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 gain a better understanding of relative and exact location while discovering the importance of map skills.
  • Students will explore careers in transportation and the map skills used by transportation professionals.

Teacher planning

Materials needed

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Colored pencils
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Department of Labor — one for each pair of students (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

One class period


  1. Review relative and exact location and brainstorm as a class how we usually give directions to a friend. (5 minutes)
  2. Allow students to work with a partner to create a map to a favorite destination. (15 minutes)
  3. Brainstorm as a class some careers in transportation where maps are a necessity. (Examples may include: taxi cab drivers, pilots, ship captains, train engineers, truck drivers, etc.) (5 minutes)
  4. Divide the class into pairs and have each pair research one career in transportation using the Occupational Outlook Handbook (or have photocopies from the website for them to use). Explain to students that they should find the explanation of the career, the salary, the education, and what tools are needed for the job. (30 minutes)
  5. Have each group discuss its findings with the class. (10 minutes)

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 6

  • Goal 1: The learner will use the five themes of geography and geographic tools to answer geographic questions and analyze geographic concepts.
    • Objective 1.02: Generate, interpret, and manipulate information from tools such as maps, globes,charts, graphs, databases, and models to pose and answer questions about space and place, environment and society, and spatial dynamics and connections.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • Grade 7

        • 7.G.1 Understand how geography, demographic trends, and environmental conditions shape modern societies and regions. 7.G.1.1 Explain how environmental conditions and human response to those conditions influence modern societies and regions (e.g. natural barriers,...