Career Investigations

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Career Development

    Course : Career Portals: Middle School

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (2) The student explores pathways of interest within one or more career clusters. The student is expected to:
      • (A) investigate career opportunities within the pathways
      • (B) explore careers of personal interest
      • (C) research the academic requirements for careers of personal interest
      • (D) research the certification or educational requirements for careers of personal interest and
      • (E) describe the technical skill requirements for careers of personal interest
    • (3) The student explores programs of study. The student is expected to:
      • (B) identify the academic and technical skills needed
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • identify the various career opportunities within the Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism and Human Services Clusters
    • explore the pathways within each cluster
    • research academic requirements and/or technical skills required for specific career
  • Rationale


    How many of you have thought about the career you would like to pursue? Do you know what type of training is required for the career of your choice? Are you willing to work to acquire the necessary skills and training for the career you want? In this lesson, we will explore different careers and the training and skills needed for specific careers.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Four 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Apprenticeship: On-the-job training coordinated with courses of academic study leading to certified mastery of particular skills. Certification can lead directly to employment, or may be part of a larger strategy of building a set of certified skills in the workplace

    Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB): Test that consists of verbal, math, and technical sections. The scores focus on factors that will help determine jobs that align with individuals’ abilities

    Bachelor’s Degree: An academic title awarded by a college or university as an indication of the completion of a course of study that generally takes four or more years to complete

    Career: A lifelong journey as a person works to meet their earning, learning and living goals. A career continually changes as an individual grows through personal experiences, education and activities

    Career Cluster: A grouping of careers with similar skills or common themes based on industry grouping and all educational levels

    Career Development: Actively engaged in setting goals for personal living, earning a living, and life-long learning, and establishing a plan for reaching these personal goals

    Career Field: A broad grouping of the 16 clusters based on commonalities among clusters

    Career Specialty: A specific job title with a pathway within a cluster

    Certification: A credential indicating specific training in a career specialty

    Cooperative Education Program: An arrangement in which teachers coordinate classroom instruction with students’ part-time work in the field. Student spend part of the day at school and part of the day on the job honing their career abilities

    Entrepreneurship: The act of creating and developing your own business based upon consumer need or service

    Essential Knowledge and Skills (EKS): A set of knowledge and skills common to all 16 clusters

    Exploratory Interview: A short, informal talk with someone who works in a career that one finds interesting

    Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The required application is used to apply for any type of federal financial aid including grants, work study and student loans

    Internship: Part-time, on-the-job learning experiences that reinforce classroom instruction. Interns can experience a career from the inside, and sometimes the experience might turn into full-time employment

    Job: A specific duty, role, or function

    Job Shadowing: An experience in which students seeking a better understanding of particular career specialty follow experienced workers through the course of a work day

    Prerequisite: A class that must be taken before another class can be taken, which often provides an introduction or foundation that will help a student be successful in the next class

    Teamwork: Work done by several associates with each doing a part but all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector for multimedia presentation
    • presenter/remote
    • computers with Internet access and printers

    • copies of handouts (see All Lesson Attachments tab)
  • Anticipatory Set

    Prior to the lesson:

    Display the PowerPoint™ Career Investigations (see All Lesson Attachments tab). As each term appears on the screen, have students guess what each job entails. After students have made their guess out loud, give students the correct answer located in the script of the PowerPoint™.


    As class begins, have students pair up and discuss two jobs, including the pros and cons of the jobs’ duties.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce objectives, terms, and definitions.

    Distribute graphic organizer, KWL Chart – Education and Training, (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and have students fill out the first two columns of the chart. Ask students to write down what they already know about the topic in the first column and what they want to learn about the topic in the second column. The last column will be completed during lesson closure. The students will complete the same task for the graphic organizer, KWL Chart – Hospitality and Tourism, (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and KWL Chart – Human Services, (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    Distribute handout, Notetaking – Career Investigations, and introduce PowerPoint™, Career Investigations (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students will be expected to take notes while viewing the slide presentation. Allow time for classroom discussion.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • checking for understanding
    • providing assistance with note-taking
    • providing extra time for oral response
    • frequent feedback

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Post each occupations handout, Education and Training Career Cluster Occupations, Hospitality and Tourism Career Cluster Occupations, and Human Services Career Cluster Occupations (see All Lesson Attachments tab) at the front of the classroom. Assign or allow students to select a career/job in the cluster you are currently focusing on. Inform students that they will be conducting research on the careers/jobs they select.

    If available, allow students access to the website for AchieveTexas or the AchieveTexas in Action: A College and Career Planning Guides for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism and Human Services.

    Introduce handout Career Investigations (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Select a career to use and display on the projector for an example. Go through each of the steps listed on the assignment. You may choose to write the answers down or just go over them verbally.

    Inform students that assignment may be prepared individually or with a partner. Explain that information will be expected to be retrieved only from reliable sources. Provide students with project rubric and thoroughly review all components so that students understand how their projects will be assessed. Provide due date within three class periods.

    Review project rubric, Career Investigations Rubric, (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that students are aware of assessment procedures.

    Assist students with research. Keep students focused and on task.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • check for understanding
    • providing extra time for oral response
    • frequent feedback
    • providing peer tutoring
    • reducing length of assignment

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Students will work independently or with a partner researching and collecting data for their assignment. At the end of each class period, have each student or group give a brief status report on their assignment or complete an exit slip of two to three sentences about the status of the report. Students will complete their assignments and begin presentations.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • checking for understanding
    • frequent feedback
    • providing peer tutoring
    • reducing length of assignment
    • assisting student in gathering information
    • providing praise and encouragement

  • Lesson Closure

    Review objectives, terms, and definitions.

    Students will make presentation to the class.

    Complete graphic organizers, KWL – Education and Training, KWL – Hospitality and Tourism, and KWL Chart – Human Services, to analyze what they have learned from their investigation of career and education opportunities.

    Have students engage in a discussion about the careers researched. Ask the following questions:

    • Have you learned new information that has changed your view about a particular career?
    • What did you learn about this career that you didn’t know before?

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Student presentations/projects will be assessed with Career Investigations Rubric (see All Lesson Attachments tab) provided during Guided Practice.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • grading according to work done
    • providing praise and encouragement

  • References/Resources


    • O*NET Resource Center, the nation’s primary source of occupational information.
      Use this site to download the O*NET database, career exploration tools, job analysis questionnaires, employer guides, and technical reports.


  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism, and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:

  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    • Students can create flyers and other advertisements to promote the mini career day described in the Service Learning Project component. Students can also help the teacher suggest individuals or careers within the community to invite to the career day.
    • Incorporate the handout Career Flowcharts within the lesson.
  • Family/Community Connection

    Have students create a list of questions to interview their parents or family members about their career. Have them ask what the parent or family member did to prepare for the career.

  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

    • Power of One Project
      A Better You – Improve personal traits. Students would work on qualities/characteristics identified as needing improvement

    STAR Events:

    • Career Investigation
    • Job Interview

    TAFE Events:

    • Job Interview
  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to lesson. For additional information on service learning see

    Possible idea:
    Organize a mini career day with guests from each of the respective career clusters.

  • All Attachments