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 describe ways in which organisms interact with each other and with non-living parts of the environment by examining eco-tourism in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Teacher planning

Materials needed

  • Computer with Internet access
  • For each student, a copy of student handouts:
    • “Eco-Tourism” handout
    • “Eco-Tourism in the Outer Banks of North Carolina” reading (This article is also available as html. The student handout version includes student instructions.)
    • KWL Chart for each student
  • One copy of “Eco-Tourism Occupations” list
  • Pencil
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Department of Labor (Note: If the Occupational Outlook Handbook is not available at your school media center or guidance office, please refer to the electronic version on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. This website is also a great tool for readers who would struggle with a handbook of this size.)

Time required for lesson

Approximately 85 minutes of class time
Additional homework time will be needed.

Advance preparation

  • Reserve computer lab
  • Make copies of “Eco-Tourism” handout, “Eco-Tourism in the Outer Banks of North Carolina” reading, and KWL chart for each student. (See “student handouts” under “Materials Needed” above.)


  1. Introduce students to the following vocabulary words and provide definitions: (15 minutes)
    • Coexistence
    • Cooperation
    • Competition
    • Symbiosis
    • Mutual dependence
  2. Hand out reading, “Eco-Tourism in the Outer Banks of North Carolina” to students. Read the article to your students as they follow along. (5 minutes)
  3. Hand out “Eco-Tourism” handout, KWL chart, and a career title to each student. (5 minutes)
  4. Have students complete the first two columns of the KWL chart. (10 minutes)
  5. Take students to computer lab. Have them log in to computers and follow the procedure on the “Eco-Tourism” handout, steps 1-2. (40 minutes)
  6. Read step #3 on “Eco-Tourism” handout and answer any student questions. Instruct students to complete this step as homework. (10 minutes)


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

Kids Do Ecology
This website introduces kids to the study of ecology and provides information on careers in ecology.
OceanLink: Careers in Marine Science
Marine science is a very broad field, but OceanLink provides information about careers in marine sciences, including the field’s contributions to society.
Ecotourism in the Outer Banks
A list of science centers and points of interest related to ecotourism in the Outer Banks.
The Nature of the Barrier Islands
A guide to the formation of the Outer Banks barrier islands and how they have changed over time.
Outer Banks Attractions
The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau’s guide to ecotourism adventures and industries.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Science (2005)

Grade 6

  • Goal 7: The learner will conduct investigations and use technologies and information systems to build an understanding of population dynamics.
    • Objective 7.01: Describe ways in which organisms interact with each other and with non-living parts of the environment:
      • Coexistence/Cooperation/Competition.
      • Symbiosis.
      • Mutual dependence.
    • Objective 7.05: Examine evidence that overpopulation by any species impacts the environment.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Science (2010)
      • Grade 6

        • 6.L.2 Understand the flow of energy through ecosystems and the responses of populations to the biotic and abiotic factors in their environment. 6.L.2.1 Summarize how energy derived from the sun is used by plants to produce sugars (photosynthesis) and is transferred...