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 a series of five required sessions and one optional supplemental session recommended for students in fifth grade. Each session is 45 minutes in length. Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed session plans for the volunteer and materials for 32 students.

All JA programs are designed to support the skills and competencies identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. JA programs also correlate to state standards in social studies, English, and mathematics, and to Common Core State Standards.


Pillars of Student Success Entrepreneurship:  Financial-Literacy:  Work-Readiness: 
Program Implementation Program Grade-Level
Classroom-Based Elementary School
Program Concepts Program Skills
Businesses, careers, career clusters, collaboration, communication, competition, competitor, consumer, critical thinking, engineering, employees, employers, entrepreneur, free market economy, global economy, goods and services, human capital, innovation, invention, interdependence, job specialization, opportunity cost, product, producer, profit, resume, skills, technology, work readiness Analyzing occupations, analyzing information, brainstorming, creative thinking, collaboration, communication, decision making, estimating, following written instructions, interpersonal skills, interpreting economic issues, map reading, organizing information, prioritizing, problem solving, reasoning, speaking and listening, STEM skills, teamwork, working cooperatively, working in pairs, written communication

Program Sessions

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.

Session Two: Innovation Nation

Students experience how entrepreneurial thinking can spur new businesses and the opportunity for future income.

Session Three: Career Clusters

Students examine career groups and the skills needed for a variety of careers.

Session Four: Get and Keep the Job!

Students identify important work-readiness soft skills necessary for career success.

Session Five: Global Connections

Students explore how the United States is connected to the global economy.

Supplemental Session: Business Organization

Students dig deeper and experience the three ways businesses are organized.