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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.

This lesson will introduce students to careers in environmental protection as it teaches them to identify details and sequence in a non-fiction reading passage.

Learning outcomes

Students will understand details and sequencing in a non-fiction reading passage.

Teacher planning

Materials needed

  • Student handouts:
    • Reading passage, “Setting the Stage for Bald Eagle Recovery”
    • Graphic organizer, “Flow Chart”
    • Graphic organizer, “Organizing Details”
  • Optional: Computer with internet access and LCD projector

Time required for lesson

Approximately 70 minutes
Homework time is optional.


  1. Guided practice: Have the class brainstorm careers that have to do with animals and environmental protection. Ask the students if they are interested in any of these careers. Explain that there are many different careers dealing with animals and environmental protection, and that the students will read a passage describing how people with some of these careers helped lead to the recovery of bald eagle populations. (5-10 min.)
  2. Have students read the story “Setting the Stage for Bald Eagle Recovery.” This can be done as partner reading, shared reading, guided reading or independent reading. (15 min.)
  3. After reading the article, instruct students to complete the “Flow Chart” graphic organizer by arranging the events of the article in sequential order. Each rock should contain at least two complete sentences explaining the event. The students may refer back to the text. This can be done independently or in groups. (15 min.)
  4. Conduct a class discussion about the sequencing of the overall article based on the students’ flow charts. Then, explain to the students that they will examine specific details and sequence information in the article by completing the “Organizing Details” graphic organizer. Instruct students to write “conservation careers” in the topic line. On each kite, have the students write one career that helped the bald eagle’s recovery, and give brief details about the role of that career in the recovery effort. (10-15 min.)
  5. Give students time to complete the kite organizer independently or in groups. (10 min.)
  6. As a class, review the students’ new knowledge about careers involved with animals and environmental protection. End the discussion by asking students which of these careers would interest them. You may choose to show students the EPA website as a launching point for discussing careers in environmental protection. (10 min.)

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 4.02: Evaluate traditional and non-traditional occupations.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Reading: Informational Text

        • Grade 6
          • 6.RIT.2 Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
        • Grade 7
          • 7.RIT.5 Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the ideas.