Students are going to love discovering what mystery design is hidden in the spreadsheet software mystery picture and you’ll love that they are practicing so many different skills. While students may be familiar with paper and pencil mystery pictures, it takes it to a whole new level to do it digitally. Students will really master the toolbar in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. The activity has them filling 100 cells in the table per design, making it a mastery activity.
Plan how you want to share the level 1 or 2 file with your students. I’m providing the Google Sheets file link (on page 3) but you can also use this as an Excel file. Using Google Classroom makes it really easy, but any learning management system can be used to send the file to students.
If using level 3, print the pages and share them with students. Laminating a class set and having students mark out their progress with dry erase markers works well.
Make a finished example if you think your students need one. I didn’t include answer keys.
Levels – There are 3 levels of challenge in these spreadsheet mystery pictures so you can use them with multiple grade levels.
Level 1 has a labeled template. Every cell from A1-J10 is labeled to make it as simple as possible for students. Great for grades 1-2.
Level 2 has a template but it isn’t filled in with the cell names, which requires students to develop an understanding of how charts cells are named. Great for grades 2-3.
Level 3 requires students to open a blank workbook in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, make the cells A1-J10 square, and then follow the directions to fill in the picture. Great for grades 4 and up.
Navigating to the digital file
Fill cell with color
Repeat fill color based on directions
Perseverance to complete all 100 cells
Strand: Innovative Designer
Standard: 4.b. select and use digital tools to plan and manage a design process that considers design constraints and calculated risks.
I can create visual representations of the solution to a problem.
I can stick with a problem until it is solved.
I can use the materials around me to help me solve a problem.
Strand: Empowered Learner
Standard: 1.c. Students use technology to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
I can click on an individual cell in a table.
I can fill a cell with any color.
I can use a shortcut for repeated actions.
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