JA Our Families®

JA Our Families® introduces students to entrepreneurship and how family member''s jobs and businesses contribute to the well-being of the family.

Following participation in the program, students will be able to describe similarities and differences in families; categorize needs and wants; describe jobs people do; analyze their skills to find ways to help their families; identify goods and services provided by local businesses; and explain one of the entrepreneurial characteristics, Satisfy a Need or a Want.

JA Our Families® is a series of five activities recommended for students in first grade. The average time for each activity is 30 minutes. Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed activity plans for the volunteer and materials for 30 students.

JA Our Families® enhances students’ learning of the following concepts and skills:

  • Concepts – Business, Choices, Consumers, Earning, Economic incentives, Economic institutions, Employment, Family, Human resources, Incentives, Income, Interdependence, Jobs, Money, Needs, Resources, Scarcity, Skills, Spending, Tools, Voluntary exchange, Wants, Work
  • Skills – Analyzing information, Decision-making, Differentiating, Drawing, Following directions, Interpreting symbols, Listening responsively, Making observations, Map reading, Matching, Recognizing symbols, Sequencing, Teamwork

Program Components

The key learning objectives listed beside each activity state the skills and knowledge students will gain.

Session One: Our Families

The students discover how families are alike and different and how they can work together to make where they live a better place.

Session Objectives:

  • Understand the similarities and differences between families
  • Recognize the importance of individuals and families as part of neighborhoods

Session Two: Our Families’ Needs and Wants

Students become aware that all families must have food, clothing, and shelter to live. They begin to understand the difference between a need and a want.

Session Objectives:

  • Categorize needs and wants
  • Describe the difference between a need and a want

Session Three: Great Job!

The students examine the jobs family members have, including operating their own businesses, and the ways people earn money to provide for a family''s needs and wants.

Session Objectives:

  • Define the terms job, business, and entrepreneur
  • Identify jobs people do
  • Analyze their own skills to determine ways they can support family members

Session Four: Businesses in Our Neighborhood

The students use the Floor Map to locate businesses throughout the neighborhood. They also identify locations for new entrepreneurial businesses, along with the goods or services these businesses will provide.

Session Objectives:

  • Interpret map symbols
  • Identify the goods or services businesses provide

Session Five: Our New Business

Students become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses.

Session Objectives:

  • Describe one of the entrepreneurial characteristics-Satisfy a Need or Want

All JA programs are designed to support the skills and competencies identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. These programs also augment school-based, work-based, and connecting activities for communities with school-to-work initiatives.

For additional information on this and all Junior Achievement programs, please visit