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Ever wondered how to teach scientific notation in an engaging way to your eighth-grade students?

In this lesson plan, students will learn about scientific notations and their real-life applications. Through artistic, interactive guided notes, check for understanding, a doodle & color by number activity, and a maze worksheet, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of converting between standard form and scientific notations. They will learn the step-by-step process and practice with various examples and exercises.

The lesson concludes with a detailed real life example that explores how scientific notation is used in real-world scenarios. Students will read and write about the practical applications of expressing numbers in scientific notations.

- Standard: CCSS 8.EE.A.3
- Grade: 8th Grade
- Type: Lesson Plans

$4.25

After this lesson, students will be able to:

Convert numbers from scientific notation to standard form and vice versa

Apply scientific notation to real-life situations to represent large and small numbers

Explain the significance and benefits of using scientific notation in scientific in real life

Before this lesson, students should be familiar with:

Knowledge of place value and the concept of decimal numbers

Pencils

Colored pencils or markers

Scientific notation

Standard form

Exponent

Base

Power of ten

As a hook, ask students why it is important to be able to express numbers in scientific notation. Refer to the last page of the guided notes, where students can read and write about real-life uses of expressing numbers in scientific notations. This will help students see the relevance and importance of the topic.

Use the first two pages of the guided notes to introduce the concept of scientific notation. Walk through the topic's key points, such as what scientific notation is, why it is used, and how to convert numbers between standard form and scientific notation.

Based on student responses, reteach any concepts that students need extra help with, especially in understanding the basic principles of scientific notation. If your class has a wide range of proficiency levels, you can pull out students for reteaching, and have more advanced students begin work on the practice exercises.

Have students practice converting between standard form and scientific notation using the practice sections at the bottom of the guided notes as well as the maze activity (page 3 of guided notes). Walk around the classroom to answer any student questions and provide guidance as needed.

Fast finishers can then move on to the color by number activity worksheet for additional practice (page 4 of guided notes). You can assign this maze activity as homework for students to complete for the remainder of the class.

Bring the class back together, and introduce the concept of real-world applications of expressing numbers in scientific notations. Use the last page of the guided notes to allow students to read about a detailed example of scientific notation in real life.

Explain to the students that scientific notation is commonly used in scientific fields such as astronomy, physics, and chemistry to represent extremely large or small numbers more conveniently.

To further illustrate the real-life application of scientific notation, provide examples such as:

**Astronomy:**Explain that scientists often use scientific notation to represent distances, such as the distance between stars and galaxies. For example, the distance between the Earth and the Sun is approximately 93 million miles, which can be written as 9.3 x 10^7 miles in scientific notation. This allows scientists to work with and compare distances more easily.**Medicine:**Discuss how scientists and doctors may use scientific notation to express very small measurements, such as the size of bacteria or viruses. For instance, the size of a virus can be written as 2.1 x 10^-9 meters. This method avoids writing long decimal numbers and simplifies calculations.**Financial Transactions:**Mention that financial institutions often use scientific notation when dealing with large amounts of money. For example, when discussing national debts or the gross domestic product (GDP) of a country, numbers can be expressed in scientific notation to make them more manageable. For instance, the national debt of the United States is approximately $28 trillion, which can be written as 2.8 x 10^13 dollars.

Encourage students to think of other real-life examples where expressing numbers in scientific notation could be useful.

If you're looking for digital practice for converting between standard form and scientific notation, try my Pixel Art activities in Google Sheets. Every answer is automatically checked, and correct answers unlock parts of a mystery picture. It's incredibly fun and a powerful tool for differentiation.

Here are some activities to explore:

A fun, no-prep way to practice scientific notation and standard form is Doodle Math—they're a fresh take on color by number or color by code. It includes multiple levels of practice, perfect for a review day or sub plan.

Here are some activities to try:

Scientific notation is a way to express very large or very small numbers in a concise form. It is written in the form of a number between 1 and 10 multiplied by a power of 10.

To convert a number to scientific notation, follow these steps:

Move the decimal point so that there is only one non-zero digit to the left of the decimal point.

Count the number of places you moved the decimal point. If you moved it to the left, the exponent will be positive; if you moved it to the right, the exponent will be negative.

To convert a number in scientific notation to standard form, follow these steps:

Move the decimal point the number of places indicated by the exponent.

If the exponent is positive, move the decimal point to the right. If the exponent is negative, move the decimal point to the left.

Scientific notation is commonly used in science and engineering to express very large or very small quantities. It allows for easier representation and calculations of these numbers. Some real-life applications of scientific notation include:

Describing the size of celestial bodies (e.g., the mass of the sun)

Expressing distances in space (e.g., the distance to another galaxy)

Representing very small particles (e.g., the size of an atom)

Using scientific notation has several advantages:

It allows for easier comparison of numbers with different magnitudes.

It provides a more compact and concise representation of very large or very small numbers.

It simplifies calculations involving large or small numbers.

Forgetting to move the decimal point when converting to or from scientific notation.

Mixing up the signs of the exponents (+ or -) when performing operations.

Failing to simplify the scientific notation after performing operations.

Sure! Let's say we have the number 230,000. To convert it to scientific notation:

Move the decimal point so there is only one non-zero digit to the left of it: 2.3

Count the number of places you moved the decimal point (in this case, 5 places to the left).

Write the number in the form of a number between 1 and 10 multiplied by 10 raised to the power of the number of places: 2.3 x 10^5.

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