Monday, November 21, 2016

Stupid Questions: How To Teach Google Forms to Middle-Schoolers

There are some concepts that I struggle with teaching my students. One of those are spreadsheets. Sure, if you're out working in the business world, you probably use them all the time, or if you're living on your own and need to plan budgets and life skills of that sort, spreadsheets are super useful and relevant to your experience.

But middle schoolers just don't have the "need" for it that many adults do, making it really hard to get them excited about it. And it's part of my current curriculum, so I'm trying to find ways to make it "work."

Well, I found something, and it turned out to be a pretty fun activity, actually, so I thought I'd share!

I call this lesson "Stupid Questions." :)

It's a 3-day activity (assuming 40-45 minute classes). Here's the basic outline:

DAY 1: 
Go over directions as a class.
Have students take my sample quiz; show results
Show students how to create their own quiz
Work time 
DAY 2: 
Show how to preview quiz and share URL
Finish writing quizzes & submit URLS
Start taking classmates’ quizzes
DAY 3: 
Finish taking classmates’ quizzes
Go over results as a class, show Google Sheets tricks 

Basically, I have each student create a Google Form 9-question "quiz" utilizing the different types of questions available to create. They can ask anything they like, provided that it is both school-appropriate and respectful.

You know how much people love taking those quizzes on Facebook to "see which Disney princess you are?" Yeah, it's kind of like that. No wonder they enjoyed this so much!

Once students had created a quiz, they shared the URL to a Google Doc. They then had to go down the list and take all of the quizzes that their classmates created! Some students were very non-sensical and weird with it. Others were pretty darn clever:

By taking each other's quizzes, students gave each other a batch of data that could be viewed in Google Sheets and be manipulated in a variety of ways. If you're looking for some ideas, here are some of the ways I showed students to view/manipulate data from their forms:

Do you want to take my Stupid Quiz? You can here!

I concluded the lesson with talking to students about how Google Forms can be a useful tool for middle school students: creating review quizzes, surveying friends, making class presentations more interactive, etc.

Do you have any Google Forms or Sheets lessons that seem especially engaging for middle school students? Please share!

- Mrs. L.

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