Lesson 2

Powers of 10

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to recognize exponential notation for powers of 10 and use exponential notation to represent large numbers.

Lesson Narrative

In the previous lesson, students multiplied and divided numbers by 10 or 100 and noticed place value patterns and relationships. This lesson continues to look at patterns when several factors of 10 are multiplied together. It also introduces a convenient strategy for recording these numbers, exponential notation for positive powers of 10. Students represent numbers up to 1,000,000,000 and apply their understanding of multiplication by 10 and its powers to see why exponential notation is a convenient way to represent certain large numbers. This lesson includes an optional activity that allows students to explore the number 1 trillion.
  • Engagement
  • MLR2

Activity 1: Population of Delaware and India

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Use whole-number exponents to denote powers of 10.

Student Facing

  • Let’s use exponents to show powers of 10.

Required Preparation

CCSS Standards


Building Towards

Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 10 min
Activity 1 20 min
Activity 2 15 min
Activity 3 10 min
Lesson Synthesis 10 min
Cool-down 5 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

What unfinished learning or misunderstandings do you have about powers of 10 and exponential notation? How can you leverage those partial understandings in a positive way to further the understanding of the class?

Suggested Centers

  • Number Puzzles: Multiplication and Division (4–5), Stage 2: Multi-digit Factors (Supporting)
  • Five in a Row: Multiplication (3–5), Stage 3: Two-digit Factors (Supporting)

Print Formatted Materials

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Additional Resources

Google Slides

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PowerPoint Slides

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