A Doll’s House

This task acts as a simple introduction to Gantt charts through an example that analyses the manufacture of bespoke dolls’ houses. Students are given the times required for the individual stages of the process, and they are asked to consider the dependencies involved. They are given an example of a Gantt chart for a simple version of the task where only a single worker is available, before going on to look at the changes that occur when an additional worker is provided. After working through this example, students have the opportunity to produce their own Gantt chart for a process of their choice.

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Overview of task

This task acts as a simple introduction to Gantt charts through an example that analyses the manufacture of bespoke dolls’ houses. Students are given the times required for the individual stages of the process, and they are asked to consider the dependencies involved. They are given an example of a Gantt chart for a simple version of the task where only a single worker is available, before going on to look at the changes that occur when an additional worker is provided. After working through this example, students have the opportunity to produce their own Gantt chart for a process of their choice.

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Strand

Discrete Maths

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Prior knowledge

Students will not need any specific prior knowledge beyond a general aptitude for number and problem solving.

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Relevance to Core Maths qualifications

•AQA

•C&G

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Suggested approaches

Work through the PowerPoint presentation supplied, using the notes provided to lead whole-class and individual questioning and discussion. The final activity, where students produce their own Gantt charts, is suitable for work in pairs.

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Resources/documentation

The supplied PowerPoint presentation includes extensive notes that address the key teaching points for an introductory lesson on this topic.

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Relevant digital technologies

Students could use a variety of software packages to produce their own Gantt charts. Spreadsheet software (such as Excel or Numbers) can be used for this – the simplest approach is probably to shade rows of cells to indicate the duration of subtasks, although using the graphics tools to draw rectangular bars may produce better results.

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Possible extensions

  • Learners are encouraged to produce their own Gantt charts; they could present these to the class, explaining their assumptions and decisions
  • Learners could go on to look at more advanced features such as identification of the critical path.

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Acknowledgement

Developed from an idea by the Mathematics department at Trinity High School, Worcs.