Spreadsheet Budget Project

Spreadsheet Budget Project

Course(s)/Subject(s):Civics/Social Studies

Grade Level(s): 8

Key Words: Civics, budget, spreadsheet, charts

Developer(s) Name: Phyllis Papkin

School: Lake Braddock

Approximate Time Frame: Two forty-five minute class periods to teach spreadsheet use and to input data. Assignment should be given at least one week in advance so students can collect information (if done prior to the budget project). If completed with data accumulated from the budget project, the data input can be an ongoing process.

Materials/Equipment Needed,Computer with ClarisWorks or any other spreadsheet program for each student, food ads, completed budget project.

Description of Lesson (includes context):This lesson can be used as a preliminary activity or a culminating activity to accompany any budget project used in an 8th grade civics class.

Before the project: Students will maintain a record of all food eaten for one week. After one week, students will compute the cost of all food consumed (including snacks) and display the different categories on a spreadsheet and then convert to a chart. In addition to food, students can gather data on entertainmentor clothing costs.

Following the project:Students will take the information they have gathered for the budget project and create a spreadsheetand graph to illustrate the results of the project including all expenses for individual categories.


  1. What is the objective of this lesson?

FCPS POS Standards:
8.3Students will understand and explain the basic principles, structure, and
operation of the United States economy as compared with other economies and
demonstrate informed economic decision making.

FCPS POS Benchmarks:
8.3.3Students will be able to make effective economic decisions as informed
consumers, productive workers, responsible saves and investors, and
accountable citizens.

FCPS POS Indicators:
8.3.3.aStudents will be able to make effective economic decisions as informed
consumers, productive workers, responsible saves and investors, and

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accountable citizens.

VA SOL(s)(including Computer/Technology):HSS 7.9, CT8.1



  1. What will we examine as evidence of students' knowledge and/or skill?

Product(s): Students will produce a budget project complete with income and expenses.
This spreadsheet and accompanying graphs will help the students visualize the data they
have accumulated.




  1. What exactly will the students and teacher do during the lesson?

Directions to students for proceeding with the lesson:
Before the Budget Projects:
1. After one week, students should input data into a spreadsheet by categories (Categories
can be determined by students.).
2. Students will keep a daily record of all food, drinks and snacks consumed. This
information should be categorized daily to make input of data easier.
3. Students will display information in at least two chart formats.
4. This information is to be included in the final budget project.

After the Budget Project
1. Students will set up spreadsheet with each of the expense categories used.
2. Students will display information in at least two chart formats

Directions to teacher/administrator using the lesson?
1. Teacher or administrator will instruct students in use of spreadsheet programs.


  1. What options in presentation(s) and/or response(s) are suggested in order to provide the opportunity for all students to demonstrate achievement of the benchmark(s) and indicator(s)?

Students with special needs can keep their record to one day of food, drink and snack

Students with special needs can limit the number of categories they track in the budget project.

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