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Excel Projects for Classroom Students

Amber MacArthur, Bill Jelen, Leo LaPorte, Andy Walker on the set of Call for Help on TechTV Canada.

The tip in this show is from Excel for Teachers.

Most teachers have computers in their classroom, but don’t know how to utilize Excel. In this segment, we’ll take a look at charting projects your students can do in Excel. 1) Create a bar chart to track survey data 2) Use a pie chart to demonstrate fractions

Bar Chart for Survey Data
In your classroom, your students take a survey of the class and they want to display the information on a bar chart. In Excel, type the responses in several cells in column A, starting in cell A2. Enter the number of students with each answer in column B, starting in B2. Leave cell A1 blank. In cell B1, enter the question. This will be used for the title of the chart. Your data should look like this.

Select the range of data, from the blank cell in A1, through the last cell in column B. From the menu, select Insert - Chart. In the Chart dialog box, choose a Bar Chart on the left side. In the following screen shot, you can see the cells that are selected, and the various bar chart options.

Click Next twice.

In Step 3 of the Wizard, click on the Legend tab. Uncheck the box for Show Legend.

Click on the Data Labels tab. Check the box for Value.

Click Next to go to the 4th step of the wizard. You can either choose to have the chart on a new sheet or embedded on a worksheet. If you want to print a full-page size version of the chart, use New Sheet.

The resulting chart:

To make each bar be a different color, right click one bar and choose Format Data Series.

In the Format Data Series dialog, click on the Options tab and choose Vary Colors by Point.

You can customize many other chart elements. If you don't like the grey background, right click on the background and choose Format plot area. You can choose another color (such as white) for the background.

Pie Chart to Demonstrate Fractions
Download this workbook to demonstrate fractions.

Enter any fraction in the top cell. The pie chart will show that portion of the circle shaded. To download this workbook, right click this link and choose Save Target As.

For complete details on creating 25 cool workbooks for your classroom, buy Excel for Teachers.

For the BEST TV show on technology, check out Call for Help.

This tip was originally published on June 19, 2006 and aired on TechTV in Canada and Australia on June 19, 2006.

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If you are looking for show notes from another episode, visit my complete list of TechTV appearances. Consulting can be hired to implement this concept, or many other cool applications, with your data. provides examples of Visual Basic procedures for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. The Visual Basic procedures on this web site are provided "as is" and we do not guarantee that they can be used in all situations.


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