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The Twelve Days of Christmas Spreadsheet Task

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In 2007 the Oxfordshire ICT Team published a book about spreadsheet modelling. Since the team folded, teachers keep e-mailing me to ask if I have copies of the various exercises which were published. This is one such exercise, and as the these resources are no longer available from anywhere else, I am sure the previous team members will not mind it being shared here:

The Twelve Days of Christmas – for Years 3 & 4

Skills required before starting: the ability to add numbers to a spreadsheet
Techniques to be taught: Adding straightforward formulae

Task: How many presents were given altogether during the 12 days of Christmas?

Ask the children what happened on the first day of Christmas in the song: On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me a partridge in a pear tree. So a partridge in a pear tree was given every day, there were 12 partridges in pear trees given altogether.

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.  The two turtle doves were added to the partridge and pear tree and given for 11 days that means there were 22 of those altogether.

Ask children to create a spreadsheet to find out how many presents were given.

Maths / ICT objectives:

  • Solve one-step and two-step problems involving numbers, money or measures, including time, choosing and carrying out appropriate calculations
  • Describe and explain methods, choices and solutions to puzzles and problems, orally and in writing, using pictures and diagrams
  • Report solutions to puzzles and problems, giving explanations and reasoning orally and in writing, using diagrams and symbols
  • Solve one-step and two-step problems involving numbers, money or measures, including time; choose and carry out appropriate calculations, using calculator methods where appropriate
  • To become aware of consequences of decisions.
  • To understand that computer simulations allow users to explore options and make and test predictions.
  • To be able to enter data into a computer simulation.
  • To begin to make accurate predictions.
  • To be able to enter different values into a spreadsheet.

Now the teacher needs to start to ask questions to develop the modelling aspect.

Some of the questions could be:

  1. How many presents were given in the twelve days?
  2. How much did they all cost?
  3. If the price of the partridge in a pear tree went down by £5.00 what will the twelve days presents cost.
  4. The Lords a leaping went up by £50 before the deliveries started, how much will the presents cost after that?

 

The formula that may be needed:

The twelve days of Christmas

An Excel spreadsheet to help: 

 

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