Google Sheets for Used Car Comparisons

Looking for a fun Google Sheets idea for a group of 6th-graders? How about used cars on a spreadsheet? The idea for this project was prompted by my recent purchase of a used Jeep Grand Cherokee. I did a lot of comparison shopping before making my purchase and knew what features I desired. I used CarGurus to help me shop car lots within a 100-mile radius. CarGurus offers deal ratings. Deals are tagged great, good, fair, high, and overpriced.   This lesson asks students to use the following Google Sheets features:

  • adjust column width and row height
  • select border and color
  • select fill color, font style, and size
  • insert a picture
  • hyperlink text
  • select horizontal and vertical alignment

I assigned this lesson to students through GoogleClassroom. I provided them with a link to my example spreadsheet, gave them the link to the cargurus website, and provided them with my video tutorial (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D6zXx783QvOa4cLMTTKqn74_OXRBjsQM/view), showing them how to use the Snipping Tool to select just the part of the vehicle they wanted to insert into their spreadsheet.

Below is my example spreadsheet, showing the proposed layout with suggested column headers.Spreadsheet layout

The beauty of a spreadsheet is the ability to compare columns of information side by side.

Students returned a week later to continue with their spreadsheet. They revisited CarGurus to see if their car had dropped in price or if it had sold. Students were encouraged to build a spreadsheet with a minimum of 6 cars. They were instructed to select a few of their favorite features…with one requirement: any car they put on their spreadsheet must have airbags and a clean title. Miles per gallon, expected monthly payment, years financed, and insurance costs would be discussed toward the end of the activity.

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