How To Easily Teach Microsoft Access Lessons
Are you in search of Microsoft Access lessons and activities to teach your students the basics of the application? Over the years we have heard from hundreds of computer teachers about the woes they face when trying to teach lessons on Access. Since most teachers aren't familiar with using the software as they are with other Office applications, it's hard to know where to start when planning lessons. Here's a few comments we have heard from teachers:
"After teaching Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel the same way I noticed that I needed to do something different. I wanted a more interactive way for students to learn Access."
"Do you have lessons for teaching Microsoft Access? I have not used it so I have to spend time looking at tutorials to learn about it before I can give lessons!"
This is an unfortunate situation, since in most cases these teachers have educational standards that include sections on using database management systems like Microsoft Access. So, while they might not want to...they need to have Microsoft Access lesson plans, which leads them to start searching!
Where to Find Microsoft Access Lesson Plans for Your Students
Because we know that computer teachers don't have much time to spend looking for MS Access lesson plans and ideas, I decided to do some research to help out. There are a number of websites out there that have lesson and activity ideas for teaching Access to middle school students. Here are a few you should check out and potentially add to your computer curriculum:
GCF Learn Free
GCF Learn Free has a number of lessons for teaching the Microsoft Office applications, including some for Access. There are videos and walkthroughs with accompanying text for many different aspects of the application. You can look at the content here: GCF Learn Free Microsoft Access Lessons
Tonya Skinner's Website
This high school business education teacher spends her spare time sharing lessons and activities with other teachers. Her website has a page for computer applications and it includes a section on databases. While there's not a lot there, there are a couple of resources you could look at as possible Microsoft Access lesson plans for your students: Tonya Skinner's Database Lessons
Teachers Pay Teachers
If you've never used Teachers Pay Teachers, this is a great time to check it out. This website is a community where real teachers share, sell, and buy lesson plans and activities from each other. With a quick search I found a number of resources for teaching Microsoft Access. If you don't mind spending a few bucks, these could help save you a lot of time: Microsoft Access Lesson Plans on Teachers Pay Teachers
A Computer Curriculum with Built-In Microsoft Access Lessons and Projects
Are you looking for something a bit more robust and comprehensive than a hodge-podge of random resources? To properly teach Access, you need more than just some lessons and worksheets thrown together. Since it's a more difficult application to cover, it's important to give your students activities and projects that really reinforce the concepts and skills you are teaching.
Because we heard from so many computer teachers that they needed more when it came to teaching Access, we've included a Microsoft Access module in Business&ITCenter21.
The Microsoft Access module provides an overview of database theory as students gain practical experience with Microsoft Access. Here are the specifics of each unit in the module:
Unit: Introduction to Microsoft Access
In this unit, students will learn about Microsoft Access basics as they are introduced to databases, tables, records and fields, data integrity, and the difference between a database and a database management system. Then they will use Microsoft Access to open and save databases, use data sheets and form views, and search and update records. The unit includes 2 lessons:
Lesson 1 – Microsoft Access Tour
Students will learn database concepts through a scenario based on the familiar experience of posting messages to Facebook. We talk about how the information travels through the Internet and that fact that it ends up in a database in the Facebook data center.
We talk about the kinds of information that need to be stored and how that information is organized in the database (Tables, Records & Fields). Students are also introduced to the concept of data integrity and learn the importance of making sure data is stored is correct and stored in the right place.
Finally, students are given a tour of the Microsoft Access user interface and are asked to click through a simulation of the software.
Lesson 2 – Getting Started in Microsoft Access
Students open a small database in Microsoft Access to explore the user interface. The data sheet view will be used to update a record, delete a record and add a new record. Students also use a form to perform the same operations. Throughout this lesson, vocabulary from the first lesson (Database, Table, Record, Field, Data Integrity) will be reinforced.
Unit: Database Tables
In this unit, students learn about creating their own database tables and forms in Access. They will use data sheet views, add fields to a form, arrange controls on a form, and understand data types and primary keys. The unit includes 2 lessons:
Lesson 1 – Creating a Table
Students will create a new database (blank, not from a template) and create a table. We talk about the fields required for the table and the process used to determine those fields. Students are walked through the process of adding fields and selecting data types. The concept of a primary key is introduced and will be covered in detail in later lessons.
Lesson 2 – Create a Form
Students will start from a blank database and create another new table. This time students aren’t given as much information and are expected to remember some of the steps from the previous lesson. Once the table is ready, students will create a form and use the form to enter a record.
Unit: Queries & Reports
In this unit, students will learn about searching, sorting, and filtering database tables in Microsoft Access. They will also learn about table relationships, primary and foreign keys, creating queries between tables, using the Query Wizard, filtering query results, and creating a report based on a query. The unit includes 3 lessons:
Lesson 1 – Searching & Filtering
This lesson gives the student a larger database (over 10,000 records) to work with and starts to introduce concepts that will be used in the next lessons (queries, relationships, foreign keys & reports).
Students will open one table (customers) and search for a particular customer. They will write down the customer ID (primary key) and then use that primary key to filter a second table (orders). We are teaching the skills and walking students through a manual simulation of a join query.
Lesson 2 – Queries & Relationships
Students use the same 10,000 record database and define a relationship between the two tables. Then students will create a query that uses the relationship to show information from both tables at the same time. We discuss primary and foreign keys and compare the process to the work that was manually performed in Lesson 5.
Lesson 3 – Reports
Students build a summary report (sales per state) by creating a summary join query and then building a report from that query. The report design tool is used to change the location and appearance of fields.
Where to go from here with your Microsoft Office lessons
I hope you found the resources here helpful in your search for some great Microsoft Access lessons for your classroom. If you're on the lookout for other interesting and engaging lessons for Microsoft Office, check out this article: Microsoft Office Lesson Plans Your Students Will Love
If you'd like to try out the Microsoft Access module within Business&ITCenter21, sign up for a free trial and see how it works for you: