Students will need their completed What Counties Are Your Favorite? activity sheets from the previous lesson. Each student will need his or her own computer.
To begin the lesson, ask students if they know what a spreadsheet is and what its purpose is. Sample responses may include:
- A way of organizing data
- A tool for sorting data
- A tool for creating graphs
Ask students why they would want to enter the population data from
their 10 counties into a spreadsheet. Students may give responses
similar to those above.
Students should then open a spreadsheet program, such as
Microsoft Excel. In the first column, they can, cell by cell, enter the
names of the 10 counties. In the second column, they can, cell by cell,
enter the populations. Students should be encouraged to save their work
Once students have entered their data into the spreadsheet, ask
them which type of graph would be the best way to display the data.
Most students will likely select a (vertical) bar graph. Demonstrate to
students how to create a graph to display their. Highlight the fact
that the actual data has not changed, just the way it is being
displayed. This final product should be printed. Teacher Note: This printout should be brought back for the next lesson.
Students can exchange their graphs and make verbal comments and observations about their partners' graphs.
Returning to the actual spreadsheet of data, you may wish to
have students experiment with some of the functions. For example,
students can use the Sort feature to organize the population data from least to greatest or greatest to least.