K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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CareerStart lessons: Grade six
This collection of lessons aligns the sixth grade curriculum in math, science, English language arts, and social studies with potential career opportunities.
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Learning outcomes

Students will explore different career paths based on the five themes of geography.

Teacher planning

Materials needed

  • 3 pieces of construction or typing paper for each student
  • Markers or crayons
  • Internet access
  • Access to an atlas or globe
  • Social studies textbook
  • Optional: Posterboard or chart paper

Time required for lesson

Approximately 90 minutes (if the students are creating booklets) OR approximately 70 minutes (if the students are creating posters).
One homework night is needed.


  1. Review with students the five themes of geography using this PDF from the Department of Teacher Education at California State University Stanislaus. You may want to write them on the board so students may refer to them throughout the lesson. Tell the students they will make a booklet to demonstrate their understanding of these themes and to brainstorm what types of jobs each theme may represent. (10 min.)
  2. Assign each student a European country to research. (This can be done randomly or by whatever method you choose.) (5 min.)
  3. Guided Practice: Pick a country not assigned and go through the steps of finding the location, place, region, movement, and human-environment interaction for the class. Then give some ideas for what types of careers these five themes offer. Show students how to make their booklets by layering 3 pieces of construction paper one on top of the other about one inch below one another and then making a horizontal fold. You should have six flaps when folded. (15 min.)
  4. Independent Practice: After students have their assigned country, have them demonstrate their knowledge of the five themes of geography by listing the characteristics of each for their country. Students may use any available resources, such as social studies textbooks, maps, globes, encyclopedias, and the Internet. (You may choose to reserve the library for this activity.) Have students label each flap with a different theme, using markers or crayons to make these unique and colorful. On each flap they should list a possible career they believe would be appropriate for that theme of geography. Assist students by circulating and helping students complete their booklets as well as by brainstorming careers with them. (30 min.)
    • Note: An alternative way to conduct this activity is to put students into groups of five and assign one country to each group. Then assign one of the themes of geography to each group member, and have each group create a poster about its assigned country.
  5. Have students take their booklets home to make any finishing touches that are required. Instruct them to ask their parents to help them brainstorm what possible careers could be represented by each theme of geography.
  6. The next day students should share as a whole group or in small groups their booklets and the careers they have brainstormed. (Time will vary depending on how you choose to share the booklets.)
  7. To sum up the lesson you may choose to make a list of the jobs the students brainstormed for each theme of geography and post it in the classroom. (10 min.)


Students’ booklets can be assessed using the following guidelines:

  • 40% = Accurate information given on the five themes of geography for the assigned country
  • 30% = Having a realistic job listed for each theme of geography
  • 20% = Creativity and neatness
  • 10% = Presentation of booklet

  • 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...

    • 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,...

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.
    • Objective 1.03: Use tools such as maps, globes, graphs, charts, databases, models, and artifacts to compare data on different countries of South America and Europe and to identify patterns as well as similarities and differences among them.