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Lesson plan

Exponents With the Doubling Activity Lesson Plan

Overview

In this lesson, we’ll introduce exponents through the doubling activity for `6`th graders with an exploratory activity for deciding which amount of money you would choose. Students are introduced to exponential growth with the doubling activity. You can plan to complete this lesson in one `90`-minute block or two `45`-minute class periods.

Grade 6
Expressions, Equations, And Inequalities
6.EE.A.1
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Objective

Students will understand that an exponent represents repeated multiplication.

Materials

  • Slideshow
  • Would you rather activity
  • Online Practice

How to Teach Exponents

PART `1`: Warm-up

Start the lesson on slide `1` by asking students if they would rather be given `1` million dollars or a penny on the first day and then doubled every day for the next `30` days?

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Let students talk with a partner about what they would rather have and why. Once they have discussed, have students share their reasons why. Most students will want to have the `$1` million dollars now.

Would you rather activity

Pass out the Would you rather activity and let students work on doubling a penny every day for `30` days. You can have students work with partners or check their answers with a partner as they go. You’ll notice a lot of student discussion as they start to see how quickly their money is increasing. You can give students a calculator since the actual calculations are not the point of the activity.

Class discussion

Students are usually amazed by the way money grows! Go over the answers with the students. Most likely, you will not have time to do anything else in that class period. 

PART `2`: Warm-up

On the second day, ask students to write an expression for the amount that you can get on Day `5`. On Day `10`. On Day `30`. Make sure to call on a student to write the entire expression for Day `30`.

`1\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2` `\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2`. 

Ask `1-2` other students to check if the expression is correct. Tell them that instead of writing out all the multiplications, mathematicians decided to come up with a shortcut called exponents!!

Introduction to exponents

Introduce students to the structure of exponents. Introduce the vocabulary words, Exponent and Base.

You can print out this slide as an anchor chart to hang in the classroom. You can also ask students to copy this in their notebooks for reference.

Exponents vs. Multiplication

Ask students to compare and contrast an exponent to a multiplication problem. Give students about `5` minutes to discuss these questions with a partner.

Students may say:

  • They both have a `5` and `3` in the expression.
  • They both are multiplying
  • `5^3` is  `5\times 5\times 5 = 125` and `5\times 3 = 15`
  • Exponents represent repeated multiplication
  • Multiplication represents repeated addition

If students have not shared any of these, make sure to share with students these possible solutions. Some students might say that they are both the same answer. 

Continue on to slides `4` and `5`, where you show some examples of exponents and multiplication problems and how they are different from each other. 

Whiteboard practice

After introducing exponents, you’ll want to do some more exponent examples with the whole class. Slides `7-16` have some practice problems that can be completed as whiteboard practice. Give each student a whiteboard and marker. As you show each slide on the board, have students expand the expression, meaning to write it as a multiplication problem, then multiply to find the final answer. 

Exponents Practice

After you’ve completed the examples with the whole class, it’s time for some independent practice! ByteLearn gives you access to tons of exponents activities. Check out the online practice and assign to your students for classwork and/or homework!

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Exponents Practice
Problem 1 of 4

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