Microsoft Excel is a software program that offers more than meets the eye. It may be used to track data, interpret complicated calculations, draw graphs and predict patterns. Most professional entry-level jobs require that candidates know how to operate Excel, and the perfect place to learn this skill is in the classroom. Try using Excel in fun projects that coincide with your lesson plan to get a positive student response.

Social Studies

Have your students create a time line on a specific topic, such as famous science experiments. Have students go through their history text books, online databases and other credible sources to find the major science experiments in history. Have them note the date, what the experiment basically entailed and one important way it affected the world. If possible, have them collect pictures to go with each event.

Plan the time line by sketching it out on a piece of paper.

Start Excel and select a new, blank worksheet. Title the worksheet.

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Add information according to the dates and times of each event in the appropriate row on the worksheet. This row will be several rows below the title.

Add short descriptions of each event above or below the date.

Select the text of each description, click the Home tab, click the Alignment group and click the Orientation button. Select an angle to orient the text at an angle and save space.

Click the Insert tab, click the Illustrations group, click Pictures and select a file from your computer. Add a picture to each event.

Format all text and pictures to appear clean and professional.

Present time lines in front of the class.


Teach students how to calculate the costs and profits of running their own business. Let each student choose and design her business. All designs must be realistic, with costs reflecting those present in society today.

Title and format the spreadsheet. In the first column, write "days." Have students track costs and profits for 10 days.

Enter the items needed to run the business and the cost of each over the ten day period. For example, if selling lemonade, title columns "cups," "lemons," "sugar," "ice cubes," etc.

List the price of your product, how much was sold and total profits. For example, each cup of lemonade is $1 and you sold 15 cups, making $15.

Compare profits to costs at the end of the 10 days. List total income, total expenses, inventory value and net profit/loss. Analyze the business and have students decide how they will improve their profits.