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Can I Afford This House?


In this lesson, students will prepare a spreadsheet that provides information about purchasing a house. Using functions and formulas, they will determine if they can afford the house.
Curriculum Link: Author: Marsha Martin, Enterprise High School, Enterprise City; accessed February 2012

Expected Student Outcomes/Objectives

Use spreadsheet applications to simplify data commonly used in business settings.

Identify costs and payments schedule for a mortgage.

Description of Activities

1. Students will use the Internet to locate five houses that they would be interested in buying.

2. Students will create a spreadsheet that includes the address, price and monthly payment for each of the five houses. They will use the PMT function to calculate the monthly payment.

3. Students will use the Internet to determine the median average earnings for an occupation that they are interested in pursuing.

4. Students will add to the spreadsheet their chosen occupation and yearly average earnings. They will enter formulas to calculate the total monthly salary, a monthly housing allowance, and an IF function that will show them whether or not they can afford the house payment.

5. Students will format the spreadsheet attractively and print. Students will exchange printouts and discuss their findings. Selected students will present their spreadsheet (use projector or broadcast) and explain why they can or cannot afford the houses they selected.

Culminating Activity and/or Assessment

While students are working on the spreadsheet, check to be sure they are using the correct formulas and functions. Students can check their payment results using the mortgage calculator at Century Students will exchange printouts and discuss their findings.

This lesson includes general teaching strategies & classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Instructional Materials Needed

Computers with Internet access and spreadsheet software

Instructional Materials Provided

Lesson plan, handouts and relevant websites

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Additional criteria

Cost: Free

Curriculum type: Lesson

Academic subject areas: Mathematics; Career-Technical Education

States' Career Clusters: Marketing; Finance

California Industry sector(s): Marketing Sales and Service; Business and Finance

Duration: 60 to 90 minutes

Grade Targets: 9, 10, 11, 12

Level of Expertise for CTE: Introductory

Standards Addressed: Detailed documentation of alignment with Common Core, NGSS, C3 or CTE Standards provided  

Jump$tart Coalition: Financial Responsibility and Decision Making Standard 4: Make financial decisions by systematically considering alternatives and consequences.

Online curriculum

Source: Web Site

Curriculum Link:

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