Learning Core ICT Skills: Best Excel Lesson Plan Resources

Microsoft Office is a suite of beneficial tools many people will use in their professional lives. Therefore, in recent years schools have put a huge emphasis on teaching it to students to prepare them for their future careers.

In particular, Excel has become one of the most crucial tools for almost any job. Many companies and businesses use Excel to compile detailed spreadsheets of necessary business data. So, this is a skill all employers want to see.

When it comes to teaching Excel, though, what are the best lesson plan resources? 

Continue reading to discover the best Excel lesson plan resources, providers, and more!

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What Is Excel?

Microsoft Excel is a well-known spreadsheet system used by numerous companies and businesses. It actually has numerous uses despite seeming like a straightforward system. Here are some of the most prominent Excel uses:

  • You can create detailed charts and graphs to visualise important data.
  • You can use it to separate business entities to create a comprehensive budget.
  • You can use it as a database to store important data.
  • You can create multiple data sets in Excel to make them easier to understand.

Excel’s uses are beneficial for a company or business, so it is a skill they actively want from a new employee. Therefore, most curricula now incorporate it as an essential skill to learn in order to prepare students for their future careers.

While most teachers could probably teach Excel on their own, lesson plan resources focused on this topic can help teachers save time and the use of their voice.

Learning Core ICT Skills: Best Excel Lesson Plan Resources

What Are The Best Qualities A Teacher Should Look For In An Excel Teaching Resource?

There are so many teaching resource providers that have options for Excel. Therefore, researching and finding the best one can be challenging. 

To give you a promising start to your Excel teaching resource provider research, we will detail the best potential qualities in a teaching resource for Excel.

It Should Start With The Basics First

Excel has numerous functions, so you ideally want a teaching resource that teaches the essential functions first. After all, we’re talking about students who are too young to have necessarily used Excel before.

Additionally, any courses or resources that focus on an individual Excel function should start with the very basics before showing the advanced features of that function. This includes things like popular formulas, as entry-level students just aren’t ready for that right out of the box.

It Should Have A Concise Structure And A Clear Vision

The quality of an Excel teaching resource can be the deciding factor on whether a student will retain essential information or not. Therefore, an Excel lesson plan resource should have a concise structure and a clear vision.

The structure of an Excel resource is critical. If the lesson plan spends too much time on one topic and not enough time on another related topic, the student won’t retain the information, and the teaching resource will likely bore them.

In contrast, though, an Excel resource must have a clear vision. It needs to have a focal point, or it will be less accessible for students. In other words, you don’t want to teach things about charts and formulas in the same instance. Teaching one topic at a time will make the content more digestible.

It Should Be As Enjoyable As Possible

Excel is less visually engaging than other software tools taught at schools. The layout is basic and not as exciting as some web and game development tools students can learn.

Therefore, an Excel lesson plan resource must entertainingly present information; this is important because it can be the key to engaging students in the content.

Part of making it enjoyable also means showcasing how it is used in real-life. Students tend to be more interested in topics they know will have practical value.

Learning Core ICT Skills: Best Excel Lesson Plan Resources

What Are The Best Excel Lesson Plan Resource Types?

Now you know what essential qualities to look for in an Excel lesson plan resource, the next step before you research is to know some of the most compelling Excel teaching resource types.

An Excel teaching resource provider needs multiple resource types to create a precise learning path for students. Here are the four top Excel lesson plan resource types.

Introduction To Excel Courses

The natural introduction to Excel for students is an extensive introductory course. From an introductory Excel course, you will want an overview of all the system’s basic functions, but you don’t want it to be too intermediate because it will likely confuse students. So, that means no formulas or charts – just the program basics.

Additionally, you want it to be entertaining so students will engage with the Excel system.

Zenva Schools has an introductory Excel course to reference here called Intro To Excel. Its main aim is to teach students all of the fundamental tools of the Excel system. Here are some of its basic teachings.

  • It can show students how to make a new spreadsheet. Additionally, it can teach them how to format and group the spreadsheets.
  • It can show students how to improve workflows with various shortcuts.
  • It teaches them how to use autofill and master its entry-level functions.
  • It can display all the ways you can dynamically paste data on Excel.

Excel Data Courses

Storing and sorting data is one of the most useful functions of Excel, so it makes sense that several courses and teaching resources are focusing on it. Excel data courses can concentrate on data formatting, graphs and charts, extensive spreadsheets, and more.

Because it is critical to understand data in Excel, many Excel lesson plan resource providers have multiple resources to teach it to students. For example, Zenva Schools has multiple courses focusing on different ways to format and store data in Excel.

Here are the Excel data courses on Zenva Schools.

  • Excel Data – Charts: A course that teaches the basics of charts in Excel. Students can learn how to use datasets to create charts, format and edit them, use chart templates, combine multiple chart types, and more.
  • Excel Data – Conditional Formatting: The Excel formatting course makes it easier for students to understand the formatting and automate specific formatting tools. They can learn how to understand and make basic formatting rules, edit text and cells using the formatting rules, use automatic formatting, and more.
  • Excel Data – Data Tools: A course to teach students how to use the data tools on Excel to manage and organise data. Specifically, it teaches them how to validate data, separate lines of text, delete data duplicates, use data tables to analyse the data, and more.
  • Excel Data – Large Spreadsheets: A course that teaches you how to manage large spreadsheets on Excel effectively. Specifically, it can teach you how to split spreadsheet panes to view them, sort data lists, use list filters, hide columns, and more.
  • Excel Data – Tables Basics: A beginner’s course on Excel tables. It has basic teachings on Excel tables, including range conversions, table formatting, Excel formula use for tables, and more.
  • Excel Data – Pivot Tables: A more advanced course on Excel tables specifically focuses on pivot tables. It teaches students what pivot tables are, how to create and use them, and how they can benefit a company by improving data processing.
Learning Core ICT Skills: Best Excel Lesson Plan Resources

Excel Formula Courses

Although slightly more advanced than data basics, students still need to learn formulas in Excel to work out how to use the system effectively. Excel formulas are calculations that work out a value based on the data on the spreadsheet. For example, Excel formulas can perform addition, subtraction, and more.

Formulas in Excel are beneficial because they automate processes that can be time-consuming to manually complete. Although they seem daunting, they are easy to understand and valuable when learned. Therefore, many Excel teaching resource providers have courses and resources on Excel formulas.

To use as an example again, Zenva Schools has two courses to teach students the basic skills they need to create and use formulas in Excel.

  • Excel Formulas – Foundations: A course to teach students the basics of Excel formulas. It covers basic teachings like absolute reference use, averaging, data referencing, data manipulation, and more.
  • Excel Formulas – Statistics: A slightly more advanced Excel formulas course focusing on statistics. It teaches students how to use complex functions (SUMIF and COUNTIF, for example), create cell value references, balance conditional variables, and much more.

Excel Function Courses

Functions in Excel are similar to formulas, with one key difference. Excel functions are pre-determined formulas designed to automate complex processes and save an extensive amount of time. Functions on Excel can include logic control functions, lookup, and more.

These can be challenging to fully understand, so they should be saved for last.

Once again, as an example for your reference, Zenva Schools has courses on three critical Excel functions:

  • Excel Functions – Logic Control: A course for beginners on logic control functions in Excel. It can show students how to test conditions with multiple functions (“if”, for example), use switch functions to test specific criteria, and more.
  • Excel Functions – Lookup: An Excel functions course that teaches students how to look up and store data efficiently.  Specifically, it can help by teaching them how to find data in columns and rows with VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP, match the data using numerous variables, complete searches with column index numbers, and more.
  • Excel Functions – Text: A course that shows students how to manipulate and change Excel data using text functions. It teaches them how to use text data to merge columns, extract text from a cell, change the irregular and unusual text using FIND and SEARCH and much more.
Learning Core ICT Skills: Best Excel Lesson Plan Resources

What Are The Best Excel Lesson Plan Resource Providers?

The final stage of Excel lesson plan resource research is to find the best resource providers. You want a resource provider with a significant number of Excel courses and resources and an excellent variety of fun teaching styles.

Here are three top Excel lesson plan resource providers and the features they offer to give you a compelling start to your Excel lesson plan research.


Udemy has multiple courses for Excel on its website. Some of these focus on specific Excel functions, and some are a complete deep dive into the system. The platform also has content available for various different levels, including beginners and intermediate users.

Beyond this, because the platform allows anyone to make a course, you get tons of options for picking the right provider. With affordable pricing to boot, it is a good option for an Excel lesson plan resource.

This being said, keep in mind not all courses here are quality. Additionally, the platform was not specifically designed to be used in schools either, so you’ll need some ingenuity to make it work.


Twinkl has a massive variety of Excel teaching resources, including interactive tasks, video lessons, printout learning resources, and more. They focus on the basics to give students the best learning path possible.

In particular, the printable worksheets are fairly numerous and high-quality. Thus, and especially for younger students, they can make the experience of learning Excel a lot more colorful.

However, the platform is not particularly built for something so specific as Excel. Thus, finding lesson resources to incorporate into the classroom will take time. In addition, it is arguably a platform better suited as a supplement to others.

Zenva Schools

As was discussed previously, Zenva Schools fits perfectly all the criteria we laid out for Excel resources. With a whopping 12 courses available on the topic, and with content suitable for Years 6 and up, it has everything you might want.

Beyond the content itself, though, Zenva Schools is designed for the ideal learning experience. The courses come with numerous materials for learning, including video lessons, downloadable spreadsheets, text-based summaries, quizzes, exercises, and more.

To boot, Zenva Schools also has features specifically for school use. This includes tools to manage your classroom and reports for tracking student progress.

What Is The Best Excel Lesson Plan Resource Provider?

While we’ve laid out a lot here, we hope this helps you find the best Excel resource for you. Each teacher has different needs, so the best is obviously the one that fits those needs the best.

That being said, Zenva Schools is probably the best option here to consider. Not only does it have all the Excel content and topics you could want, but it’s built for use in schools. With a match to curriculum standards as well, it’s a perfect beacon for covering this amazing useful tool.

In the end, though, whatever you choose, Excel is a core skill you can’t miss on teaching to students.

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We’ll organize a free trial so you can test it out with your students in class!