by Whitney | 11:00 pm

I was for many years an educator and taught many classes. The following is a lesson teaching multi-level students how to set up a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet. I must as an educator accommodate diversity of the students in my class.


1. Resources:

  • Materials:
  • Access to Internet Explorer
  • Classroom
  • Printer paper

2. Tools:

  • Computers with Internet Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word or Publisher

3. Teaching Procedures:

Prior to this lesson the in students have collected migration statistics, discussed cultural diversity, and queried about the impact on global economics.

3. Students will design and analyze a spreadsheet showing immigration statistics and graph the statistics showing a trend.

4. The students will then draft a Microsoft Word document explaining the results and how this will impact the economy of the selected countries.

5. Introduce students to the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and explain a step by step procedure for creating the spread sheet.


Phase I: Cognitive: Guided Practice

Turn on your computer.

After you have signed in, go to start, from the start menu select Programs.

In the Programs menu select Microsoft Excel

The screen should look like this:

6. Click in cell A-1, see the bold outline of the cell. Now click the formula bar, next to the letters fx. Now you can type in the title: Net Number of Migrants, For Selected Countries, and 1950-2000.

7. You can center and place your title this way. You can change the Font (size) on the Tool Bar; it has two numbers and a drop down arrow. First click on and drag from cells A-1 to K-1 this is where your title is written. Then click on the drop down arrow for the Font, select 16 and click. This should size your Title.

8. Under the title type your subtitle (By Five Year Intervals and in Thousands) is placed cells B-2 to K-2, using the same procedure you used for the Title. Use the same procedure to size the subtitle Font 11.

9. Now in cells B-3 to K-3 type Year. Center (Year) with the subtitle, following the same procedure as above used for the Title.

10. Then in cells B-4 to K4 type the years in five-year increments.

11. How does it look? You’ll need to widen your information areas for the names of the selected countries, A-1 to A14. Click at the top Gray area between A and B cells, then drag the + to the width you need, let go and it’s done.

12. It’s time to add the country names, so starting with cell A-5 to A-14 type the country names starting with Australia. After you type in the name press the down arrow it will take you to the next cell A-6, type the next country name Canada, repeat the process until all the names are listed.

13. Now copy the statistics for each selected country. Starting with Australia across cells B-5 to K-5, then repeat this process for each country.

14. After you have finished entering the statistical data move to A-1 and click, then move to K-14 and click, the field should turn a tan color, you have now selected a field to make a graph. On the Tool bar click the Chart icon, it will show many types of graphs. Select a line graph, click next, it will show a preview, if this is what you want click finish. A chart will appear in the middle of your spreadsheet. Click on the chart and black lines will appear on all sides of the chart. You can now move the chart to the position you want, stretch it or make it smaller.

15. To set up a formula to add or subtract, select the formula bar and type = A1+A2+A3 then double click in cell A4 and the formula is activated. To subtract values select the formula bar and type = C4-B4 then double click cell D4, this again activates the formula. Students are collecting data that expresses intervals of time and values from nominal sources, many organizations collect migration data so the students will not all have the same values. It will depend on the collecting agency and how they organize their migration statistics. Students will exchange spreadsheets and compare their results. As they compare the complied data they can rate, criticize, and rank each others results. Ultimately they will analyze the data and summarize the results. They give will a presentation of 3-5 minutes using their spreadsheet to explain and relate, their findings to the class.


Think carefully, about how this lesson was designed to teach a diverse classroom. Maybe you have questions about how to navigate Microsoft Excel and want to follow the instructions. Please try the class and practice how to use the program. You may find you can expand your own knowledge and won’t that be great.

Author Whitney Joh is a retired science teacher.


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