Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Exponents Lesson Plan.

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Exponents, and supports the standards of using whole-number exponents to denote powers of 10, and writing and evaluating numerical expressions involving whole-number exponents. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Display expressions involving numbers in base 10, like these:

10 x 10 = 100

10 x 10 x 10 = 1,000

10 x 10 x 10 x 10 = 10,000

10 x 1/10 = 1

10 x 1/100 = 0.1

10 x 1/1,000 = 0.01

Ask students: 

  • How does multiplication affect a number? How does division affect a number?
  • How are the numbers 10 and 0.1 related? 
  • Do you notice any patterns in the numbers above? Explain.


  • Read the description on the Exponents topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS

Students take the Exponents Quiz, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about exponents while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs. 

  • Make-a-Movie: Imagine you invest $2.00 in an account that doubles your money each week. Create a tutorial explaining how much money you would have after 10 weeks.
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying quantities that are best measured with either positive or negative exponents, such as the number of cells in your body or the diameter of a red blood cell. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a math problem that uses exponents. 

More to Explore

Numbers and Operations Unit: Continue to build understanding around numbers and operations by exploring more BrainPOP math topics. 

Teacher Support Resources:


Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments