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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 gain an understanding of the roles and interests of stakeholders in Australia, they and will learn about their impact on the economy and environment throughout Australia.

Teacher preparation

Time required for lesson

Approximately 90 minutes

Materials needed

  • Computers with internet access — one for each pair of students
  • Student handouts:
    • Career chart
    • Problem-based learning questions
    • List of websites for internet research
  • Posterboard
  • Markers


  1. Pass out the career chart. Divide the class into pairs and have them research each of the careers listed and complete the chart. A good resource for researching careers is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.
  2. Have each pair of students share the results of their research with the class. Ask: “Do some of these careers have conflicting interests?” Discuss these.
  3. Introduce the following terms to students:
    • Trade-offs — The exchange of one benefit for another
    • Compromise — An agreement reached by the give and take of opposing claims or ideas
    • Environmental implications — The impact of changes on all living and non-living elements of an environment
    • Economic implications — The impact of changes on the growth and economy of a region
  4. Put students into five groups by having them number themselves 1-5. Assign each of the groups one of the five problem-based learning questions. Instruct each group to discuss the question, search for information about the problem, and respond with the product required. Suggested websites for student research are listed below and in the student handouts.
  5. Have student groups share their products and discuss the compromises they had to make to promote the economy and protect the environment of their region.


You may use the following rubric to assess students’ products:

Score Product presentation Oral presentation
4 Covers topic in depth. Invites questions. Includes details and elaborates throughout. Highly organized. Well researched. Uses vivid, precise language. Delivers with ease and invites questions.
3 Includes essential information. Includes elaboration beyond minimal requirements. Text is in correct English. Interesting and logical order. Fluid delivery. Clear connections in material. Good use of delivery techniques.
2 Did not cover the topic in depth. Minimal information is given. Text is in incorrect English. Contains misspelled words. Does not engage audience. Poor use of delivery techniques. Difficult to understand. Unorganized.
1 Worked on assignment in class. Did not turn in. Worked on assignment in class. Did not turn in.

Websites for student research about Australia

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 7

  • Goal 3: The learner will analyze the impact of interactions between humans and their physical environments in Africa, Asia, and Australia.
    • Objective 3.02: Describe the environmental impact of regional activities such as deforestation, urbanization, and industrialization and evaluate their significance to the global community.
  • Goal 5: The learner will evaluate the varied ways people of Africa, Asia, and Australia make decisions about the allocation and use of economic resources.
    • Objective 5.01: Describe the relationship between the location of natural resources, and economic development, and analyze the impact on selected cultures, countries, and regions in Africa, Asia, and Australia.

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

        • 7.E.1 Understand the economic activities of modern societies and regions. 7.E.1.1 Explain how competition for resources affects the economic relationship among nations (e.g. colonialism, imperialism, globalization and interdependence). 7.E.1.2 Explain the...
        • 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,...