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Creating Floor Plans in Excel

Subjects:

Computers & Internet, Math  

Grades:

2, 3, 4, 5  

Objectives

Students will identify geometric patterns, practice measuring and drawing to scale, find perimeters and areas, improve business application technology skills, incorporate algebra and geometry skills and learn to appreciate a variety of home types.

Materials Needed

Measuring tape and Microsoft Excel

Directions

  1. Have students measure each room in their home using the measuring tape
  2. To create a perfectly square grid in Excel, do the following:
    1. Click on the box to the left of Column A to select all cells. 
    2. Click on any of the vertical lines that separate two columns and start dragging left or right.
    3. A tooltip will display on screen, noting width in both inches and pixels – refer only to the number of pixels.

 Column Width sizing

4. Set the pixels to the same width – we found 30 to be useful. When you stop dragging, all columns will be set to the width you chose.

5. Click on one of the horizontal lines and do the same thing, setting the number of pixels equal to the same number of pixels you used for setting the column width. All rows will be expanded or contracted

3. Each cell of the Excel spreadsheet should be used to represent 2 feet. Students can adjust the individual cells as needed to fit their measurements (for instance, if they need a single foot, they can adjust that cell’s pixel width to 15×15

4. Have students shade individual rooms using the paint bucket dropdown – you may set a color scheme for the classroom (all bedrooms should be blue, all kitchens yellow) or let the students choose their own color schemes.

5. Students will need to include the measurements of each room, and determine the total square footage of their homes.

6. For historical perspective, you may want to include several floorplans of various homes – an American Craftsman bungalow, a mid-century ranch-style home, and an American Four Square home. You may also want to include the floorplans of several historic homes.  Here’s an example:

 Floorplan

 

7. From here you can have discussions about architectural styles, comparing and contrasting famous homes to the homes of your students, while explaining the history behind different styles of homes. Talk about the advantages of each kind of home (please avoid discussing the disadvantages, which may be sensitive to some students). 

 

Additional Activities

 

If students enjoy this activity, consider additional activities:

 

  • Going to a historical museum that includes re-creations of famous homes or rooms within famous buildings.
  • Have students draw imaginary floorplans for the homes of characters in their favorite TV show or movie.
  • Create cardstock models of students’ or famous homes for more hands-on work.
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