM activities. As more and more students also benefit from these type of College and Career Readiness activities in Illinois schools, the alignment between enrichment activities through NIU STEAM and their regular work in school will further deepen and enhance students’ essential skillset.

For this activity, students begin by watching this short introduction to the Essential Skills that is on YouTube and is less than 10 minutes in length.

Then, students are introduced to the Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads video series on YouTube. Students are asked to scroll through the video titles and descriptions and select 5 that are most interesting to them.

Then, students will watch the five videos that they have selected and use this NIU STEAM Essential Skills Checklist to identify which of the Essential Skills are evident in which of the videos.

Finally, in small groups or as a class, students should analyze the results of their survey of the Essential Skills across the Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads videos, identifying the frequency with which different Essential Skills appear as well as any patterns that they may discover between highlighted Essential Skills and different Career Pathways.