A number of years ago, 14 to be precise, I was involved in a collaborative project aimed at teaching elementary school-aged children how to use a spreadsheet program. The completed lessons manifested as a five-part instructional plan.
Due to the school district’s lack of technology funding, students in the year 2000 were still using Windows 3.11 and Microsoft Works as their primary software. Although antiquated by today’s standards, these programs remain powerful enough to accomplish the task we set out to achieve even now.
The trick to teaching technology to younger students is not to give them information overload but to advance their knowledge incrementally. These lessons were designed to be completed one at a time over a period of several weeks in half-hour sessions.
We were amazed at how quickly the majority of students acquainted themselves with the spreadsheet program when given a specific short list of tasks. A few students did require extra tutoring, however.
Each lesson builds off of the previous lesson. This helped to familiarize the children with the software and heighten their confidence level in successive steps. Technology is only intimidating when we attempt to master its intricacies all at once.
The Spreadsheet Solutions lesson plans succeeded brilliantly! Students were able to complete the final lesson and learned to go beyond by increasing their proficiency with a spreadsheet program through experimentation.
We demystified the software and gave them the tools to excel (Excel).
These lessons can be downloaded as PDF files:
Feel free to modify these lessons as needed. You may also use these lessons as a basis for creating your own lesson plans. I only ask that if you create new lessons based on these files, please share them by allowing others to download your work.
Together we can all make a contribution to the education of our children and the betterment of our society.