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 learn how to apply conventions of grammar in various careers and will learn how to write a business letter.

Teacher planning

Materials needed

Time required for lesson

Approximately 70 minutes
Homework time will be needed for parent survey prior to the lesson.

Advance preparation

Before the lesson, send the parent survey home with students for parents to complete and return before the lesson.


  1. Conduct a class discussion of the results of the parent survey regarding writing in the workplace. (5 minutes)
  2. Pass out the career writing prompts handout and discuss with the students how writing is used in the occupations listed. (5-10 minutes)
  3. Pass out the sample business letter and the editing marks handout. Have students use the editing marks to edit the letter. You may want to review the editing marks before students work independently. (10 minutes)
  4. Pass out the business letter template. Instruct students to choose one of the career prompts from the four listed and write a business letter addressing the prompt on the blank template. (25-30 minutes)
  5. After writing, have students exchange papers with a partner and edit their partners’ letters for grammatical mistakes. (10 minutes)
  6. Have a class discussion about writing, careers, and which jobs utilize writing the most. Use career prompt sheets, parent surveys, and business letters as references during this discussion. (10 minutes)

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 6

  • Goal 6: The learner will apply conventions of grammar and language usage.
    • Objective 6.01: Demonstrate an understanding of conventional written and spoken expression by:
      • using a variety of sentence types correctly, punctuating them properly, and avoiding fragments and run-ons.
      • using appropriate subject-verb agreement and verb tense that are appropriate for the meaning of the sentence.
      • demonstrating the different roles of the different parts of speech in sentence construction.
      • using pronouns correctly, including clear antecedents and correct case.
      • using phrases and clauses correctly (e.g., prepositional phrases, appositives, dependent and independent clauses).
      • determining the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary words by using context clues, a dictionary, a glossary, a thesaurus, and/or structural analysis (roots, prefixes, suffices) of words.
      • extending vocabulary knowledge by learning and using new words.
      • exploring the role and use of dialects and of standard English to appreciate appropriate usage in different contexts.
      • developing an awareness of language conventions and usage during oral presentations.
    • Objective 6.02: Identify and edit errors in spoken and written English by:
      • reviewing and using common spelling rules, applying common spelling patterns, and developing and mastering an individualized list of words that are commonly misspelled.
      • applying proofreading symbols when editing.
      • producing final drafts that demonstrate accurate spelling and the correct use of punctuation and capitalization.
      • developing an awareness of errors in everyday speech.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Language

        • Grade 6
          • 6.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. 6.L.2.1 Use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.* 6.L.2.2 Spell correctly.
        • Writing

          • 6.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)