Spreadsheets are a type of computer program that are very useful for storing information and doing calculations. For example, you could use a spreadsheet to plan a party; the sheet could work out for you how much the event would cost.
There are several popular spreadsheet programs (including Excel, OpenOffice Spreadsheet and Numbers) which all work in similar ways.
Teach your children about spreadsheets using our handy topic guide!
- Introduce a simple addition function using this spreadsheet, and challenge your children to make a subtraction, multiplication or division sheet.
- This scheme of seven lessons teaches children how to use a spreadsheet to make a graph, and how to create formulas for calculations.
- Use data you have collected (for example, a traffic survey) to create a spreadsheet. This example sheet is really helpful.
- Test your children’s knowledge at the beginning and the end of your spreadsheets learning with this matching activity.
- Use Excel to track the class’ favourite foods with this activity and template.
- Download this colourful spreadsheet to use when making the correct amount of money from coins. Can the children see how the formulas work?
- This simple sheet for practising multiples of 5 is a good way to introduce formulas.
- Use our spreadsheets banner on your display board.
- This resource from STEM has lots of ideas and photocopiables for spreadsheet activities; the first six are suitable for using with older primary children. Free registration is required.
- This site has several downloadable Excel sheets along with lesson plans for a range of different projects suitable for primary aged children.
- Spreadsheets are useful for doing calculations automatically, and seeing how changing a value can affect the answer.
- One version of Microsoft Excel contained a hidden flight simulator!
- The computer spreadsheet was invented in 1979. Before that they were written out by hand, which took a very long time!
- Spreadsheets can be used to generate charts and graphs, to make data easier to understand.
This video walks through the process of using the game “Battleships” to teach children how to format and merge cells in Google Sheets.
Running time: 5:09
The Michelangelo of Microsoft Excel
Tatsuo Horiuchi, a Japanese artist, uses a spreadsheet to paint his pictures!
Running time: 2:28
Spreadsheets for Beginners
This short video is a great introduction to why spreadsheets are useful.
Running time: 1:16
Are you teaching your children about other topics? Explore our full collection of guides!