Q10 Sort It Out

13. Dig the Data


You have been asked to manage the music for the beginning of a party before the DJ arrives. The party theme is top music from 2018. Your job is to put together a playlist for the first 30 minutes. You have a list of music, descriptions, and play times (over two hours of music) in a spreadsheet to choose from.

Your task is to sort the list in several different ways and create your own playlist. You may want to work with a partner on this project.

Key Vocabulary:

Sort: To sort is the process of arranging objects in a certain sequence or sort order according to specific rules in a spreadsheet. 

Ascending: When you sort a list of numbers it will be from smallest to largest (similar to counting up from 1 to 10). When you sort alphabetic letters it will be from A to Z.

Descending: When you sort a list of numbers it will be from largest to smallest (like going down a staircase and counting how many steps are left). With alphabetic letters it will be from Z to A.

Genre: Genre is a particular type of literature, music or art.

Party Playlist: A party playlist is a mix of everyone's song preferences.

I Can Statements

  • can select an appropriate tool to represent data
  • can use spreadsheets, charts and visual representations are tools to help organize, evaluate, and present data
  • share my spreadsheet and charts with others


Part 1 Options: It is important to check with your teacher on which option you will use to download (Excel) or copy (Google sheet) the SortItOut data file.


Part One Assignment for both options

Part One Assignment:

Follow the directions and do the following sorts. Remember to watch the column headers and make sure they don't get sorted into the rest of the data.

a. Sort by Artist - how many artists have more than one entry?

b. Sort by Genre - how many different genre are there?

c. Sort by Song Title - are there some duplicates. Delete the duplicate you don't want in the list.

A quick review of what you accomplished in Part One.

• sorting a spreadsheet by different columns (variables)

• freezing the top row (Google) or protect the headers (Excel)

• how to delete a row

• how to UNDO something you just did in the spreadsheet

Part 1 Google Sheet Directions & Video

Google sheet directions:

If you will use the Google sheet version click this link 21t4s Sort It Out

  • Go to the File menu, select Make a copy and do not check the box to share it with the same people.
  • Rename your spreadsheet to Party playlist and add your initials.
  • Watch the video (for Google Sheets) below. It might be helpful to look at the list while you watch, or pause it and try each step.

Direct link

Google Sheets Directions.pdf

Part 1 Excel Directions & Video

Excel sheet directions:

  • Download the following SortItOut.xls file 
  • Rename it to Party Playlist and add your initials.
  • Open the file and watch the video (for Excel or Calc). It might be helpful to look at the list while you watch, or pause it and try each step.

Direct link

 Excel Directions.pdf

Part Two Assignment for both options

Part Two Assignment


  • Do you want a variety of genre or categories of songs?

  • Do you only want certain artists?

  • What songs do you think other party members will prefer?

  • Remember: You can only have up to 30 minutes of music

 It's time to work on your party playlist. We have provided Part Two video tutorials to help you accomplish these tasks.

Here's what you will be doing:

  1. Create a new tab in your spreadsheet for your own list, and title it Party Playlist
  2. Copy and paste the column headings onto your new list
  3. Begin copying your favorites and pasting them onto your party playlist.
  4. As you add new songs, you will need to add a formula for the computer to add up the minutes and seconds to make sure you are under or equal to 30 minutes.
  5. When you are done, share your playlist or document with your teacher.

Part Two Google Sheet Directions & Video

Part Two Excel Directions & Video

Part Two Video for Excel  Direct link to the video


Directions for Part Two with Excel.pdf 

Completing this Quest

Check with your teacher on how you should turn in your 30 minute party playlist document for credit. Great job!

 Check off this Quest on the 21t4s roadmap

awardicon I have completed the Quests as assigned by my teacher.
Go to the graduation page for this Thing.



Websites and Applications



Sort it Out 

Competencies & Standards

MITECS   Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students, and

ISTE Standards for Students

3. Knowledge Constructor
c. Curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions

5. Computational Thinker
a. Formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions
b. Collect data or identify relevant data sets
c. Break problems into component parts, extract key information

6. Creative Communicator
a. Create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations
b. Communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations
d. Publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for a variety of audiences.

Common Core Standards

MP.5 Use appropriate tools strategically

MP.6 Attend to precision