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 understand cause and effect and examine how those concepts apply to the workplace and in the real world.

Teacher planning

Materials needed

  • Student handouts:
    • “Cause and Effect Guided Practice” handout
    • “Cause and Effect in the Workplace” handout (Suggestion: You may wish to copy Exercise A and Exercise B on the front and back of a page.)
  • Pencil
  • Optional: “Cause and Effect Guided Practice” handout copied as a transparency
  • Optional: Overhead or multimedia projector

Time required for lesson

Approximately 45 minutes


  1. Brainstorm with students to see what they know about cause and effect. Give examples related to school and see if they can answer. For example: forgetting your lunch money is a cause. What is the effect? You receive a D1. What could have been a possible cause? You forget your homework for class. What is the effect?
  2. Guided practice: Pass out “Cause and Effect Guided Practice” handout. (If you choose to, you may want to project the handout on an overhead or multimedia projector.) Discuss with students the definitions of cause and effect. Then complete the first ten questions on the worksheet together as a class. After completing 1-10, have students create three causes and three effects of their own at the bottom of the worksheet (alone or with a partner). Share the students’ creations aloud or swap with partners to share. (25 min.)
  3. Independent practice: Pass out “Cause and Effect in the Workplace” handout, and tell students they will be doing an activity similar to the previous one, but that these examples are things that happen in the “real world” every day. Explain that they might actually have to deal with these causes and effects someday, as working teenagers or as adults later in life. (10 min.)
  4. Closure: Review the students’ answers and discuss if some causes and effects have multiple correct answers in the “real world.” Discuss the final question: In the real world is there always only one way to achieve a desired effect?

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 4.10: Explain the importance of responsibility, dependability, punctuality, integrity, and effort in the workplace.

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

        • P.SE.1 Understand the meaning and importance of personal responsibility and self-awareness. P.SE.1.1 Identify how to set boundaries that maintain personal rights while paying attention to the rights of others. P.SE.1.2 Use self-determination to build independence...