ALEX Lesson Plan


Exponents and Division

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Sara Wheeler
System: Calhoun County
School: Alexandria High School
The event this resource created for:GEMS
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 26250


Exponents and Division


This activity will introduce the exponent and division rule, the zero exponent rule, and the negative exponent rule.  Students will make a human fraction to discover the division rule for exponents.  The lesson will also introduce various interactive sites for reviewing exponent rules.

This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
MA2015 (2016)
Grade: 9-12
Algebra I
2 ) Rewrite expressions involving radicals and rational exponents using the properties of exponents. [N-RN2]

Local/National Standards:


Algebra (6-8)

develop an initial conceptual understanding of different uses of variables

Primary Learning Objective(s):

The student will be able to perform problems involving exponents.  The student will be able to deduce the rule for problems involving exponents and division.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Paper, pencil, masking tape, scissors, markers or colored pencils (optional)

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with Internet access connected to a television or LCD projector, presentation software


Students should know the rules for working with exponents. This link is to Khan Academy's lessons on these topics - CLICK HERE.


1.  If needed, use the links above to review the exponent rules for multiplication.

2.  Ask each student to take out a sheet of notebook paper.  Open the Exponent Foldable presentation and guide students through creating a foldable to keep up with all of the rules of exponents.

3.  Use masking tape to make a "human fraction bar" on the floor.  Ask for or call on eight students to volunteer.  Direct five to stand above the line and three to stand below the line.  Remind students that when you have things on top and bottom that match, they cancel out.  In other words, something divided by itself is equal to one, and multiplication by one does not change the product.  So pull pairs of students away from numerator and denominator until all denominator volunteers are gone. 

4.  Ask students to look at what remains.  See if they can deduce a rule that would describe how we went from five people on top and three people on bottom, to two people on top only.  They should realize that 5 - 3 = 2.  That is the rule for exponents and division (when dividing powers with the same base, subtract the exponents).

5.  Open the Exponents and Division presentation (adapted from  Go through each slide with the students and have them take notes, work out examples, and add the following rules to their foldable: division, zero exponent, and negative exponent. 

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Assessment Strategies

Informal assessment can be used when reviewing the multiplication rules for exponents and while going through the new lesson.  Check for student understanding throughout the lesson through questioning.  Print copies of the Division Worksheet to give as homework and check the next day for mathematical accuracy.  You can also click here for an interactive quiz on all of the rules.  If student computers are available, have them record answers and this could be a quiz grade.


Access this interactive game for students who want an extra challenge.


Here is a video by Pearson Prentice Hall that reiterates the lesson for those students that need extra practice.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.