Invest in Yourself

Students are divided into four groups to produce name tents. Each group produces name tents in a different way to highlight different levels of human capital. Students identify ways in which people invest in their human capital. Students use the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook to analyze unemployment, educational attainment, and median weekly income data for 2012. They work with a partner to create a graphical representation of the data and share their examples with the class.

As an assessment, they write several sentences that describe the unemployment, educational attainment, and median weekly income data and explain the likely impact of investment in human capital on potential earnings and unemployment. A second assessment asks students to use the Occupational Outlook Handbook to select an occupation of interest and outline the investments in human capital they must make to obtain that occupation.


Students will:

  • define human capital and investment in human capital,
  • give examples of investment in human capital,
  • describe the relationship between a person’s level of education and income earning potential, and
  • describe the relationship between educational attainment and unemployment.

Grade Level

Middle School – High School

Time Required

  • 60 minutes


  • Handout 1, one copy for each student
  • Two sheets of light-colored construction paper per student plus one sheet for the teacher
  • One sheet of chart paper for each pair of students
  • One dark-colored marker for each student
  • Markers for each pair of students


Whiteboard (SMART/notebook)
Whiteboard (ActivInspire/flipchart)
PowerPoint (pptx)

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