Car board game.

CareerStart lessons: Grade six

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Learning outcomes

Students will explore careers and learn the science process skills (observing, inferring, predicting, classifying, making models, and communicating) that support the development of reasoning and problem-solving abilities.

Teacher planning

Materials needed

  • Student handouts:
    • “Think Like a Scientist” student reading (This article is also available as html. The PDF linked from this lesson plan includes student instructions.)
    • Student activity pages
    • Parent survey
  • Paper
  • Pencil

Time required for lesson

Approximately 50 minutes of class time.
Additional homework time will be needed.

Advance preparation

  • Make copies of student handouts for each student.
  • Match students up into pairs to do the activity sheets prior to teaching the lesson.


  1. Pass out and read “Think Like a Scientist.” Have students put their name on their work and pass around a stapler during read-aloud. The teacher will model read-aloud, but stop frequently and ask students to talk (share-pair) with a neighbor sitting nearby about ideas that are important. (15 minutes)
  2. After reading, assign students a partner for the activity pages.
  3. Have students follow the procedure on the handout. There are 3 activities for the students to complete. Explain to the students that all work should be done together in the pair but each student must write down his or her own answers to turn in at the end. Otherwise, credit will not be given. During the paired work, move around the room. (25-30 minutes)
  4. At the end of the designated time, conduct a closing discussion. Students should be ready to speak because the questions for the discussion are listed on their papers.
  5. Questions for the discussion:
    1. Explain why you chose to put each career with a specific skill. Give an example.
    2. How were your answers different from those of your partner?
    3. List at least one additional skill needed for each career.
    4. What characteristics were most important to you when you made the groups?
  6. Send the parent survey home as extra credit/homework.


Optional resources for more information on the topics covered in this lesson

Learning Science
A free learning community for teachers and students to share new tools to teach science, including real time data collection, simulations, inquiry-based lessons, remote instrumentation, microworlds, and imaging.
WISE: The Web-based Inquiry Science Environment
A free online learning environment for grades 5-12 where students examine real world evidence and analyze current scientific controversies.
Science Buddies
This site offers information on science careers in life sciences, engineering, math and computer science, and heath. Descriptions emphasize the importance of planning to obtain the education required for specific careers.
The Fun Works
A website to show students how they can turn their interests into careers in science.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Science (2005)

Grade 6

  • Goal 1: The learner will design and conduct investigations to demonstrate an understanding of scientific inquiry.
    • Objective 1.01: Identify and create questions and hypotheses that can be answered through scientific investigations.
    • Objective 1.05: Analyze evidence to:
      • Explain observations.
      • Make inferences and predictions.
      • Develop the relationship between evidence and explanation.