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

The students will learn how to compare and contrast different careers.

Teacher planning

Materials needed

  • Student handouts:
    • Home career survey — copied with one copy of the survey on the front of a page and one on the back
    • “Occupational Venn Diagram”
  • Pencil

Time required for lesson

Approximately 50 minutes
Homework time will be needed to complete the home career survey prior to the lesson and the paragraph reflection at the end.


  1. The day before, or several days before the lesson, assign the home career survey for homework. Go over instructions for the survey with the students. The students should complete two surveys, each with a different adult. The adults can be parents or others. Surveys should be returned on the day of the lesson. (homework)
  2. Conduct a class discussion about careers based on the information students obtained in their surveys. Students should have their surveys with them to discuss. (10 minutes)
  3. Pass out the “Occupational Venn Diagram.” Go over comparing and contrasting with students and make sure they know how to record the information on the graphic organizer. If students are not familiar with Venn Diagrams, you may want to make this handout into an overhead for instruction. (10 minutes)
  4. Students will record the details from their home career surveys on the Venn Diagram individually. (10 minutes)
  5. After students have completed the Venn diagram, conduct a class discussion about similarities and differences in the two jobs from their interviews. This can be done as a whole class, in groups, or with a partner. (10 minutes)
  6. Students will pick one of the careers from their Venn diagram and write which one they would prefer to have and why. (10 minutes — This may be completed for homework.)

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 6

  • Goal 2: The learner will explore and analyze information from a variety of sources.
    • Objective 2.01: Explore informational materials that are read, heard, and/or viewed by:
      • monitoring comprehension for understand of what is read, heard, and/or viewed.
      • studying the characteristics of informational works.
      • restating and summarizing information.
      • determining the importance and accuracy of information.
      • making connections between works, self and related topics/information.
      • comparing and/or contrasting information.
      • drawing inferences and/or conclusions.
      • generating questions.

Guidance (2001)

Grade 6–8

  • Goal 4: Acquire the skills to investigate the world of work in relation to knowledge of self and to make informed career decisions.
    • Objective 4.01: Develop skills to locate, evaluate, and interpret career information.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Guidance (2010)
      • Progressing

        • P.CR.1 Understand the meaning and importance of career self-awareness and career goals. P.CR.1.1 Explain how personal skills, interests, and abilities relate to current career plans. P.CR.1.2 Develop a competency plan in your chosen career areas. P.CR.1.3...