Sample Curriculum Units

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Amy Carrier's Workforce and Life Skills Readiness Curriculum Frameworks ©

The following units have been designed to deliver key real world life and career lessons to students in a school setting supported by an external business or organizational partner.  Each school’s implementation of any or all of these units will be tailored to work best for the unique school’s environment.  Units may be modified for grades 6 – 12.

Note: The outline provided here is a framework, intended as a skeletal structure for units that teach 21st century work and life readiness skills. Resources, time commitment, student readiness and partner support are to be considered for each school before outlining a syllabus.  Competencies and benchmarks should be jointly agreed upon with school personnel and faculty who best know the group of students to be involved. Units may be structured to be any length of time and may include additional lessons, out of school activates, guest speakers, classroom mentors (recommended) or, conversely, select only a few key areas of focus depending on all of the aforementioned considerations.


The Carrier Method:

UNIT 1: Career Exploration & Knowing Yourself
UNIT 2: Behavior, Norms & "-isms" in Professional Settings
UNIT 3: Resumes & Interviewing
UNIT 4: Getting Career, Internship & Networking Ready
UNIT 5: Financial Literacy & Responsibility
UNIT 6: Managing Stress & Overcoming Adversity
UNIT 7: Practicing Professionalism (Internships & Off-site Activities)
UNIT 8: Business Basics
UNIT 9: Entrepreneurship
UNIT 10: Thinking About & Planning for the Future
UNIT 11: Cultural Sensitivity & Global Citizenship

© Unit frameworks Copyrighted.  All rights reserved.

UNIT 2: Professionalism
© Unit outline copyrighted by Amy Carrier.  All rights reserved.


  • What is professionalism and why do students need to know it? 
  • How do we code-switch? (What I stand to gain by playing by the rules)
  • Practicing presentation skills
  • What is professional attire? (For men and women)
  • Workplace norms and culture:
  1. "Isms” in the workplace (racism, sexism, homophobia, sexual harassment, ableism, ageism, others)
  2. Rights, responsibilities and the law
  3. Teamwork and colleagues
  4. Reflection on observed workplace behaviors (both right and wrong)
  5. Questions about assumptions based on others' stories, Hollywood's portrayal of the workplace and news articles

Key Activities & Projects:

  • Socratic seminar-style whole class discussion about the “isms”
  • Pair up students to make multimedia presentations about one of the “isms” – research and present a mini seminar on your rights, responsibilities and the law. Presentations should include a PPT, a paper flier/brochure and a 5 minute presentation with Q & A.
  • Role play professional phone calls in pairs in front of classroom. Students plan out the dialog and illustrate two examples: One call that contains and obstacle the student must overcome and a second call that goes well.

Key Pedagogy:

  • Equity themes and pedagogies can be used to frame this unit around students' roles in building a new socially conscious workforce
  • Ongoing use of Standard Business English in class (SBE)
  • Regular and surprise presentations (use “Elevator pitch” lesson from UNIT 1: Career Exploration & Knowing Yourself)

Sample Competencies (Using Bloom's Taxonomy):

  • Students can compare various "isms"
  • Students can apply various professionalism norms to real-world examples (from personal experience or others' stories) in the workplace
  • Students can analyze and predict the impact of "ism" behaviors on workplace environments, working teams and individuals

UNIT 6: Managing Stress & Overcoming Adversity
© Unit outline copyrighted by Amy Carrier.  All rights reserved.


  • Knowing yourself and your limits
  • How do you set boundaries?
  • What are your triggers?
  • How do deal with stress? Anxiety? Fear?
  • What’s in your toolkit? Making positive choices in the moment
  • What is a mentor? How do you know the difference between a mentor and a non-mentor? Who has your best interest at heart?

Key Activities & Projects:

  • "If you were your own best friend" exercise: Have students write, reflect and apply advice they would give themselves (Students know their own triggers, if they were giving advice to a best friend just like them, what would they suggest to that friend to use as a coping/stopping mechanism?)
  • What positive or inspirational leaders, quotes, mentors do you look up to? Share and compare (creative activity – allow students to create posters or print out formatted quotes to post on the classroom wall)
  • Writing letters to yourself (and setting personal goals)
  • Meditation, breathing, thoughtful response and other stress reduction exercises

Key Pedagogy:

  • Allow students to co-set goals and benchmarks, even co-create rubrics.  This will empower deeper self-awareness, pride in his/her own strengths and enable transparency/open conversation about personal challenges. 
  • Teachers can empower growth through perceived "weaknesses" by giving greater weight to strengths through individualized, co-developed student rubrics that tackle only 2-3 areas of weakness/challenge areas.
  • For reference, see UNIT 10: Thinking About the Future and the 20 Years Presentation unit for this.

Sample Competencies (Using Bloom's Taxonomy):

  • Students can synthesize "advice" and reflect on wisdom shared by inspirational leaders, famous mentors and teachers as it relates to their own experiences.
  • Students demonstrate understanding of complex emotional ideas as they are represented in the solutions to personal challenges.
  • Students can apply coping and stress-reduction methods to their personal set of "weakness/challenge areas."
  • Students can recommend solutions to the problems discussed in class.

Core Units & Projects

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Student-written business plans
  • Teamwork & communication skills
  • Career exploration
  • Presentation skills
  • Interviewing practice
  • Financial literacy
  • Resumes & cover letters
  • Discriminatory "-isms" in the workplace
  • Professionalism in the workplace
  • Planning for the future
  • Rights & responsibilities
  • Multimedia presentations
  • Building networks
  • Reciprocal relationships
  • Job shadowing
  • Internships
  • Mentoring
  • Trust & healthy boundaries
  • Career fairs
  • Networking
  • Practice of "Standard Business English"
  • Professional attire
  • Goal setting & future planning

Core Competencies & Behaviors

  • Teamwork & team building
  • Small group dynamics
  • Communication skills
  • Professional presentation skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Use of "Standard Business English"
  • Practice of professionalism (norms & behaviors)
  • Self-awareness & reflection
  • Resourcefulness
  • Resilience
  • Financial planning & budgets
  • Research
  • Data gathering & assessment
  • Idea mapping
  • Brainstorming
  • Future planning
  • Awareness of community needs
  • Document collaboration
  • Non-cognitive/behavioral skills
  • Confidence, appropriate self-expression
  • Setting & enforcing boundaries
  • Self awareness of strengths & blind spots
  • Facing fears, overcoming resistance