Lesson Plan

Spreadsheet Lesson Plan

Subject: Mathematics


Topic: Gathering, graphing, reading, and interpreting statistical data

Learning Objectives:

Student will be able to…

  • Gather statistics using the web

  • Sort and Graph statistics using Microsoft excel

  • identify the reasons why education became/becomes more important in the workforce

  • Determine why the gap between levels of education increases as time progresses

  • Determine the relationship between education and unemployment

Students will know

  • How to read a graph and interpret it’s information

  • The difference in salary based upon education level

  • The importance of education in todays society

  • the correlation between education level and Annual salary

Vocabulary terms: Salary, Statistics, Graph, Correlation

Duration: 1 week

Technology Requirements: Computer, internet, microsoft excel, blogs, social media

Resources: web resources, journal studies,excel tutorials

Description: Student will be broken up into 5 groups of 6. Each member is given the task to gather one of these 6: Less than High School diploma, High School Diploma, Associates, Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral/Professional Degree, from the past 15 yrs. They will then come together to discuss and/or discuss through the use of the class blogs and/or communicate through email or a social media site their findings. They will then choose a member or individually input the finding into an excel spreadsheet and  graph it. Each group will also be assigned on of the six levels of education and discuss it change over time and whats the difference(educational wise from the level before it. Each group will then present and discuss with the class their finding and their thoughts of their finding answering the questions assigned.


  1. Students will be broken into groups of six.Each student given a random number to inform them of their group. Each group will get a main topic(education level)  to discuss the difference in it’s income compared to the level before.

  2. Groups discuss and decide which member gathers info for one of the six Education levels.

  3. Student access the computer in school and/or at home. Using the web and search engines student will gather the average income from 1995-2010.

  4. Each member will bring in their portion to class and insert orderly using an excel spreadsheet.

  5. Students then will pick an appropriate type of graph to graph the information. (typically a  line graph or Bar graph)

  6. Students will analyze the information in the spreadsheet and the graph.

  7. Discuss in groups what they found based on the questions they must answer during their presentation

  8. Each group then presents the differences of the income at their education level and the income of the education level before them answering these questions: Was there a difference in income level? did difference between increase or decrease as the years progressed? if so how? why? If a person worked in each of the education level how much would they be losing or gaining in total? Whats the difference of the two degrees?in the eyes of an employer? Is there a correlation between income and education level?  Each member: How does this info make you feel? did it make you consider your future plans? if so, how?


Group Presentation/member contribution. the Presentation will be graded based on the spreadsheet and graph(s) created and the response to each question.


Sample Spreadsheet:

Median Income by education level


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