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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 examine the value of learning customer service skills long before they begin to make long-term career choices.

Teacher preparation

Time required for lesson

Approximately 50 minutes

Materials needed

  • Computers with internet access to access the Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • Optional: If you don’t have access to computers, you may print overviews of the careers discussed in this lesson and hand them out to students.
  • Student handouts:
    • “Give One, Get One” handout
    • “Skills for the Job” graphic organizer
  • Chart paper
  • Post-Its
  • Markers


  1. Begin with a class discussion of the service industry and what it means to provide good customer service. Lead your students to a discussion of the staple of high school part-time jobs, fast food service.
  2. Give One, Get One activity: Hand out the “Give One, Get One” worksheet. Have students work individually to brainstorm a list of all the skills needed to provide good customer service on the left side of the worksheet. Give the students two to three minutes to come up with their lists.
  3. Give students two to three more minutes to circulate around the room. Each student should give a fellow classmate one item from his or her list, and the classmate should give one item in return. If a classmate has none to give, the students should work as a pair to come up with an item. Students should write the items they get from their classmates on the right side of the worksheet.
  4. Independent Practice: Hand out the “Skills for the Job” graphic organizer and Post-Its to each student. Put students into small groups, and have them read the linked information about the following service jobs from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook:
  5. Instruct students to choose key skills for each career (cashier, food preparer, and manager) to complete the graphic organizer.
  6. Have students work in their groups to choose the most important skills for each job and write them on their Post-Its.
  7. Hang up chart paper and divide it into three sections labeled “Cashier,” “Food preparer” and “Manager.”
  8. Ask each group to put their post-its on the chart paper in the appropriate sections. As the students post skills, facilitate discussion by reading each skill aloud and talking about it with the class.
  9. When all students are finished posting skills, conduct a wrap-up discussion about the value of customer service skills. Ask the students how the skills learned in part-time customer service jobs could benefit them in their future careers.
  10. As a homework assignment, have students talk with their parents to find out what their first part-time jobs were and what they learned from them. Students can share the following day.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 7

  • Goal 2: The learner will synthesize and use information from a variety of sources.
    • Objective 2.01: Respond to informational materials that are read, heard, and/or viewed by:
      • monitoring comprehension for understanding of what is read, heard and/or viewed.
      • analyzing the characteristics of informational works.
      • summarizing information.
      • determining the importance of information.
      • making connections to related topics/information.
      • drawing inferences and/or conclusions.
      • generating questions.

Guidance (2001)

Grade 6–8

  • Goal 5: Employ strategies to achieve future career success and satisfaction.
    • Objective 5.04: Indicate the various ways which occupations can be classified.

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

        • P.CR.2 Understand the relationship among career goals and interests, personal interests, aptitudes, and abilities. P.CR.2.1 Maintain a career-planning portfolio. P.CR.2.2 Use research and information resources to obtain career information.
        • P.CR.3 Understand the relationship among personal and academic decisions, career expectations, and future life decisions. P.CR.3.1 Describe the effect of work on lifestyle. P.CR.3.2 Explain how work can help to achieve personal success and satisfaction.