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Career Exploration | Career Readiness | Middle School

4 Best Career Exploration Lesson Plans for Middle School

February 10th, 2022 | 7 min. read

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If you’re a middle school career readiness teacher, chances are one of the first topics you plan to teach is career exploration.But other than a few lines in your course standards, you likely have little direction on why it's important or how to actually teach it!

As a curriculum developer, we provide career readiness lessons and activities as part of our career exploration curriculum. However, our solution may not be the best fit for everyone.

Some teachers are only looking for a supplemental resource specifically focused on career exploration -- not a full-fledged career readiness curriculum.

To help you find the resources that best fit your needs, we’ve compiled a list of other popular options.

Four of the best middle school career exploration lesson plans are:

  1. Career Exploration Planning Bundle from Carol Miller
  2. Career Exploration Webquest from Abundant Teaching
  3. Career Exploration Lesson Plan from
  4. Career Planning Lessons from Money Instructor

In this post, we’ll discuss why career exploration lesson plans are important, what is included with each of these resources, and where they work best.

You’ll also find a ready-to-use career exploration lesson plan you can implement in your classroom right now!

Why Career Exploration Lesson Plans are Important

Students are often bombarded with decisions that need to be made, which hinge on a specific career path. How can they know what courses to take in high school for a future educational goal, if they haven’t explored career options available to them?

“How do we expect young people to dream if they don’t know what they can dream about?”

That’s what America’s Promise Alliance asks on their website when talking about why career exploration matters. They also explore more in-depth reasons, such as:

  • Gives young people broader exposure to the working world they will one day enter
  • Improves academic performance
  • Improves the attitudes of young people about their career possibilities
  • Increases students’ knowledge of career options
  • Allows students to more easily envision how they fit successfully into the working world
  • Encourages students to plan their high school courses of study carefully to gain the skills they will need

Why Career Exploration Lesson Plans are Critical


Now that you've learned more about why choosing quality career exploration lesson plans is critical to the success of your students, let's explore some of the best options for teaching career exploration in your classroom.

1. Career Exploration Planning Bundle from Carol Miller

Carol Miller is a well-known vendor on the Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) online marketplace.

Among her products, you’ll find a $32 bundle focused on career exploration and planning, which contains seven different resources:

  • career-exploration-planning-bundle“How Do I Become A…” Career Research and Planning Lesson
  • Discovering Ourselves -- The Career Exploration Process
  • Where Do I Work With A Career In That?
  • College and Career Conversation Starters
  • Draw It! Careers Edition Game
  • College and Career Awareness Escape Room
  • Careers In STEM Quiz Show

In total, these resources can help you fill between 5 to 10 classes, depending on how much time you allow for each hands-on activity.

As a result, this bundle is a great way to both introduce career exploration and reinforce the information through engaging activities and games.

2. Career Exploration Webquest from Abundant Teaching

Another resource you can find in the TpT marketplace is this career exploration webquest unit from Abundant Teaching.


This career exploration unit costs $9 and includes five lessons to help students determine careers that best align with their skills and abilities.

The lessons walk students through:

  • Exploring different careers
  • Considering their interests
  • Evaluating strengths
  • Considering areas of improvement
  • Thinking ahead to set goals

Each lesson involves students embarking on a “webquest” to use the Internet to research and answer questions on the accompanying activity sheets.

These lessons are designed for students to work autonomously to complete the activities.

So, if you’re looking for a resource that’s mainly hands-off from the teacher’s side, this webquest unit will be a great fit.

3. Career Exploration Lesson Plan from

biz-world provides programs to help elementary and middle school students learn business skills.

Though they primarily focus on selling their full-fledged programs, BizWorld has a handful of free resources -- including a lesson plan on career exploration.

The lesson’s objective is for students to research career fields and explore the requirements of each career.

To help students meet this objective, the lesson plan contains a number of short activities, including:

  • Teacher-led instruction
  • A class brainstorm
  • Independent or partner research

Overall, this lesson plan is a good option if you only want to spend one class period discussing career exploration.

4. Career Planning Lessons from Money Instructor


Money Instructor is a membership-based organization focused on helping students learn personal finance, business, career, and life skills.

When you register as a member, you gain access to dozens of resources on their site, including their content on career planning.

In total you’ll find 26 lessons across seven categories:

  • Career Planning
  • Career Exploration and Preparation
  • Careers in Business
  • Careers
  • Types of Careers
  • Information, Advice, and Tips on Careers
  • Job Search, Career, and Work Information

Altogether, you could fill over a month’s worth of classes if you use every single lesson from the list.

As a result, Money Instructor is a good choice if you want to spend multiple weeks discussing career exploration and planning.

Which Career Exploration Resource is Right for You?

When it comes down to making a decision, choosing the “best” career exploration lesson depends on your unique needs!

Each of the options listed can be a good supplement to fill out an existing career readiness curriculum.

However, if you’re in need of a full curriculum to teach career exploration among other concepts and skills, consider checking out our iCEV's Career Exploration curriculum!

This curriculum contains hundreds of hours of content to help you teach career readiness skills through hands-on activities, engaging digital lessons, and more.

It’s a great option for anyone who is just getting started as a career readiness teacher and needs materials to fill their entire course.

To see if the curriculum is the right fit for your classes, download a free introduction activity and try it for yourself. 

This career exploration activity helps your students identify possible career choices and think about the steps needed to obtain those careers.

Click below to download your free activity to start teaching career exploration now!

Get My Free Career Exploration Lesson Plan >