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Exponents Game

Exponents Game Activity

based on 20 ratings

Exponents can be tricky at first, but this game provides plenty of practice! Draw from a deck of cards to find your numbers. Create a problem using exponents, and then use a calculator or scratch paper to work out the answers. Help each other out if someone gets stuck. The goal is to create problems that result in the largest products. You'll work on multiplication and improve your understanding of exponents at the same time!

What's an Exponent?

exponent: indicates how many times the number is to be used in multiplication; it is written as a small number at the upper right of a base number (e.g. 34 = 3 x 3 x 3 x 3, which comes out to 81.)

What You Need:

  • Deck of cards (with the face cards removed)
  • Several players
  • Calculator
  • Paper
  • Pencil

What You Do:

  1. Decide which player will be the dealer and which will be the scorekeeper.
  2. The dealer should deal two cards to each player.
  3. Explain that the goal of each round is to create an exponent with the highest value.
  4. Each player should arrange the cards to indicate which number is the base and which is the exponent.
  5. Encourage them to use the two numbers they've drawn to create a problem with exponents. For example, if a player drew a 3 and a 4, they could create the problem 34 or 43.
  6. Tell the players that the goal is to create the exponent with the highest value. 
  7. Have the players use scratch paper to compute their answers and then use the calculator to double check their correctness. Using scratch paper puts the focus on the computation, and double checking their answers will help them learn how to use a calculator effectively.
  8. The player with the highest value wins the round. Have the scorekeeper give the winning player a point.
  9. Play as many rounds as you'd like. At the end of play add the totals up to see who's won!
Updated on Apr 21, 2014
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See more activities in: Fifth Grade, Algebra & Functions
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