Photograph of jigsaw puzzle pieces.

CareerStart lessons: Grade seven

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 become familiar with vocabulary terms related to careers and occupations.

Teacher preparation

Time required for lesson

70 minutes

Materials needed

  • Index cards (15 for each student)
  • Colored pencils
  • Overhead or multimedia projector
  • Student handouts:
    • Career vocabulary list
    • Career vocabulary definitions
    • Career brainstorm table
    • Frayer Model template (3 copies for each student)


  1. Explain the importance of using appropriate vocabulary when speaking or writing.
  2. Hand out the career brainstorm table and tell students the table lists careers in three categories:
    • Careers requiring a four-year degree (e.g. doctor, accountant, engineer, and computer scientist)
    • Careers requiring a two-year degree (e.g. electrician, plumber, and technologist)
    • Careers requiring a high school diploma or equivalency (e.g. sales associate, office clerk, customer service representative, and truck driver)
  3. As a class, brainstorm more careers in the three categories using the career brainstorm table.
  4. Hand out the career vocabulary list and explain to students the importance of the words on the list in relation to their chosen careers (importance of an interview, qualifications, etc.)
  5. Guided Practice: Hand out the Frayer model and have students complete it using three words from the vocabulary list.
  6. Independent Practice: Hand out 15 index cards to each student, and have the students use them to create a career study. Instruct students to write one vocabulary word on the front of each card and on the back draw a graphic that represents the word. Have students practice putting the cards into categories and organizing them in a sequence of events. This activity will help students understand not only the definitions of the words, but also how they’re used in a real-world context. (For example, resumé, background, objective and expectations can all be put together in one category. Another category, resumé parts, might consist of the following sequence: objective, background, and references.)

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 7

  • Goal 6: The learner will apply conventions of application of grammar and language usage.
    • Objective 6.01: Model an understanding of conventional written and spoken expression by:
      • using a variety of sentences correctly, punctuating them properly, and avoiding fragments and run-ons.
      • using subject-verb agreement and verb tense that are appropriate for the meaning of the sentence.
      • applying the parts of speech to clarify language usage.
      • using pronouns correctly, including clear antecedents and correct case.
      • using phrases and clauses correctly, including proper punctuation (e.g., prepositional phrases, appositives, dependent and independent clauses).
      • determining the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary words using context clues, a dictionary, a glossary, a thesaurus, and/or structural analysis (roots, prefixes, suffixes) of words.
      • extending vocabulary knowledge by learning and using new words.
      • determining when and where dialects and standard/nonstandard English usage are appropriate.
      • applying language conventions and usage during oral presentations.
      • choosing language that is precise, engaging, and well suited to the topic and audience.
      • experimenting with figurative language and speech patterns.

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 4.04: Pursue and develop competency in areas of interest.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Language

        • Grade 7
          • 7.L.6 Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

  • 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...