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 work together in cooperative groups to calculate the cost of finishing a basement.
  • Students will solve problems involving perimeter and area.
  • Students will understand how math can be applied to careers in home repair and renovation.

Teacher planning

Materials needed

  • Student handouts:
    • Mock floor plan
    • Five different job sheets
    • Team estimation work page
  • Mobile laptop cart or computer lab

Time required for lesson

Approximately 1-2 class periods.

Procedure

  1. Pass out the mock floor plan and calculate the perimeter and total square footage for the basement.
  2. Explain to students that you are hiring a contractor to finish your basement. Part of the contractor’s job is to give estimates to potential customers.
  3. Break students into 2 or 3 big teams. Divide each team into 5 groups. Each group will be responsible for analyzing the cost for their small job.
  4. Hand out job sheets.
  5. Go to a computer lab or use a mobile laptop station so that each small group has at least one computer to use.
  6. Have the students use a trusted hardware store website to check on current local prices for all of the supplies mentioned on the student job sheets.
  7. After each group finishes researching, have the small groups meet with their original teams to add the costs of all five jobs. Have students record the total on the team estimation work page. This number is the contractor’s supply cost. Have students add their labor cost and submit their estimates to the teacher.
  8. Have one person from each team explain their supply cost, labor cost, and total estimate for the job.
  9. As closure, during whole class discussion, brainstorm which careers were represented in the assignment and possible reasons why good math skills are crucial in these jobs.

Websites

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

Math in Daily Life: Home Decorating
This website explains how area is important in home decorating and gives floor plan examples using squares, rectangles, and circles.
Bureau of Labor Statistics: Carpenter
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ kids website gives information on what the job is like, training and education, employment, job outlook, and earnings.
Carpenters: Math They Use
This website lists all the math topics used by carpenters and links to the Bureau of Labor Statistics job profile.
Cost Estimators: Math They Use
This website lists all the math topics used by cost estimators and links to the Bureau of Labor Statistics job profile.
Painters and Paperhangers: Math They Use
This website lists all the math topics used by painters and paperhangers and links to the Bureau of Labor Statistics job profile.
Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters: Math They Use
This website lists all the math topics used by pipelayers and plumbers and links to the Bureau of Labor Statistics job profile.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Mathematics (2004)

Grade 6

  • Goal 2: Measurement - The learner will select and use appropriate tools to measure two- and three-dimensional figures.
    • Objective 2.02: Solve problems involving perimeter/circumference and area of plane figures.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • Mathematics (2010)
      • Grade 6

        • Geometry
          • 6.G.1Find the area of right triangles, other triangles, special quadrilaterals, and polygons by composing into rectangles or decomposing into triangles and other shapes; apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
        • The Number System
          • 6.NS.3Fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide multi-digit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation.